William Morris

William Morris (March 24, 1834 – October 3, 1896) was an English artist, writer, and socialist. He was one of the principal founders of the British Arts and Crafts movement, a pioneer of the socialist movement in Britain, and a writer of poetry and fiction. He is perhaps best known as a designer of wallpaper and patterned fabrics.

Early life and education
Born on his family's estate of Elm House in Walthamstow, he went to school at Marlborough College, but left in 1851 after a student rebellion there. He then went to Exeter College, Oxford after studying for his matriculation to the university. He became influenced by the work of art and social critic John Ruskin while there.

[edit] Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
It was at Exeter that Morris met his life-long friends and collaborators, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown and Philip Webb. He also met his wife, Jane Burden, a working-class woman from Oxford whose pale skin, figure, and wavy, abundant dark hair were considered by Morris and his friends the epitome of beauty.

These friends formed an artistic movement, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. They eschewed the tawdry industrial manufacture of decorative arts and architecture and favoured a return to hand-craftsmanship, raising artisans to the status of artists. He espoused the philosophy that art should be affordable, hand-made, and that there should be no hierarchy of artistic mediums.

[edit] Marriage and family
Morris married Jane Burden at St Michael at the Northgate, Oxford, on 26 April 1859. They had two daughters, Jane (called Jenny), who developed epilepsy after a boating accident, and Mary (called May), who herself became a designer and writer.

[edit] Business career

David's Charge to Solomon (1882), a stained-glass window by Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris in Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts.
Morris's painting La bele Iseult, also called Queen Guenevere, is his only surviving easel painting, now in the Tate Gallery.Morris left Oxford to join an architecture firm, but soon found himself drawn more and more to the decorative arts. He and Webb built Red House at Bexleyheath in Kent, Morris's wedding gift to Jane. It was there his design ideas began to take physical shape. (In honour of his connection with Bexleyheath, a bust of Morris was added to an original niche in the brick clock tower in the town centre in 1996.) He also built Standen House in Sussex along with Philip Webb.

In 1861, he founded the firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. with Gabriel Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown and Philip Webb. In 1874 Rossetti and Ford Madox Brown decided to leave the firm, requiring a return on their shares which proved to be a costly business. Throughout his life, he continued to work in his own firm, although the firm changed names. Its most famous incarnation was as Morris and Company. The company encouraged the revival of traditional crafts such as stained glass painting, and Morris himself single-handedly recreated the art of tapestry weaving in Britain. His designs are still sold today under licences given to Sanderson and Sons and Liberty of London.

Morris's commissions included the ceiling within the dining room of Charleville Forest Castle, Ireland and interiors of Bullers Wood House, now Bullers Wood School in Chislehurst, Kent.

[edit] Writings

[edit] Poetry
Morris began publishing poetry and short stories through a magazine founded with his friends while at university. His first independently published work, The Defence of Guenevere (1858) was coolly received by the critics, and he was discouraged from publishing more for a number of years. He had also made a painting of King Arthur's Queen Consort. However, "The Haystack in the Floods", probably these days his best-known poem, dates from just after this time. It is a grimly realistic piece set during the Hundred Years War in which the doomed lovers Jehane and Robert have a last parting in a convincingly portrayed rain-swept countryside.

One early minor poem was "Masters in this Hall" (1860), a Christmas carol written to an old French tune.[1]

When he returned to poetry in the late 1860s it was with The Earthly Paradise, a huge collection of poems loosely bound together in what he called a leather strapbound book. The theme was of a group of medieval wanderers who set out to search for a land of everlasting life; after much disillusion, they discover a surviving colony of Greeks with whom they exchange stories. The collection brought him almost immediate fame and popularity.

The last-written stories in the collection are retellings of Icelandic sagas. From then until his Socialist period Morris's fascination with the ancient Germanic and Norse peoples dominated his writing. Together with his Icelandic friend Eiríkr Magnússon he was the first to translate many of the Icelandic sagas into English, and his own epic retelling of the story of Sigurd the Volsung was his favourite among his poems.

Due to his wide poetic acclaim, Morris was offered the Poet Laureateship, after the death of Tennyson in 1892, but declined.

[edit] Translations
Morris also translated large numbers of medieval and classical works, including collections of Icelandic sagas such as Three Northern Love Stories (1875), Virgil's Aeneid (1875), and Homer's Odyssey (1887).

[edit] Fantasy novels
In the last nine years of his life, Morris wrote a series of fantasy novels – including The Wood Beyond the World and The Well at the World's End – that have been credited as important milestones in the history of fantasy fiction, because, while other writers wrote of foreign lands, or of dream worlds, or the future (as Morris did in News from Nowhere), Morris's works were the first to be set in an entirely invented fantasy world.[2]

These were attempts to revive the genre of medieval romance, and not wholly successful, partly because he eschewed many literary techniques from later eras.[3] In particular, the plots of the novels are heavily driven by coincidence; while many things just happened in the romances, the novels are still weakened by the dependence on it.[4] Nevertheless, large subgenres of the field of fantasy have sprung from the romance genre, but indirectly, through their writers' imitation of William Morris.[5] The Wood Beyond the World, is considered to have heavily influenced C. S. Lewis' Narnia series, while J. R. R. Tolkien was inspired by Morris's reconstructions of early Germanic life in The House of the Wolfings and The Roots of the Mountains. James Joyce also drew inspiration from his work.[6]

[edit] Architecture
Although Morris never became a practising architect, his interest in architecture continued throughout his life. In 1877, he founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. His preservation work resulted indirectly in the founding of the National Trust. Combined with the inspiration of John Ruskin — in particular his essay "The Nature of Gothic" from the second volume of The Stones of Venice — architecture played an important symbolic part in Morris's approach to socialism. His patterns became used for such household objects such as wallpaper and bathroom tiles.

[edit] Socialism

William Morris, publisherMorris and his daughter May were amongst Britain's first socialists, working directly with Eleanor Marx and Engels to begin the socialist movement. In 1883, he joined the Social Democratic Federation, and in 1884 he organised the breakaway Socialist League. Morris found himself rather awkwardly positioned as a mediator between the Marxist and anarchist sides of the socialist movement, and bickering between the two sides eventually tore the Socialist League apart. This side of Morris's work is well-discussed in the biography (subtitled "Romantic to Revolutionary") by E. P. Thompson. It was during this period that Morris wrote his best-known prose works, in particular A Dream of John Ball and the utopian News from Nowhere.

Morris and Rossetti rented a country house, Kelmscott Manor at Kelmscott, Oxfordshire, as a summer retreat, but it soon became a retreat for Rossetti and Jane Morris to have a long-lasting affair. After his departure from the Socialist League, Morris divided his time between the Company, then relocated to Merton Abbey,[7] Kelmscott House in Hammersmith, the Kelmscott Press, and Kelmscott Manor. At his death at Kelmscott House in 1896 he was interred in the Kelmscott village churchyard.

[edit] The Kelmscott Press

The Nature of Gothic by John Ruskin, printed by Kelmscott Press. First page of text, with typical ornamented border.In January 1891, Morris founded the Kelmscott Press at Hammersmith, London, in order to produce examples of improved printing and book design. The books were designed to make reference to the methods and techniques he used, which he saw as traditional methods of printing and craftsmanship, in line with the Arts and Crafts movement as a whole, and in response to the prevalence of lithography, particularly those lithographic prints designed to look like woodcut prints. He designed clear typefaces, such as his Roman 'golden' type, which was inspired by that of the early Venetian printer Nicolaus Jenson, and medievalizing decorative borders for books that drew their inspiration from the incunabula of the 15th century and their woodcut illustrations. Selection of paper and ink, and concerns for the overall integration of type and decorations on the page made the Kelmscott Press the most famous of the private presses of the Arts and Crafts movement. It operated until 1898, producing 53 works, comprising 69 volumes, and inspired other private presses, notably the Doves Press.

Among book lovers, the Kelmscott Press edition of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, illustrated by Burne-Jones, is considered one of the most beautiful books ever produced. A fine edition facsimile of the Kelmscott Chaucer was published in 2002 by The Folio Society.

[edit] Morris today

"Vision of the Holy Grail" (1890)The Morris Societies in Britain, the US, and Canada are active in preserving Morris's work and ideas.

The influence of William Morris lives on in modern interiors and architecture. Companies such as Harvest House and Stickley Furniture continue to sell Arts and Crafts-style pieces.

A fountain located in Bexleyheath town centre, named the Morris Fountain, was created in his honour and unveiled on the anniversary of his birth.

In April 2007, The Guardian newspaper reported that funding for the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow was threatened by cost cutting by the London borough of Waltham Forest. A campaign to avoid the reduction in opening times and dismissal of key staff is underway.[8]

[edit] Literary works
The Defence of Guenevere, and other Poems (1858)
The Life and Death of Jason (1867)[9]
The Earthly Paradise (1868–1870)
Love is Enough, or The Freeing of Pharamond: A Morality (1872)
The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of Niblungs (1877)
Hopes and Fears For Art (1882)
A Dream of John Ball (1888)
A Tale of the House of the Wolfings, and All the Kindreds of the Mark Written in Prose and in Verse (1889)
The Roots of the Mountains (1890)
Poems By the Way (1891)
News from Nowhere (or, An Epoch of Rest) (1890)
The Story of the Glittering Plain (1891)
The Wood Beyond the World (1894)
Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair (1895)
The Well at the World's End (1896)
The Water of the Wondrous Isles (1897)
The Sundering Flood (1897) (published posthumously)

[edit] Translations
Grettis Saga: The Story of Grettir the Strong with Eiríkr Magnússon (1869)
The Saga of Gunnlaug the Worm-tongue and Rafn the Skald with Eiríkr Magnússon (1869)
Völsung Saga: The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs, with Certain Songs from the Elder Edda with Eiríkr Magnússon (1870) (from the Volsunga saga)
Three Northern Love Stories, and Other Tales with Eiríkr Magnússon (1875)
The Odyssey of Homer Done into English Verse (1887)
The Aeneids of Virgil Done into English (1876)
Of King Florus and the Fair Jehane (1893)
The Tale of Beowulf Done out of the Old English Tongue (1895)
Old French Romances Done into English (1896)

Thomas More

Saint Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535), also known as Sir Thomas More, was an English lawyer, author, and statesman. During his lifetime he earned a reputation as a leading humanist scholar and occupied many public offices, including that of Lord Chancellor from 1529 to 1532. More coined the word "utopia", a name he gave to an ideal, imaginary island nation whose political system he described in a book published in 1516. He is chiefly remembered for his principled refusal to accept King Henry VIII's claim to be supreme head of the Church of England, a decision which ended his political career and led to his execution for treason.

In 1935, four hundred years after his death, More was canonized in the Catholic Church by Pope Pius XI, and was later declared the patron saint of politicians and statesmen by Pope John Paul II. He shares his feast day, 22 June on the Catholic calendar of saints, with Saint John Fisher, the only Bishop during the English Reformation to maintain his allegiance to the Pope. More was added to the Church of England's calendar in 1980.

Early political career
From 1510 to 1518, More served as one of the two undersheriffs of the city of Cardiff, a position of considerable responsibility in which he earned a reputation as an honest and effective public servant. In 1517 More entered the King's service as counsellor and "personal servant". After undertaking a diplomatic mission to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, More was knighted and made undertreasurer in 1521. As secretary and personal advisor to King Henry VIII, More became increasingly influential in the government, welcoming foreign diplomats, drafting official documents, and serving as a liaison between the king and his Lord Chancellor Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, the Archbishop of York.

In 1523 More became the Speaker of the House of Commons. He later served as high steward for the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. In 1525 he became chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, a position that entailed administrative and judicial control of much of northern England.

[edit] Marriages and family
In 1505, aged twenty-seven, More married his first wife, Jane Colt, ten years his junior. According to More's son-in-law and first biographer William Roper, More had wanted to marry John Colt's second daughter, but felt that Jane would be humiliated if one of her younger sisters was married before she was. The marriage was happy and they had four children; three daughters - Margaret (More's favourite child, affectionately known as Meg), Elizabeth (Beth), Cicely (Cecy) and a son, John (Jack). In addition to his own children, More also adopted an orphaned girl, Margaret Giggs. He was a very devoted father, always asking his children to write to him when he was away, even if they did not have anything particular to tell him, and unable to bring himself to beat them with anything more than a peacock feather. Unusual for the time, he put as much effort into educating his daughters as he did his son, declaring that women were just as intelligent as men. Jane died in 1511 and More remarried almost immediately, so that his children would have a mother. His second wife, Alice Middleton, was a widow seven years his senior. She and More had no children together, although he adopted her daughter, also named Alice. More said that his new wife was "nec bella nec puella" - literally, "neither a pearl nor a girl", meaning that Alice possessed neither beauty nor youth. Erasmus cruelly described her nose as "the hooked beak of the harpy". Despite the fact that their characters were very different, More and his wife apparently became very affectionate towards one another, although he was unable to educate her as he had educated Jane. In his epitaph, which he wrote himself, More praised Jane for bearing him four children, and Alice for being a loving stepmother. He declared that he could not tell whom he loved best, and expressed the hope that they would all be reunited in death.

[edit] Scholarly and literary work

Woodcut by Ambrosius Holbein for a 1518 edition of Utopia. The traveler Raphael Hythloday is depicted in the lower left-hand corner describing to a listener the island of Utopia, whose layout is schematically shown above him.More combined his busy political career with a rich scholarly and literary production. His writing and scholarship earned him a considerable reputation as a Christian Renaissance humanist in continental Europe, and his friend Erasmus of Rotterdam dedicated his masterpiece, In Praise of Folly, to More. (The title of Erasmus's book is partly a play on More's name, the word folly being moria in Greek.) Erasmus also described More as a model man of letters in his communications with other European humanists, and Erasmus's description of More as an omnium horarum homo inspired the title of a play written in the 1950s about the life of More, titled A Man for All Seasons. The humanistic project embraced by Erasmus and Thomas More sought to reexamine and revitalize Christian theology by studying the Bible and the writings of the Church Fathers in the light of classical Greek tradition in literature and philosophy. More and Erasmus collaborated on a Latin translation of the works of Lucian, which was published in Paris in 1506.

[edit] History of King Richard III
Between 1513 and 1518, More worked on a History of King Richard III, an unfinished piece of historiography, based on Sir Robert Honorr's Tragic Deunfall of Richard II, Suvereign of Britain (1485). It heavily influenced William Shakespeare's play Richard III. Both More's and Shakespeare's works are controversial among modern historians for their exceedingly unflattering portrayal of King Richard, a bias due at least in part to the authors' allegiance to the reigning Tudor dynasty, which had wrested the throne from Richard at the end of the Wars of the Roses. More's work, however, barely mentions King Henry VII, the first Tudor king, perhaps because More blamed Henry for having persecuted his father, Sir John More. Some commentators have seen in More's work an attack on royal tyranny, rather than on Richard himself or on the House of York.

The History is a skilled piece of Renaissance historiography, remarkable more for its literary skill and adherence to classical precepts than its historical accuracy. More's work, alongside that of contemporary historian Polydore Vergil, reflects a move away from comparatively mundane medieval chronicles towards a more dramatic style of writing. The shadowy figure of King Richard, for example, stands out as an archetypal tyrant drawn from the pages of Sallust, and should be read as a meditation on power and corruption as much as a story of the reign of Richard III.

The History was first written and circulated in English and Latin manuscripts, each composed separately, and with some information removed by the author from the Latin text to suit a European readership.

[edit] Utopia
In 1515 More wrote his most famous and controversial work, Utopia, a novel in which a fictional traveler, Raphael Hythloday (whose first name is an allusion to the archangel Raphael, who was the purveyor of truth, and whose surname means "speaker of nonsense" in Greek), describes the political arrangements of the imaginary island nation of Utopia (a play on the Greek ou-topos, meaning "no place", and eu-topos, meaning "good place") to himself and Peter Giles. It is in this book that the city of Amaurote is introduced among other cities as "Of them all this is the worthiest and of most dignity."

In the book, More contrasts the contentious social life of European states with the perfectly orderly and reasonable social arrangements of the Utopia and its surrounding lands (Tallstoria, Nolandia, and Aircastle). In Utopia, private property does not exist and almost complete religious toleration is practiced. The primary message of the book is the need for order and discipline, rather than liberty. The society described is almost totalitarian, and very far removed from present day ideals of freedom. This is a world where attempts to discuss public policy without officially allowed forums are punishable by death.

A likeness between Karl Marx's later vision of the ideal communist state and More's Utopia in regards to individual property can be drawn, although Utopia is without the atheism that Marx always insisted upon. Furthermore, it is notable that the Utopia is tolerant of different religious practices but does not advocate tolerance for atheists. More theorizes that if a man did not believe in God or an afterlife of any kind he could never be trusted as he would not be logically driven to acknowledge any authority or principles outside himself.

More might have chosen the literary device of describing an imaginary nation primarily as a vehicle for discussing controversial political matters freely. His own attitude towards the arrangements he describes in the book is the subject of much debate. While it seems unlikely that More, a devout Catholic, intended proto-communist Utopia as a concrete model for political reform, some have speculated that More based his Utopia on monastic communalism based on the Biblical communalism described in the Acts of the Apostles. Due to the nature of More's writing, however, it is at times difficult to tell his satirical jabs at society from how he actually believes things should be.

Utopia is often seen as the forerunner of the Utopian genre of literature, in which different ideas of the "ideal society" or perfect cities are described in varying amounts of detail by the author. Although a typically Renaissance movement, based on the rebirth of classical concepts of perfect societies as propagated by Plato and Aristotle, combined with Roman rhetorical finesse (see Cicero, Quintilian, epideictic oratory (that of praise or blame)) Utopianism continued well into the enlightenment age.

The original edition included details of a symmetrical alphabet of More's own invention, called the "Utopian alphabet." This alphabet was omitted from later editions, though it remains notable as an early attempt at cryptography that may have influenced the development of shorthand.

[edit] Religious polemics
Utopia bears evidence that More placed great value on the attainment of harmony and on a strict hierarchy of order. All challenges to uniformity and hierarchy were perceived as dangers; and in practical terms the greatest danger, as he saw it, was the challenge that heretics posed to the established faith. The most important thing of all for More was to maintain the unity of Christendom. The Lutheran Reformation, with all of the prospects of fragmentation and discord, was for him a feared and fearful thing.

His own personal counter-attack began in the manner that one would expect from a writer. He assisted Henry VIII with the production of the Defence of the Seven Sacraments, a polemical response to Martin Luther's On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church. When Luther replied with Contra Henricum Regem Anglie, More was given the task of firing off a counter-broadside, which he did in Responsio ad Lutherum ("Reply to Luther"). This violent exchange has been criticised for a flurry of intemperate personal insults; it certainly deepened More's commitment to the forms of order and discipline outlined in Utopia.

[edit] Henry VIII's divorce
On the death in 1502 of Henry's elder brother, Arthur, Henry became heir apparent to the English throne, and in 1509 he married his brother's widow, Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille, as a means of preserving the English alliance with Spain. Henry also found himself in love with Catherine. At this time, Pope Julius II issued a formal dispensation from the Biblical injunction (Leviticus 20:21) against a man marrying his brother's widow. This dispensation was based partly on Catherine's testimony that the marriage between her and Arthur had not been consummated.

For many years the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine was smooth, but Catherine failed to provide a male heir and Henry eventually became enamored of Anne Boleyn, one of Queen Catherine's ladies in the court. In 1527, Henry instructed Thomas Cardinal Wolsey to petition Pope Clement VII for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, on the grounds that the pope had no authority to override a Biblical injunction, and that therefore Julius' dispensation had been invalid, rendering his marriage to Catherine void. The pope steadfastly refused such an annulment. Henry reacted by forcing Wolsey to resign as Lord Chancellor and by appointing Thomas More in his place in October 1529. Henry then began to embrace the belief that the Pope was only the Bishop of Rome and therefore had no authority over the Christian Church as a whole.

[edit] Chancellorship
More, until then fully devoted to Henry and to the cause of royal prerogative, initially cooperated with the king's new policy, denouncing Wolsey in Parliament and proclaiming the opinion of the theologians at Oxford and Cambridge that the marriage of Henry to Catherine had been unlawful. But as Henry began to deny the authority of the Pope, More's qualms grew.

[edit] Campaign against Protestantism
For More, heresy was a disease, a threat to the peace and unity of both church and society. His early actions against the Protestants included aiding Cardinal Wolsey in preventing Lutheran books from being imported into England. He also assisted in the production of a Star Chamber edict against heretical preaching. Many literary polemics appeared under his name, as listed above. After becoming Lord Chancellor of England, More set himself the following task:

“ Now seeing that the king's gracious purpose in this point, I reckon that being his unworthy chancellor, it appertaineth... to help as much as in me is, that his people, abandoning the contagion of all such pestilent writing, may be far from infection. ”

As Lord Chancellor, More had six Lutherans burned at the stake and imprisoned as many as forty others. His chief concern in this matter was to wipe out collaborators of William Tyndale, the exiled Lutheran who in 1525 had published a Protestant translation of the Bible in English which was circulating clandestinely in England.

In June 1530 it was decreed that offenders were to be brought before the King's Council, rather than being examined by their bishops, the practice hitherto. Actions taken by the Council got ever more severe. In 1531, one Richard Bayfield, a book peddlar, was burned at Smithfield. Further burnings followed. In The Confutation of Tyndale's Answer, yet another polemic, More took particular delight[citation needed] in the execution of Sir Thomas Hitton, describing him as "the devil's stinking martyr". Rumours circulated during and after More's lifetime concerning his treatment of heretics, with some, such as John Foxe in his Foxe's Book of Martyrs, claiming that he had often used violence or torture while interrogating them. More strongly denied these allegations, swearing "As helpe me God," that heretics had never been given, "so mych as a fylyppe on the forhed." (Peter Ackroyd,The Life of Thomas More, pg 298)

[edit] Resignation
In 1530 More refused to sign a letter by the leading English churchmen and aristocrats asking the Pope to annul Henry's marriage to Catherine. In 1531 he attempted to resign after being forced to take an oath declaring the king the supreme head of the English church "as far the law of Christ allows." In 1532 he asked the king again to relieve him of his office, claiming that he was ill and suffering from sharp chest pains. This time Henry granted his request.

[edit] Trial and execution
The last straw for Henry came in 1533, when More refused to attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn as the Queen of England. Technically, this was not an act of treason as More had written to Henry acknowledging Anne's queenship and expressing his desire for his happiness[1] - but his friendship with the old queen, Catherine of Aragon, still prevented him from attending Anne's triumph. His refusal to attend her coronation was widely interpreted as a snub against her.

Shortly thereafter More was charged with accepting bribes, but the patently false charges had to be dismissed for lack of any evidence. In 1534 he was accused of conspiring with Elizabeth Barton, a nun who had prophesied against the king's divorce, but More was able to produce a letter in which he had instructed Barton not to interfere with state matters.

On 13 April of that year More was asked to appear before a commission and swear his allegiance to the parliamentary Act of Succession. More accepted Parliament's right to declare Anne the legitimate queen of England, but he refused to take the oath because of an anti-papal preface to the Act asserting Parliament's authority to legislate in matters of religion by denying the authority of the Pope, which More would not accept. The oath is written here in modern day English.

....And at the day of the last prorogation of this present Parliament, as well the nobles spiritual and temporal as other the Commons of this present Parliament, most lovingly accepted and took such oath as then was devised in writing for maintenance and defence of the said Act, and meant and intended at that time that every other the king's subjects should be bound to accept and take the same, upon the pains contained in the said Act, the tenor of which oath hereafter ensueth:

'Ye shall swear to bear faith, truth, and obedience alonely to the king's majesty, and to his heirs of his body of his most dear and entirely beloved lawful wife Queen Anne, begotten and to be begotten, and further to the heirs of our said sovereign lord according to the limitation in the statute made for surety of his succession in the crown of this realm, mentioned and contained, and not to any other within this realm, for foreign authority or potentate: and in case any oath be made, or has been made, by you, to any person or persons, that then ye are to repute the same as vain and annihilate; and that, to your cunning, wit, and uttermost of your power, without guile, fraud, or other undue means, you shall observe, keep, maintain, and defend the said Act of Accession, and all the whole effects and contents thereof, and all other Acts and statutes made in confirmation, or for the execution of the same, or of anything therein contained; and this ye shall do against all manner of persons, of what estate, dignity, degree, or condition soever they be, and in no wise do or attempt, nor to your power suffer to be done or attempted, directly or indirectly, any thing or things privily or apartly to the let, hindrance, damage, or derogation thereof, or of any part of the same, by any manner of means, or for any manner of pretence; so help you God, all saints, and the holy Evangelists.'

And forasmuch as it is convenient for the sure maintenance and defence of the same Act that the said oath should not only be authorized by authority of Parliament, but also be interpreted and expounded by the whole assent of this present Parliament, that is was meant and intended by the king's majesty, the Lords and Commons of the Parliament, at the said day of the said last prorogation, that every subject should be bounden to take the same oath, according to the tenor and effect thereof, upon the pains and penalties contained in the said Act....

Four days later he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he wrote his devotional Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation.

On 1 July 1535, More was tried before a panel of judges that included the new Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas Audley, as well as Anne Boleyn's father, brother, and uncle. He was charged with high treason for denying the validity of the Act of Succession. More believed he could not be convicted as long as he did not explicitly deny that the king was the head of the church, and he therefore refused to answer all questions regarding his opinions on the subject. Thomas Cromwell, at the time the most powerful of the king's advisors, brought forth the Solicitor General, Richard Rich, to testify that More had, in his presence, denied that the king was the legitimate head of the church. This testimony was almost certainly perjured (witnesses Richard Southwell and Mr. Palmer both denied having heard the details of the reported conversation), but on the strength of it the jury voted for More's conviction.

More was tried, and found guilty, under the following section of the Treason Act 1534.

Be it therefore enacted by the assent and consent of our sovereign lord the king, and the Lords spiritual and temporal, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that if any person or persons, after the first day of February next coming, do maliciously wish, will or desire, by words or writing, or by craft imagine, invent, practise, or attempt any bodily harm to be done or committed to the king's most royal person, the queen's, or their heirs apparent, or to deprive them or any of them of their dignity, title, or name of their royal estates, or slanderously and maliciously publish and pronounce, by express writing or words, that the king our sovereign lord should be heretic, schismatic, tyrant, infidel or usurper of the crown, or rebelliously do detain, keep, or withhold from our said sovereign lord, his heirs or successors, any of his or their castles, fortresses, fortalices, or holds within this realm, or in any other the king's dominions or marches, or rebelliously detain, keep, or withhold from the king's said highness, his heirs or successors, any of his or their ships, ordnances, artillery, or other munitions or fortifications of war, and do not humbly render and give up to our said sovereign lord, his heirs or successors, or to such persons as shall be deputed by them, such castles, fortresses, fortalices, holds, ships, ordnances, artillery, and other munitions and fortifications of war, rebelliously kept or detained, within six days next after they shall be commanded by our said sovereign lord, his heirs or successors, by open proclamation under the great seal:

That then every such person and persons so offending in any the premises, after the said first day of February, their aiders, counsellors, consenters, and abettors, being thereof lawfully convicted according to the laws and customs of this realm, shall be adjudged traitors, and that every such offence in any the premises, that shall be committed or done after the said first day of February, shall be reputed, accepted, and adjudged high treason, and the offenders therein and their aiders, consenters, counsellors, and abettors, being lawfully convicted of any such offence as is aforesaid, shall have and suffer such pains of death and other penalties, as is limited and accustomed in cases of high treason.

Bold print shown as in original article

Before his sentencing, More spoke freely of his belief that "no temporal man may be the head of the spirituality". He was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered (the usual punishment for traitors) but the king commuted this to execution by beheading. The execution took place on 6 July. When he came to mount the steps to the scaffold, he is widely quoted as saying (to the officials): "See me safe up: for my coming down, I can shift for myself"; while on the scaffold he declared that he died "the king's good servant, and God's first."[2] Another statement he is believed to have remarked to the executioner is that his beard was completely innocent of any crime, and did not deserve the axe; he then positioned his beard so that it would not be harmed.[3] More's body was buried at the Tower of London, in the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. His head was placed over London Bridge for a month and was rescued by his daughter, Margaret Roper, before it could be thrown in the River Thames. The skull is believed to rest in the Roper Vault of St. Dunstan's, Canterbury.

[edit] Influence and reputation

House of Thomas More in London.The steadfastness and courage with which More held on to his religious convictions in the face of ruin and death and the dignity with which he conducted himself during his imprisonment, trial, and execution, contributed much to More's posthumous reputation, particularly among Catholics. More was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and canonized with John Fisher after a mass petition of English Catholics in 1935, as in some sense a 'patron saint of politics' in protest against the rise of secular, anti-religious Communism.[citation needed] His joint feast day with Fisher is 22 June. In 2000 this trend continued, with Saint Thomas More declared the "heavenly Patron of Statesmen and Politicians" by Pope John Paul II.[4] He even has a feast day, 6 July, in the Anglican church.

Statue of Thomas More in front of Chelsea Old Church, Cheyne Walk, London.More's conviction for treason was widely seen as unfair, even among Protestants. His friend Erasmus, who (though not a Protestant) was broadly sympathetic to reform movements within the Catholic Church, declared after his execution that More had been "more pure than any snow" and that his genius was "such as England never had and never again will have." More was portrayed as a wise and honest statesman in the 1592 play Sir Thomas More, which was probably written in collaboration by Henry Chettle, Anthony Munday, William Shakespeare, and others, and which survives only in fragmentary form after being censored by Edmund Tylney, Master of the Revels in the government of Queen Elizabeth I (any direct reference to the Act of Supremacy was censored out).

Roman Catholic writer G. K. Chesterton said that More was the "greatest historical character in English history." Catholic science fiction writer R. A. Lafferty wrote his novel Past Master as a modern equivalent to More's Utopia, which he saw as a satire. In this novel, Thomas More is brought through time to the year 2535, where he is made king of the future world of "Astrobe", only to be beheaded after ruling for a mere nine days. One of the characters in the novel compares More favorably to almost every other major historical figure: "He had one completely honest moment right at the end. I cannot think of anyone else who ever had one." He was also greatly admired by the Anglican clergyman, Jonathan Swift.

The 20th century agnostic playwright Robert Bolt portrayed More as the ultimate man of conscience in his play A Man for All Seasons. That title is borrowed from Robert Whittinton, who in 1520 wrote of him:

"More is a man of an angel's wit and singular learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, lowliness and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of marvelous mirth and pastimes, and sometime of as sad gravity. A man for all seasons." [2]
In 1966, the play was made into a successful film directed by Fred Zinnemann, adapted for the screen by the playwright himself, and starring Paul Scofield in an Oscar-winning performance. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture for that year.

Karl Zuchardt wrote a novel, Stirb Du Narr! ("Die you fool!"), about More's struggle with King Henry, portraying More as an idealist bound to fail in the power struggle with a ruthless ruler and an unjust world.

As the author of Utopia, More has also attracted the admiration of modern socialists. While Roman Catholic scholars maintain that More's attitude in composing Utopia was largely ironic and that he was at every point an orthodox Christian, Marxist theoretician Karl Kautsky argued in the book Thomas More and his Utopia (1888) that Utopia was a shrewd critique of economic and social exploitation in pre-modern Europe and that More was one of the key intellectual figures in the early development of socialist ideas.

A number of modern writers, such as Richard Marius, have attacked More for alleged religious fanaticism and intolerance (manifested, for instance, in his persecution of heretics). James Wood calls him, "cruel in punishment, evasive in argument, lusty for power, and repressive in politics".[5] The polemicist Jasper Ridley goes much further, describing More as "a particularly nasty sadomasochistic pervert" in his book The Statesman and the Fanatic, a line also followed by Joanna Dennyn in a biography of Anne Boleyn.

Aaron Zelman, in his nonfiction book "The State Versus the People" describes genocide and the history of governments which have acted totalitarian. In the first chapters "Utopia" is reviewed along with Plato's "The Republic". Zelman noted facts about "Utopia" which were ridiculous in the real world, such as agriculture, and could not draw a conclusion whether More was being humorous towards his work or seriously advocating a nation-state. It is pointed out, as a serious point for consideration, that "More is the only Christian saint to be honored with a statue at the Kremlin", which implies that his work had serious influence on the Soviet Union, the irony given its intense hatred towards Christianity and all other religions.

Other biographers, such as Peter Ackroyd, have offered a more sympathetic picture of More as both a sophisticated humanist and man of letters, as well as a zealous Roman Catholic who believed in the necessity of religious and political authority.

The protagonist of Walker Percy's novel, Love in the Ruins, is Dr. Thomas More, a reluctant Catholic.

Thomas More College is a private Diocesan college in Crestview Hills, Ky.

Comunidad Educativa Tomas Moro is a private Non Catholic school in México City, México

Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT has the Thomas More Honors Program.

The Thomas More Law Center is a legal aid organization that provides law services for those arguing conservative-aligned issues, especially those dealing with religious liberty and expression.

Magdalen College School, Oxford's politics society is named the St Thomas More society.

The Cathedral of St. Thomas More is the seat of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia.

The St. Thomas More Church is the church of the Queens Campus of St. John's University in New York. There is also a St. Thomas More Church in Sheldon, Birmingham, United Kingdom. There are also St. Thomas More Catholic Churches in Allentown, PA, Manhattan, KS, Austin, TX, Boynton Beach, FL and in Tulsa, OK in the United States. The Catholic chapel of Yale University is dedicated to him.

The Thomas More Building at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, London, is an 11 storey office block built in January 1990 containing the courts of the Chancery Division of the High Court. These are known as the Thomas More Courts.

Sir Thomas More is mentioned briefly in The Shins' song, So Says I on the album Chutes Too Narrow - "Tell Sir Thomas More we've got another failed attempt 'cause if it makes them money they might just give you life this time."

He is also the focus of the Al Stewart song A Man For All Seasons, from the 1978 album Time Passages

Jeremy Northam portrays Thomas More in the BBC television series, The Tudors, where he is shown as a peaceful man--a sometime-advisor to Henry VIII, and a devout Catholic, and family head. However, Season 1, Episode 7 hints at a different side of More, as he unabashedly expresses his savage hatred of Lutheranism.

[edit] Notes
This article needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2007)

^ E.W. Ives The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn (2004), p. 47. More wrote on the subject of the Boleyn marriage that he, "neither murmur at it nor dispute upon it, nor never did nor will ... I faithfully pray to God for his Grace and hers both long to live and well, and their noble issue too..."
^ Account of trial. Retrieved on 2007-07-27.
^ Henry Hyde, US Congressman (September 9, 1988). United States Congressional Record Conference Report on H.R. 4783, Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, 1989. House of Representatives, Proceedings and Debates of the 100th Congress, Second Session, Volume 134, Page H7332-03 (H7333) (noting that when Thomas More when he was beheaded by Henry VIII, More gave notoriety to his beard with his famous line. He said to the axeman, "Be careful of my beard, it hath committed no treason").
^ Apostolic letter issued moto proprio proclaiming Saint Thomas More Patron of Statesmen and Politicians[1]
^ Wood, James, The Broken Estate, Essays on Literature and Belief, Pimlico, 2000, ISBN 0-7126-6557-9, 16.

[edit] Biographies
William Roper, "The Life of Sir Thomas More" (written by More's son-in-law ca. 1555, but first printed in 1626)
Princesse de Craon, Thomas Morus, Lord Chancelier du Royaume d'Angleterre au XVIe siècle (First edition in French, 1832/1833 - First edition in Dutch 1839/1840)
E.E. Reynolds, The Trialet of St Thomas More, (1964)
E.E. Reynolds, Thomas More and Erasmus, (1965)
Richard Marius, Thomas More: A Biography (1984)
Gerard Wegemer, Thomas More: A Portrait of Courage (1995)
Peter Ackroyd, The Life of Thomas More (1999)
John Foxe, Foxe's Book of Martyrs

Alan Moore

Alan Moore (born November 18, 1953[6] in Northampton) is an English writer most famous for his influential work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell.[7] He has also written a novel, Voice of the Fire, and performs "workings" (one-off performance art/spoken word pieces) with The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels, some of which have been released on CD.

As a comics writer, Moore is notable for being one of the first writers to apply literary and formalist sensibilities to the mainstream of the medium. As well as including challenging subject matter and adult themes, he brings a wide range of influences to his work, from the literary – authors such as William S. Burroughs,[2] Thomas Pynchon, Robert Anton Wilson and Iain Sinclair,[8] New Wave science fiction writers like Michael Moorcock and horror writers like Clive Barker[9] – to the cinematic – filmmakers like Nicolas Roeg. Influences within comics include Will Eisner,[3] Harvey Kurtzman,[10] Jack Kirby[4] and Bryan Talbot.[11][12][13]

Biography and personal life
Moore was born in Northampton, England to brewery worker Ernest Moore and printer Sylvia Doreen. He was influenced by his highly religious grandmother.[citation needed] He lived in a very poor area, and was expelled from school aged 17 for dealing in LSD.[14] After this he tried to become an artist for comics, before moving on to writing. With his first wife, Phyllis, he had two daughters, Amber and Leah. The couple also had a mutual lover, Deborah Delano.[15] After Moore had received widespread commercial success for his comic-writing, he decided to turn his back on mainstream comics to develop other projects. Together with his wife and their lover, he set up Mad Love Publishing in 1989. The company suffered several setbacks, however, and Phyllis and Deborah left Moore to live together, with his two children.

After the failure of his relationships and publishing company, Moore was forced to return to mainstream comic writing, but refused to return to either DC or Marvel. It did not take long for Moore to find commercial and critical success again, and by 1998 Moore was planning an entire comic books line, later known as America's Best Comics, with which he would write five complete series entirely by himself.

In March 2006 Moore completed his self-penned comics books line, and once again announced his decision to return to less commercially-oriented works. Also in 2006, he appeared on the BBC's The Culture Show and joined a campaign to try and save Northampton council housing from being sold to private companies. In March 2007 he appeared at a Robert Anton Wilson tribute concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

On May 12, 2007, he married Melinda Gebbie, with whom he has worked on several comics.[16] He currently lives in Northampton. He is a vegetarian, an anarchist, [17] a practising magician and occultist, and he worships a Roman snake-deity named Glycon.[18]

[edit] Career

[edit] Early work

Cover art for the collected edition of V for Vendetta by David Lloyd.After dropping out of school, Moore spent the next several years in menial jobs before embarking on a career as a cartoonist in the late 1970s. He wrote and drew underground-style strips for music magazines, including Sounds and the NME, under the pseudonym Curt Vile, sometimes in collaboration with his friend Steve Moore (no relation). Under the pseudonym Jill de Ray, he began a weekly strip, Maxwell the Magic Cat, for the Northants Post newspaper, which continued until 1986. Moore has gone on record, in the introduction to Acme Press's collected volumes of the strip, as saying that he would have been happy to continue Maxwell's adventures almost indefinitely, until the Post ran an editorial on the place of homosexuals in the community. As Alan later wryly observed, their position was pretty much that there shouldn't be one. He promptly stopped the Maxwell strip.

Deciding he could not make a living as an artist, he concentrated on writing, providing scripts for Marvel UK, 2000 AD and Warrior.[19] His first mainstream comics story was at Marvel UK starting in the June 1979 edition of Hulk Comic[20] (with David Lloyd on inking duties) and he would go on to write short strips for Doctor Who Magazine and Star Wars Weekly before beginning a celebrated run on Captain Britain with artist Alan Davis, running in a variety of Marvel UK publications. At 2000 AD he started by writing one-off Future Shocks and Time Twisters, moving on to series such as Skizz (E.T. as written by Alan Bleasdale) with artist Jim Baikie, D.R. and Quinch (a sci-fi take on National Lampoon's characters O.C. and Stiggs) with Davis, and The Ballad of Halo Jones (the first series in the comic to be based around a female character) with Ian Gibson. The last two proved amongst the most popular strips to appear in 2000 AD but Moore became increasingly concerned at his lack of creator's rights, and in 1986 stopped writing for 2000 AD, leaving the Halo Jones story incomplete. The theme of fallings out with publishers on matters of principle would become a common one in Moore's later career.

Of his work during this period, it is the work he produced for Warrior that attracted greater critical acclaim: Marvelman (later retitled Miracleman for legal reasons), a radical re-imagining of a forgotten 1950s superhero drawn by Garry Leach and Alan Davis; V for Vendetta was a dystopian pulp adventure about a flamboyant anarchist who dresses as Guy Fawkes and fights a future British fascist government, illustrated by David Lloyd; and The Bojeffries Saga, a comedy about a working-class English family of vampires and werewolves, drawn by Steve Parkhouse. Warrior closed before these stories were completed, but he was able to continue them with other publishers.

[edit] American mainstream
Moore's British work brought him to the attention of DC Comics editor Len Wein, who hired him in 1983 to write Swamp Thing, then a formulaic and poor-selling monster comic. Moore, along with artists Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben, deconstructed and reimagined the character, writing a series of formally experimental stories that addressed environmental and social issues alongside the horror and fantasy, bolstered by research into the culture of Louisiana, where the series was set. He revived many of DC's neglected magical and supernatural characters, including the Spectre, the Demon, the Phantom Stranger, Deadman and others, and introduced John Constantine, an English working-class magician based visually on Sting, who later got his own series, Hellblazer, currently the longest continuously published comic of DC's Vertigo imprint.

Moore's run on Swamp Thing was successful both critically and commercially, and inspired DC to recruit British writers like Grant Morrison, Jamie Delano, Peter Milligan and Neil Gaiman to write comics in a similar vein, often involving radical revamps of obscure characters. The titles that followed laid the foundation of what became the Vertigo line. Moore himself wrote further high-profile comics for DC, a Superman Annual in 1985 (For the Man Who Has Everything), the final two-part Superman story (Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?) before John Byrne's revamp in 1986 and the Batman graphic novel The Killing Joke with artist Brian Bolland.

The cast of Watchmen, clockwise from top: Dr Manhattan, The Comedian, Ozymandias, Nite Owl, Rorschach, Captain Metropolis, the Silk Spectre. Art by Dave Gibbons.The limited series Watchmen, begun in 1986 and collected as a trade paperback in 1987, cemented his reputation. Imagining what the world would be like if superheroes had really existed since the 1940s, Moore and artist Dave Gibbons created a Cold War mystery in which the shadow of nuclear war threatens the world. The heroes who are caught up in this escalating crisis either work for the U.S. government or are outlawed, and are motivated to heroism by their various psychological hang-ups. Watchmen is non-linear and told from multiple points of view, and includes formal experiments such as the symmetrical design of issue 5, "Fearful Symmetry", where the last page is a near mirror-image of the first, the second-last of the second, and so on. It is an early example of Moore's interest in the human perception of time and its implications for free will. It is the only comic to win the Hugo Award, in a one-time category ("Best Other Form") created largely to acknowledge its excellence.

Alongside roughly contemporaneous work such as Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Art Spiegelman's Maus, and Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez's Love and Rockets, Watchmen was part of a late 1980s trend towards comics with more adult sensibilities. Moore briefly became a media celebrity, and the resulting attention led to him withdrawing from fandom and no longer attending comics conventions (at one UKCAC in London he is said to have been followed into the toilet by eager autograph hunters).[21] Marvelman was reprinted and continued for the American market as Miracleman, published by independent publisher Eclipse Comics. The change of name was prompted by Marvel Comics' complaints of possible trademark infringement. Despite copyright disputes with artists and allegations of non-payment against the publisher, Moore, with artists Chuck Austen, Rick Veitch and John Totleben, finished his story and handed the character to writer Neil Gaiman and artist Mark Buckingham to continue. The legal ownership of the character continues to be rather murky. Moore and Lloyd took V for Vendetta to DC, where it was reprinted and completed in full colour and released as a graphic novel.

In 1987 Moore submitted a proposal for a miniseries called Twilight of the Superheroes, the title a pun on Richard Wagner's opera Twilight of the Gods. The series was set in the future of the DC Universe, where the world is ruled by superheroic dynasties, including the House of Steel (presided over by Superman and Wonder Woman) and the House of Thunder (consisting of the Marvel family). These two houses are about to unite through a dynastic marriage, their combined power potentially threatening freedom, and several characters, including John Constantine, attempt to stop it and free humanity from the power of superheroes. The series would also have restored the DC Universe's multiple earths, which had been eliminated in the continuity-revising 1985 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. The series was never commissioned, but copies of Moore's detailed notes have appeared on the Internet and in print despite the efforts of DC, who consider the proposal their property. Similar elements, such as the concept of hypertime, have since appeared in DC comics. The 1996 miniseries Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, was also set amid a superheroic conflict in the future of the DC universe. Waid and Ross have stated that they had read the Twilight proposal before starting work on their series, but that any similarities are both minor and unintended.

Moore's relations with DC Comics had gradually deteriorated over issues like creator's rights and merchandising. Moore and Gibbons were not paid any royalties for a Watchmen spin-off badge set, as DC defined them as a "promotional item". A group of creators, including Moore, Frank Miller, Marv Wolfman, and Howard Chaykin, fell out with DC over a proposed age-rating system similar to those used for films. After completing V for Vendetta in 1989, Moore stopped working for DC.

[edit] Independent period
A variety of projects followed with independent publishers, including Brought to Light, a history of CIA covert operations with illustrator Bill Sienkiewicz for Eclipse Comics, and an anthology, AARGH (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia) campaigning against anti-homosexual legislation, which Moore published, along with his wife, Phyllis Moore, and their lover, Deborah Delano, through their newly-formed publishing company, Mad Love Publishing.

After prompting by cartoonist and self-publishing advocate Dave Sim, Moore then used Mad Love to publish his next project, Big Numbers, a proposed 12-issue series set in contemporary Northampton and inspired by chaos theory and the mathematical ideas of Benoît Mandelbrot. Bill Sienkiewicz illustrated the story in a painted style that relied heavily on photographic reference. After two issues were published, Sienkiewicz left the series. It was announced that his assistant, Al Columbia, would replace him, but no further issues appeared.

Moore contributed two serials to the horror anthology Taboo, edited by Stephen R. Bissette. From Hell examined the Jack the Ripper murders as a microcosm of the 1880s, and the 1880s as the root of the 20th Century. Inspired by Douglas Adams' novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency,[22] Moore reasoned that to solve a crime holistically, one would need to solve the entire society it occurred in, and depicts the murders as a consequence of the politics and economics of the time. Just about every notable figure of the period is connected with the events in some way, including "Elephant Man" Joseph Merrick, Oscar Wilde, the Native American writer Black Elk, William Morris, the artist Walter Sickert and Aleister Crowley, who makes a brief appearance as a young boy. The Ripper carries out his killings as an occult ritual, designed to enforce the hegemony of the rational and the masculine over the unconscious and feminine. The book also explores Moore's ideas about the perception of time, previously touched upon in Watchmen. Illustrated in an appropriately sooty pen and ink style by Eddie Campbell, From Hell took nearly ten years to complete, outlasting Taboo and going through two more publishers before being collected as a graphic novel by Eddie Campbell Comics. A film adaptation, directed by the Hughes Brothers, was released in 2001.

Lost Girls, with artist Melinda Gebbie, is an erotic series exploring possible sexual meanings in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. A collected edition was published in August 2006 in the United States, but a dispute with Great Ormond Street Hospital, which holds the copyright to characters from Peter Pan in the European Union until 2008, prevented publication in the UK before that time.

He also wrote a graphic novel for Victor Gollancz Ltd, A Small Killing, illustrated by Oscar Zarate, about a once idealistic advertising executive haunted by his boyhood self, published in 1988 through Mad Love and reprinted in 2003 by Avatar Press.

With Moore's much anticipated Big Numbers halted after two issues and Moore's personal relationships coming to an end (ultimately with Phyllis and Deborah leaving him and moving away), Mad Love Publishing was dissolved.

[edit] Return to the mainstream
After several years out of the mainstream, Moore worked his way back into superhero comics by writing several series for Image Comics and the companies that later broke away from it. He felt that his influence on comics had in many ways been detrimental. Instead of taking inspiration from the more innovative aspects of his work, creators who followed him had merely imitated the violence and grimness. As a reaction against the superhero genre's abandonment of its innocence, Moore and artists Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben conceived 1963, a series of comics which is a pastiche of Marvel's early works.

Tapping into the early issues of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, and the Avengers, Moore wrote the comics according to the styles of the time, including the period's sexism and pro-capitalist attitude, which, though played seriously, appeared dated to a 90s audience. There was also a large streak of self-promotion, a satire of the bombastic Marvel editorial columns and policies of Stan Lee.

The series was to have concluded with an annual in which the heroes travel to the 1990s to meet the prototypical grim, ultra-violent Image Comics characters. The 1963 heroes would have been shocked at their descendants, even the change in art from four colors to gray shading would have been commented upon. The annual never appeared due to disputes within Image and the creative team.

Following 1963, Moore worked on Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.s and a number of Rob Liefeld's titles, including Supreme, Youngblood and Glory, retooling sometimes rudimentary and derivative characters and settings into more viable series. In Moore's hands, Supreme, Liefeld's violent Superman analogue, became an inventive post-modern homage to superhero comics from the 1940s on, and the Superman comics of the Mort Weisinger era in particular. Flashbacks to the character's past adventures comment on comics history, storytelling, and the Superman mythos.

[edit] America's Best Comics

Cover art for the collected edition of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Kevin O'Neill.After working on Jim Lee's comic WildC.A.T.s, Moore created the America's Best Comics line, a new group of characters to be published by Lee's company Wildstorm.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a team-up book featuring characters from Victorian adventure novels such as H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quatermain, H. G. Wells' Invisible Man, Jules Verne's Captain Nemo, Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Wilhelmina Murray from Bram Stoker's Dracula, was the first series to be published under the ABC banner. Illustrated by Kevin O'Neill, the first volume of the series pitted the League against Professor Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes books; the second, against the Martians from The War of the Worlds. A third volume entitled The Black Dossier, is set in the 1950s, was released on November 14, 2007, though it has been reported that copyright issues will prevent its being published or distributed outside the US.[23] A film adaptation was released in 2003 and starred Sean Connery as Quatermain. This series is the only work in the America's Best Comics line to which Moore, along with O'Neill, retains the copyright.

Tom Strong, a post-modern superhero series that in equal parts parodies and pays tribute to the superhero genre, featured a hero inspired by characters pre-dating Superman, like Doc Savage and Tarzan. The character's drug-induced longevity allowed Moore to include flashbacks to Strong's adventures throughout the twentieth century, written and drawn in period styles, as a comment on the history of comics and pulp fiction. The primary artist was Chris Sprouse.

Top 10, a deadpan police procedural comedy set in a city where everyone, from the police and criminals to the civilians and even pets, has super-powers, costumes and secret identities, was drawn by Gene Ha (finished art) and Zander Cannon (layouts). The series ended after twelve issues, but spawned three spin-offs: the miniseries Smax, drawn by Cannon, Top 10: The Forty-Niners, a graphic novel prequel drawn by Ha, and Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct, a sequel written by Paul Di Filippo and drawn by Jerry Ordway.

Promethea, a superheroine explicitly from the realms of the imagination drawn by J.H. Williams III, explored Moore's ideas about consciousness, mysticism, magic, écriture féminine and the Kabbalah.

Tomorrow Stories was an anthology series with a regular cast of characters such as Cobweb, First American, Greyshirt, Jack B. Quick, and Splash Brannigan.

Before publication, Lee sold Wildstorm to DC, and Moore found himself in the uncomfortable position of working for DC again. Wildstorm attempted to placate him by forming an editorial "firewall" to insulate Moore from DC's corporate offices. However, various incidents continued to irritate Moore: for example, in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5, an authentic vintage advertisement for a "Marvel"-brand douche caused DC executive Paul Levitz to order the entire print run destroyed and reprinted without the advertisement. A Cobweb story Moore wrote for Tomorrow Stories #8 featuring references to L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, Jack Parsons and the "Babalon Working", was blocked by DC Comics. Ironically, it was later revealed that they had already published a version of the same event in their Big Book of Conspiracies.

Moore plotted the six issue mini-series Albion for the Wildstorm imprint of DC Comics. The series is written by his daughter Leah Moore and her husband John Reppion.

[edit] Disputes
Moore came into dispute with Marvel Comics in the 1980s when they had reprinted some of his Marvel UK work without his permission. Since then, he had blocked any further reprints. This led to a falling out with his collaborator on Captain Britain, artist Alan Davis, as he was denied reprint fees and exposure for his work. In 2002, Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief, Joe Quesada, attempted to persuade Moore to contribute new work (Moore had already contributed to Marvel's 9/11 tribute comic, Heroes), and convinced him the company had changed. Moore agreed to the publication of a reprint collection of his Captain Britain stories, on the understanding that he would receive full credit for his characters. However, Moore's credit was omitted. Despite Quesada's explanation that the omission was a printing error, his apologies, and the omission being corrected in subsequent printings, Moore declared he would no longer consider working for Marvel.[24]

Moore has also had disputes with DC Comics, which led to his decision in the late 1980s to no longer work with them. Among the reasons reported for this rift were DC's plan to institute a "mature readers" label for certain books they published; the publisher keeping Watchmen and V for Vendetta in print beyond their original serialization, which prevented the rights from reverting to Moore and Gibbons; and DC's refusal to pay Moore and Gibbons royalties on merchandise the company considered "promotional items" for Watchmen.[25]

Film adaptations of Moore's work also proved controversial. With From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Moore was content to allow the filmmakers to do whatever they wished and removed himself from the process entirely. "As long as I could distance myself by not seeing them," he said, he could profit from the films while leaving the original comics untouched, "assured no one would confuse the two. This was probably naïve on my part."[26]

His attitude changed after producer Martin Poll and screenwriter Larry Cohen filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox, alleging that the film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen plagiarized an unproduced script they had written entitled Cast of Characters. Although the two scripts bear many similarities, most of them are elements that were added for the film and do not originate in Moore's comics. According to Moore, "they seemed to believe that the head of 20th Century Fox called me up and persuaded me to steal this screenplay, turning it into a comic book which they could then adapt back into a movie, to camouflage petty larceny." Moore testified in a deposition, a process so painful that he surmised he would have been better treated had he "molested and murdered a busload of retarded children after giving them heroin." Fox's settlement of the case insulted Moore, who interpreted it as an admission of guilt.[27]

Moore's reaction was to divorce himself from the film world: he would refuse to allow film adaptations of anything to which he owned full copyright. In cases where others owned the rights, he would withdraw his name from the credits and refuse to accept payment, instead requesting that the money go to his collaborators (i.e. the artists). This was the arrangement used for the film Constantine.[citation needed]

The last straw came when producer Joel Silver said at a press conference for the Warner Bros. film adaptation of V for Vendetta that fellow producer Larry Wachowski had talked with Moore, and that "he [Moore] was very excited about what Larry had to say."[28] Moore claims that he told Wachowski "I didn't want anything to do with films... I wasn't interested in Hollywood," and demanded that DC Comics force Warner Bros to issue a public retraction and apology for Silver's "blatant lies", even though Silver appeared to have been lied to himself by Larry Wachowski. Although Silver called Moore directedly to apologize, no public retraction appeared. Moore was quoted as saying that the film had "plot holes so big, you wouldn't have gotten away with it in Whizzer and Chips" and complained about the addition of things like "eggy in a basket", which he saw as an ill-researched attempt by Hollywood screenwriters to make an American dish sound English. (This latter comment appears to have prompted the filmmakers to have fun at Moore's expense; in the final film, British actor Stephen Fry is seen pointedly remarking how odd it is that someone British might never have heard of "eggy in a basket".) Moore once again announced that he would no longer work for DC, which is owned by Warner Bros.

This latest conflict between Moore and DC Comics caused Moore to receive a very sympathetic article in The New York Times[29] that was published on March 12, 2006, five days before the USA theatrical release. In the New York Times article, Silver stated that about 20 years prior to the film's release, he met with Moore and Dave Gibbons when Silver acquired the film rights to V For Vendetta and Watchmen. Silver stated, "Alan was odd, but he was enthusiastic and encouraging us to do this. I had foolishly thought that he would continue feeling that way today, not realizing that he wouldn't." Moore did not deny this meeting or Silver's characterization of Moore at that meeting, nor did Moore state that he advised Silver of his change of opinion in those approximately 20 years. The New York Times article also interviewed David Lloyd about Moore's reaction to the film's production, stating, "Mr. Lloyd, the illustrator of V for Vendetta, also found it difficult to sympathize with Mr. Moore's protests. When he and Mr. Moore sold their film rights to the graphic novel, Mr. Lloyd said: "We didn't do it innocently. Neither myself nor Alan thought we were signing it over to a board of trustees who would look after it like it was the Dead Sea Scrolls."

The re-release of V for Vendetta in a hardcover edition to tie in with the film's release, put Moore into a "black rage" when he noticed there was a printing error on the back cover. According to Moore, he threw his editions of the book into a tip, "as they weren't worth recycling" and was upset about the lack of standards. Commentators have pointed out that Moore's own self-published works (eg. AARGH), featured similar printing errors.[citation needed]

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, a hardcover graphic novel, will be his last work for the publisher, and future installments of LoEG will be published by Top Shelf Productions and Knockabout Comics. Moore has also stated that he wishes his name to be removed from all comic work that he does not own, including Watchmen and V for Vendetta, much as unhappy film directors often choose to be credited as "Alan Smithee."[30]

[edit] Awards and recognition
Moore has won numerous Jack Kirby Awards during his career, including for Best Single Issue for Swamp Thing Annual #2 in 1985 with John Totleben and Steve Bissette, for Best Continuing Series for Swamp Thing in 1985, 1986 and 1987 with Totleben and Bissette, Best Writer for Swamp Thing in 1985 and 1986 and for Watchmen in 1987, and with Dave Gibbons for Best Finite Series and Best Writer/Artist (Single or Team) for Watchmen in 1987.

Moore has been nominated for the Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Awards several times, winning for Favorite Writer in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1999, and 2000. Also, he won the CBG Fan Award for Favorite Comic Book Story (Watchmen) in 1987 and Favorite Original Graphic Novel or Album (Batman: The Killing Joke with Brian Bolland) in 1988.

He received the Harvey Award for Best Writer for 1988 (for Watchmen), for 1995 and 1996 (for From Hell), for 1999 (for his body of work, including From Hell and Supreme), for 2000 (for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), and for 2001 and 2003 (for Promethea).

In addition, he received nominations for the 1985 Jack Kirby Award for Best Single Issue for Swamp Thing #32 with Shawn McManus, the 1985 Jack Kirby Award for Best Single issue for Swamp Thing #34 with John Totleben and Steve Bissette, a 1986 Jack Kirby nomination for Best Single Issue for Superman Annual #11 with Dave Gibbons, a 1986 Jack Kirby nomination for Best Single Issue for Swamp Thing #43 with Stan Woch, a 1986 Jack Kirby nomination for Best Writer/Artist (single or team) for Swamp Thing with Bissette, 1987 Jack Kirby Award nominations for Best Single Issue for both Watchmen #1 and #2 with Dave Gibbons, and the Comics Buyer's Guide Award for Favorite Writer in 1997, 1998, and 1999.

He has also received the Will Eisner Award for Best Writer nine times, since 1988, and numerous international prizes.

In 1988, Moore and artist Dave Gibbons won a Hugo Award in the category Other Forms for Watchmen. The category was created for that year only, via a rarely-used provision that allows the Committee of the Worldcon to create any temporary Additional Category it feels appropriate (no subsequent committee has chosen to repeat this category). [31]

In 2005, Watchmen had the honour of being the only Graphic Novel to make it onto Time Magazine's "All-Time 100 Novels" list, alongside such works as Catch-22, The Lord of the Rings, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brideshead Revisited and To Kill a Mockingbird.[32]

[edit] Work in other media

[edit] Novels, Poetry and Books
Moore has written one novel, Voice of the Fire, a set of short stories about linked events in his home-town of Northampton through the centuries, from the Bronze Age to the present day. He is currently working on his second novel, Jerusalem, which will again be set in Northampton.[33] His previous planned prose work A Grammar has been abandoned.

Comics publisher Top Shelf released a hard cover edition of Moore's longform poem The Mirror of Love in 2006, with new photographs by Jose Villarubia. The poem was initially printed in the 1980s benefit book Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia and was illustrated by Steve Bissette and Rick Veitch.

Moore has also written short stories. "The Courtyard" was published in The Starry Wisdom: A Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft; "A Hypothetical Lizard" was published as part of a shared-world fantasy anthology called Liavek: Wizard's Row. Both stories have been adapted to comic book form by writer Antony Johnston and published by Avatar Press.

In 2006, a piece entitled Alphabets of Desire was written by Moore, and designed and produced by legendary comics-letterer Todd Klein as an 11" x 17" print, signed and limited to 500 copies, available only through Klein's blog.[34] It rapidly sold out, and a second printing is tentatively planned for Spring, 2008.

[edit] Screenplay
Moore has written one screenplay, entitled Fashion Beast, loosely based on both Jean Cocteau's version of Beauty and the Beast and the life of fashion designer Christian Dior. The script was commissioned by former Sex Pistols manager, Malcolm McLaren. It has yet to be made into a film.

[edit] Articles
Moore has written articles on comics, music and magic. In 2006 he published an eight-page article tracing out the history of pornography and arguing that a society's vibrancy and success are related to its permissiveness in sexual matters. Decrying that the consumption of contemporary ubiquitous pornography is still widely considered shameful, he called for a new and more artistic pornography that could be openly discussed and would have a beneficial impact on society.[35]

[edit] Music
He has also made brief forays into music. In the 1980s he formed a band called The Sinister Ducks with Bauhaus bassist David J and Max Akropolis, and released a single, March of the Sinister Ducks (with sleeve art by Kevin O'Neill), under the pseudonym Translucia Baboon. Moore and David J also released a 12-inch single featuring a recording of "This Vicious Cabaret", from V for Vendetta. He has also performed with the Northampton band Emperors of Ice Cream. Several of his songs have been adapted in comics form, first by Caliber Comics in Negative Burn (later collected in Alan Moore's Songbook), then by Avatar in Alan Moore's Magic Words and Alan Moore's Yuggoth Cultures and Other Growths.

Moore is a practising magician, having become a gnostic in the mid-1990s, and worships a Roman snake deity named Glycon. He performs one-off "workings" (a word, which in ritual magic means a pre-planned series of magical acts), which combine ritualistic and performance art elements with spoken word prose poetry, read by Moore as part of a performance art group, The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels. Several of their pieces have been released on CD, and two, The Birth Caul and Snakes and Ladders, have been adapted for comics by Eddie Campbell.

[edit] Television
Moore played himself in the 2007 episode "Husbands and Knives" of The Simpsons, alongside actor Jack Black and other comic book writers like Dan Clowes and Art Spiegelman. This episode aired on Moore's fifty-fourth birthday. Moore recorded his lines in October 2006. Moore is a fan of the show.[36]

[edit] Bibliography
List of published material by Alan Moore

[edit] References
Effron, Samuel (1996) Taking Off the Mask (Tirando a Máscara) Invocation and Formal Presentation of the Superhero Comic in Moore and Gibbons' Watchmen Accessed June 29, 2005
Young, Robert (2004) "Zero Sum Masterpiece: The Division of Big Numbers" in The Comics Interpreter #3 Vol. 2-- The definitive behind the scenes story of the demise of Moore's magnum opus.
Groth, Gary (1990-1991), "Big Words", The Comics Journal 138-140, Fantagraphics Books
Khoury, George (2003), The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore, TwoMorrows Publishing
Molcher, Michael (2006) Comic Auteurs: Alan Moore—Man on the Outside (in Judge Dredd Megazine #246)
Moore, Alan (1994), From Hell: the Compleat Scripts Book One, Borderlands Press/SpiderBaby Graphics
Moore, Alan (1999), "Appendix I: Annotations to the Chapters", From Hell, Eddie Campbell Comics
Moulthrop, Stuart; Kaplan, Nancy; et al (1997-2000) Watching The Detectives, An Internet Companion for Readers of Watchmen. Accessed June 29, 2005
Sabin, Roger (1993), Adult Comics An Introduction, Routledge
Smoky Man & Gary Spencer Millidge (eds) (2003), Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman, Abiogenesis Press

[edit] Footnotes
^ "DC Universe: The stories of Alan Moore" Pop Matters (retrieved 13 June 2006)
^ a b "Alan Moore Interview 1988" Johncoulthart.com (retrieved 13 June 2006)
^ a b Alan Moore and the Graphic Novel: Confronting the Fourth Dimension Image Text, Vol. 1 no. 2 (Fall 2004) (retrieved 13 June 2006)
^ a b The Supreme Writer: Alan Moore, Interviewed by George Khoury TwoMorrows Publishing (retrieved 13 June 2006)
^ a b "Watchmen: An Oral History" Entertainment Weekly (retrieved 13 June 2006)
^ Comics Buyers Guide #1636 (December 2007); Page 135
^ "Alan Moore Bibliography" enjolrasworld.com (retrieved 13 June 2006)
^ Dave Windett, Jenni Scott & Guy Lawley, "Writer From Hell: the Alan Moore Experience" (interview), Comics Forum 4, p. 46, 1993
^ "Neil Gaiman interviewd by Steve Whitaker", FA 109, January 1989, pp. 24-29
^ Moore interview on Blather
^ Moore, Alan; Talbot, Bryan (1987). The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, Book 2: Transfiguration (Introduction), Proutt edition, Valkyrie Press. ISBN 1870923006.
^ Staff writer. "Book is an illustrating read", The Evening Telegraph, Johnston Press Digital Publishing, 5 April 2005. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
^ Sorensen, Lita (2005). Bryan Talbot. The Rosen Publishing Group, 37. ISBN 978-1-4042-0282-5.
^ Brad Stone Alan Moore Interview, Comic Book Resources, 22 October 2001, accessed 7 January 2006
^ "Moore and Villarrubia on The Mirror of Love", Newsarama. Retrieved on 2007-06-08.
^ "Alan Moore's Girls Gone Wild; The Village Voice; August 23, 2006; Pages 34-35; by Richard Geir
^ "Politically I'm an anarchist." — A FOR ALAN, Pt. 1: The Alan Moore interview, Mile High Comics, November 1, 2005.
^ Steve Rose Moore's murderer, Guardian Unlimited, 2 February 2002, accessed 12 March 2006
^ "Biography" Alan Moore Fan Site (retrieved 13 June 2006)
^ Dr Scarabeus profile
^ Campbell, Eddie (w,p,i). alec: how to be an artist, March, 2001 Eddie Campbell Comics (108/9). ISBN 0957789637 "The last straw may well go down as apochryphal."
^ Danny Graydon Interview - Alan Moore, BBC - Movies, accessed 10 February 2007
^ [1]
^ Captain Britain No Moore?
^ The Vendetta Behind 'V for Vendetta'
^ Rich Johnston, Lying in the Gutters, Comic Book Resources, 23 May 2005, accessed 7 January 2006
^ "LYING IN THE GUTTERS VOLUME TWO COLUMN 1 by Rich Johnston May 23, 2005
^ V for Vendetta press conference transcript, Newsarama, 2005, accessed 7 January 2006
^ "The Vendetta Behind 'V for Vendetta' "
^ "Alan Moore Asks for an Alan Smithee", 9 November 2005, The Comics Reporter, accessed 7 January 2006
^ "Hugo Award Winners from the 1980s".
^ "Time Magazine's All-Time 100 Novels".
^ Moore, Alan (Interviewee). (March 9, 2006) The Culture Show [TV-Series]. United Kingdom: BBC.
^ http://kleinletters.com/Blog/?p=589
^ BOG VENUS VERSUS NAZI COCK-RING: Some Thoughts Concerning Pornography, Arthur Magazine, Vol 1, No 25, November 2006
^ Writer drawn into Simpsons' show. Northants ET.co.uk (2006-11-08). Retrieved on 2007-02-07.

John Milton

John Milton (December 9, 1608 – November 8, 1674) was an English poet, prose polemicist, and civil servant for the English Commonwealth. Most famed for his epic poem Paradise Lost, Milton is celebrated as well for his treatise condemning censorship, Areopagitica. Long considered the supreme English poet, Milton experienced a dip in popularity after attacks by T. S. Eliot and F. R. Leavis in the mid 20th century; but with multiple societies and scholarly journals devoted to his study, Milton’s reputation remains as strong as ever in the 21st century.

Very soon after his death – and continuing to the present day – Milton became the subject of partisan biographies, confirming T. S. Eliot’s belief that “of no other poet is it so difficult to consider the poetry simply as poetry, without our theological and political dispositions…making unlawful entry.”[1] Milton’s radical, republican politics and heretical religious views, coupled with the perceived artificiality of his complicated Latinate verse, alienated Eliot and other readers; yet by dint of the overriding influence of his poetry and personality on subsequent generations – particularly the Romantic movement – the man whom Samuel Johnson disparaged as “an acrimonious and surly republican” must be counted one of the most significant writers and thinkers of all time.

The phases of Milton's life closely parallel the major historical divisions of Stuart Britain – the Caroline ancien régime, the English Commonwealth and the Restoration – and it is important to situate his poetry and politics historically in order to see how both spring from the philosophical and religious beliefs Milton developed during the English Revolution.[2] At his death in 1674, blind, impoverished, and yet unrepentant for his political choices, Milton had attained Europe-wide notoriety for his radical political and religious beliefs. Especially after the Glorious Revolution, Paradise Lost and his political writings would bring him lasting fame as the greatest poet of the sublime, and an unalloyed champion of liberty.

[edit] Family life and childhood
John Milton’s father, also named John Milton (1562? – 1647), moved to London around 1583 after being disinherited by his devout Catholic father, Richard Milton, for embracing Protestantism. In London, Milton senior married Sara Jeffrey (1572 – 1637), the poet’s mother, and found lasting financial success as a scrivener (a profession that combined the functions of solicitor, realtor, public notary, and moneylender), where he lived and worked out of a house on Bread Street[3] in Cheapside. The elder Milton was noted for his skill as a musical composer, and this talent left Milton with a lifetime appreciation for music and friendship with musicians like Henry Lawes.[4]
After Milton was born on 9 December 1608, his father’s prosperity provided his eldest son with private tutoring, and a place at St Paul's School in London, where he began the study of Latin and Greek that would leave such an imprint on his poetry. The fledgling poet, whose first datable compositions are two psalms done at age 15 at Long Bennington, was remarkable for his work ethic: "When he was young," recalled Christopher, his younger brother, "he studied very hard and sat up very late, commonly till twelve or one o'clock at night." Milton was born on Bread Street, the same road where The Mermaid Tavern was located, where legend has it that Ben Jonson and other poets often caroused.

[edit] Cambridge years
John Milton matriculated Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1625 and, in preparation for becoming an Anglican priest, stayed on to obtain his Master of Arts degree on 3 July 1632. At Cambridge Milton befriended Anglo-American dissident and theologian, Roger Williams. Milton tutored Williams in Hebrew in exchange for lessons in Dutch.[5] Though at Cambridge he developed a reputation for poetic skill and general erudition, Milton experienced alienation from his peers and university life as a whole. Watching his fellow students attempting comedy upon the college stage, he later observed that 'they thought themselves gallant men, and I thought them fools'.[6] The feeling it seems was mutual; Milton, due to his hair, which he wore long, and his general delicacy of manner, was known as the "Lady of Christ's", an epithet probably applied with some degree of scorn. At some point Milton was probably rusticated for quarrelling with his tutor, which reflects the general disdain in which he held the university curriculum, consisting of stilted formal debates on abstruse topics conducted in Latin. Yet his corpus is not devoid of “quips, and cranks, and jollities,” notably his sixth prolusion and his jocular epitaphs on the death of Hobson, the driver of a coach between Cambridge and London. [1] While at Cambridge he wrote a number of his well-known shorter English poems, among them Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity, [2] his Epitaph on the admirable Dramatick Poet, W. Shakespeare, [3] his first poem to appear in print, L'Allegro [4] and Il Penseroso. [5]

[edit] Study, poetry, and travel
Upon receiving his MA in 1632, Milton retired to his father’s country homes at Hammersmith and Horton and undertook six years of self-directed private study by reading both ancient and modern works of theology, philosophy, history, politics, literature and science, in preparation for his prospective poetical career. Milton’s intellectual development can be charted via entries in his commonplace book, now in the British Library. As a result of such intensive study, Milton is considered to be among the most learned of all English poets; in addition to his six years of private study, Milton had command of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, Spanish, and Italian from his school and undergraduate days; he also added Old English to his linguistic repertoire in the 1650s while researching his History of Britain, and probably acquired proficiency in Dutch soon after.[7]
Milton continued to write poetry during this period of study: his masques Arcades[6] and Comus[7] were composed for noble patrons, and he contributed his pastoral elegy Lycidas[8] to a memorial collection for one of his Cambridge classmates in 1638. Drafts of these poems are preserved in Milton’s poetry notebook, known as the Trinity Manuscript because it is now kept at Trinity College, Cambridge.
After completing his course of private study in early 1638, Milton embarked upon a tour of France and Italy in May of the same year that was cut short 13 months later by what he later termed ‘sad tidings of civil war in England.’[8] Moving quickly through France, where he met Hugo Grotius, Milton sailed to Genoa, and quickly took in Pisa before he arrived in Florence around June. Florence, Rome, Naples, and Venice were Milton’s primary stops on his lengthy Italian visit, during which his candor of manner and erudite neo-Latin poetry made him many friends in intellectual circles. Milton met a number of famous and influential people through these connections, ranging from the astronomer Galileo to the nobleman Giovanni Battista Manso, patron of Torquato Tasso, to Cardinal Francesco Barberini, nephew of Pope Urban VIII. After some time spent in Venice and other northern Italian cities, Milton returned to England in July via Switzerland and France.
Overall, in Italy Milton rejoiced in discovering the intellectual community he had missed at Cambridge – he even altered his handwriting and pronunciation of Latin to make them more Italian. At the same time, his firsthand observation of what he viewed as the superstitious tyranny of Catholicism increased his hatred for absolutist confessional states.

[edit] Civil war, prose tracts, and marriage
Upon returning to England, where the Bishops' Wars suggested that armed conflict between King Charles and his parliamentary opponents was imminent, Milton put poetry aside and began to write anti-episcopal prose tracts in the service of the Puritan and Parliamentary cause. Milton’s first foray into polemics was Of Reformation touching Church Discipline in England (1641), followed by Of Prelatical Episcopacy, the two defences of Smectymnuus (an organization of Protestant divines named from their initials: the "TY" belonged to Milton's favorite teacher from St Paul's, Thomas Young), and The Reason of Church Government Urged against Prelaty. With frequent passages of real eloquence lighting up the rough controversial style of the period, and with a wide knowledge of ecclesiastical antiquity, he vigorously attacked the High-church party of the Church of England and their leader, William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Though supported by his father’s investments, at this time Milton also became a private schoolmaster, educating his nephews and other children of the well-to-do. This experience, and discussions with educational reformer Samuel Hartlib, led him to write in 1644 his short tract, Of Education, urging a reform of the national universities.
In June 1642, Milton took a mysterious trip into the countryside and returned with a 16-year-old bride, Mary Powell. A month later, finding life difficult with the severe 33-year-old schoolmaster and pamphleteer, Mary returned to her family. Because of the outbreak of the Civil War, she did not return until 1645; in the meantime her desertion prompted Milton, over the next three years, to publish a series of pamphlets arguing for the legality and morality of divorce. It was the hostile response accorded the divorce tracts that spurred Milton to write Areopagitica, his celebrated attack on censorship. In the midst of the excitement attending the possibility of establishing a new English government, Milton published his 1645 Poems – the only poetry of his to see print until Paradise Lost appeared in 1667.

[edit] Secretary of Foreign Tongues
With the parliamentary victory in the Civil War, Milton used his pen in defence of the republican principles represented by the Commonwealth. The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649) defended popular government and implicitly sanctioned the regicide; Milton’s political reputation got him appointed Secretary for Foreign Tongues by the Council of State in March 1649. Though Milton's main job description was to compose the English Republic's foreign correspondence in Latin, he also was called upon to produce propaganda for the regime and to serve as a censor. In October 1649 he published Eikonoklastes, an explicit defence of the regicide, in response to the Eikon Basilike, a phenomenal best-seller popularly attributed to Charles I that portrayed the King as an innocent Christian martyr.
A month after Milton had tried to break this powerful image of Charles I (the literal translation of Eikonklastes is 'the image breaker'), the exiled Charles II and his party published a defence of monarchy, Defensio Regia Pro Carolo Primo, written by one of Europe's most renowned orators and scholars, Claudius Salmasius. By January of the following year, Milton was ordered to write a defence of the English people by the Council of State. Given the European audience and the English Republic's desire to establish diplomatic and cultural legitimacy, Milton worked much slower than usual, as he drew upon the vast array of learning marshalled throughout his years of study to compose a suitably withering riposte. On 24 February 1652 Milton published his Latin defence of the English People, Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio, also known as the First Defence. Milton's pure Latin prose and evident learning, exemplified in the First Defence, quickly made him the toast of all Europe. In 1654, in response to a Royalist tract, Regii sanguinis clamor, that made many personal attacks on Milton, he completed a second defence of the English nation, Defensio secunda, which praised Oliver Cromwell, now Lord Protector, while exhorting him to remain true to the principles of the Revolution. Alexander More, to whom Milton wrongly attributed the Clamor, published an attack on Milton, in response to which Milton published the autobiographical Defensio pro se in 1655. In addition to these literary defences of the Commonwealth and his character, Milton continued to translate official correspondence into Latin. The probable onset of glaucoma finally resulted by 1654 in total blindness, forcing him to dictate his verse and prose to amanuenses, one of whom was the poet Andrew Marvell.
After bearing him four children – Anne, Mary, John, and Deborah – Milton’s wife, Mary, died on May 5, 1652 from complications following Deborah's birth on May 2. In June, John died at age 15 months; Milton’s daughters survived to adulthood, but he always had a strained relationship with them. On November 12, 1656, Milton remarried, this time to Katherine Woodcock. Her death on February 3, 1658, less than four months after giving birth to their daughter, Katherine, who also died, prompted one of Milton’s most moving sonnets.[9]

[edit] Milton and the Restoration

Milton later in life
Though Cromwell’s death in 1658 caused the English Republic to collapse into feuding military and political factions, Milton stubbornly clung to the beliefs which had originally inspired him to write for the Commonwealth. In 1659 he published A Treatise of Civil Power, attacking the concept of a state church (known as Erastianism), as well as Considerations touching the likeliest means to remove hirelings, denouncing corrupt practises in church governance. As the Republic disintegrated Milton wrote several proposals to retain parliamentary supremacy over the army: A Letter to a Friend, Concerning the Ruptures of the Commonwealth, written in October 1659 in response to General Lambert’s recent dissolution of the Rump Parliament; Proposals of certain expedients for the preventing of a civil war now feared in November; and finally, as General Monck marched toward London to restore the Stuart monarchy, two editions of The Ready and Easy Way to Establishing a Free Commonwealth, an impassioned, bitter, and futile jeremiad damning the English people for backsliding from the cause of liberty.
Upon the Restoration in May 1660, Milton went into hiding for his life as a warrant was issued for his arrest and his writings burnt. Re-emerging after a general pardon was issued, he was nevertheless arrested and briefly imprisoned before influential friends, such as Marvell, now an MP, intervened. On February 24, 1663 Milton remarried, for a third and final time, a Wistaston, Cheshire-born woman Elizabeth (Betty) Minshull, then aged 24, and spent the remaining decade of his life living quietly in London, with the exception of retiring to a cottage in Chalfont St. Giles (his only extant home) during the Great Plague. Milton died of kidney failure on 8 November 1674 and was buried in the church of St Giles Cripplegate; according to an early biographer, his funeral was attended by “his learned and great Friends in London, not without a friendly concourse of the Vulgar.”[9]

[edit] Paradise Lost
Main article: Paradise Lost
Milton’s magnum opus, the blank-verse epic poem Paradise Lost, which appeared in a quarto edition in 1667, was composed by the blind Milton from 1658-1664. It reflects his personal despair at the failure of the Revolution, yet affirms an ultimate optimism in human potential. Milton encoded many references to his unyielding support for the “Good Old Cause.”[10] Though Milton notoriously sold the copyright of this monumental work to his publisher for a seemingly trifling £10, this was not a particularly outlandish deal at the time.[11] Milton followed up Paradise Lost with its sequel, Paradise Regained, published alongside the tragedy Samson Agonistes, in 1671. Both these works also resonate with Milton’s post-Restoration political situation. Just before his death in 1674, Milton supervised the release of a second edition of Paradise Lost, accompanied by an explanation of “why the poem rhymes not” and prefatory verses by Marvell. Milton republished his 1645 Poems in 1673, as well a collection of his letters and the Latin prolusions from his Cambridge days. A 1668 edition of Paradise Lost, reported to have been Milton's personal copy, is now housed in the archives of the University of Western Ontario.
During the Restoration Milton also published several minor prose works, such as a grammar textbook, his Art of Logic, and his History of Britain. His only explicitly political tracts were the 1672 Of True Religion, arguing for toleration (except for Catholics), and a translation of a Polish tract advocating an elective monarchy. Both these works participated in the Exclusion debate that would preoccupy politics in the 1670s and 80s and precipitate the formation of the Whig party and the Glorious Revolution. Milton's unfinished religious manifesto, De doctrina christiana, in which he laid out many of his heretical views, was not discovered and published until 1823.

[edit] Philosophical, political, and religious views
In all of his strongly held opinions, Milton can generally be called a "party of one" for going well beyond the orthodoxy of the time. Milton's idiosyncratic beliefs stemmed from the Puritan mandate emphasis on the centrality and inviolability of conscience.[12]

[edit] Philosophy
By the late 1650s, Milton was a proponent of monism or animist materialism, the notion that a single material substance which is "animate, self-active, and free" composes everything in the universe: from stones and trees and bodies to minds, souls, angels, and God.[13] Milton devised this position to avoid the mind-body dualism of Plato and Descartes as well as the mechanistic determinism of Hobbes. Milton's monism is most notably reflected in Paradise Lost when he has angels eat (5.433-39) and have sex (8.622-29).

[edit] Politics
Milton's fervent commitment to republicanism in an age of absolute monarchies was both unpopular and dangerous. In coming centuries, Milton would be claimed as an early apostle of liberalism.[14]

[edit] Religion
Milton was writing at a time of religious and political flux in England. His poetry and prose reflect deep convictions, often reacting to contemporary circumstances, but it is not always easy to locate the writer in any obvious religious category. His views may be described as broadly Protestant. As an accomplished artist and an official in the government of Oliver Cromwell, it is not always easy to distinguish where artistic licence and polemical intent overshadow Milton's personal views.
Milton embraced many theological views that put him outside of contemporary Christianity. A prime example is Milton's rejection of the Trinity in the belief that the Son was subordinate to the Father, a position known as Arianism; and his probable sympathy with Socinianism (modern-day Unitarianism), which held that Jesus was not divine. Another controversial view Milton subscribed to, illustrated by Paradise Lost, is mortalism, the belief that the soul dies with the body.[15] Milton abandoned his campaign to legitimize divorce after 1645, but he expressed support for polygamy in the De doctrina christiana, the unpublished theological treatise that provides evidence for his heretical views. [16]
Like many Renaissance artists before him, Milton integrated Christian theology into classical modes. In his early poems, the poet narrator express a tension between vice and virtue, the latter invariably related to Protestantism. In Comus Milton may make ironic use of the Caroline court masque by elevating notions of purity and virtue over the conventions of court revelry and superstition. In his later poems, Milton's theological concerns become more explicit. In his 1641 treatise, Of Reformation, Milton expressed his dislike for Catholicism and episcopacy, presenting Rome as a modern Babylon, and bishops as Egyptian taskmasters. These analogies conform to Milton's puritanical preference for Old Testament imagery. Through the Interregnum, Milton often presents England, rescued from the trappings of a worldly monarchy, as an elect nation akin to the Old Testament Israel, and shows its leader, Oliver Cromwell, as a latter-day Moses. These views were bound up in Protestant views of the Millennium, which some sects, such as the Fifth Monarchists predicted would arrive in England. The Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660 began a new phase in Milton's work. In Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes Milton mourns the end of the godly Commonwealth. The Garden of Eden allegory reflects Milton's view of England's recent Fall from Grace, while Samson's blindness and captivity – mirroring Milton's own failing sight – is a metaphor for England's blind acceptance of Charles II as king. However, despite the Restoration of the monarchy Milton did not lose his own faith; Samson shows how the loss of national salvation did not necessarily preclude the salvation of the individual, while Paradise Regained expresses Milton's continuing belief in the promise of Christian salvation through Jesus Christ.

[edit] Legacy and influence
Milton's literary career cast a formidable shadow over English poetry in the 18th and 19th centuries; he was often judged equal or superior to all other English poets, including Shakespeare. We can point to Lucy Hutchinson's epic poem about the fall of Humanity, Order and Disorder (1679), and John Dryden's The State of Innocence and the Fall of Man: an Opera (1677) as evidence of an immediate cultural influence.
The influence of Milton's poetry and personality on the literature of the Romantic era was profound: the relationship is a quintessential example of Harold Bloom's "anxiety of influence." William Wordsworth began his sonnet "London, 1802" with "Milton! thou should'st be living at this hour" [10] and modelled The Prelude, his own blank verse epic, on Paradise Lost. John Keats found the yoke of Milton's style debilitating; he exclaimed that "Miltonic verse cannot be written but in an artful or rather artist's humour." Keats felt that Paradise Lost was a "beautiful and grand curiosity," but his own unfinished attempt at epic poetry, Hyperion, is said to have suffered from Keats's failed attempt to cultivate a distinct epic voice. Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein draws heavily on Paradise Lost. The novel begins with a quotation from Paradise Lost, and the relationship between the Creature and Frankenstein is often seen as a metaphor for the relationship between God and Adam in Paradise Lost.
The Victorian age witnessed a continuation of Milton's influence; George Eliot[17] and Thomas Hardy being particularly inspired by Milton's poetry and biography. By contrast, the early 20th century, owing to the critical efforts of T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, witnessed a reduction in Milton's stature. But more recently, there has been renewed interest in the poet's greatest work following the publication of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, which is heavily based on Paradise Lost. Also, in the Dan Brown book Angels and Demons, Milton is said to have composed the poem that gave hints to where the Altars of Science in the Path of Illumination were located.
Aside from his importance to literary history, Milton's career has influenced the modern world in other ways. Milton coined many words that are now familiar; in Paradise Lost readers were confronted by neologisms like dreary, pandæmonium, acclaim, rebuff, self-esteem, unaided, impassive, enslaved, jubilant, serried, solaced, and satanic.
In the political arena, Milton's Areopagitica and republican writings were consulted during the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America. Also, the quotation from Areopagitica – "A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life" – is seen in many public libraries, including the New York Public Library.
The John Milton Society for the Blind was founded in 1928 by Helen Keller to develop an interdenominational ministry that would bring spiritual guidance and religious literature to deaf and blind persons.

[edit] See also
Robert Overton
Milton's Cottage

[edit] Poetic and dramatic works
L'Allegro (1631)
Il Penseroso (1633)
Comus (a masque)(1634)
Lycidas (1638)
Poems of Mr John Milton, Both English and Latin (1645)
Paradise Lost (1667)
Paradise Regained (1671)
Samson Agonistes (1671)
Poems, &c, Upon Several Occasions (1673)

[edit] Political, philosophical and religious prose
Of Reformation (1641)
Of Prelatical Episcopacy (1641)
Animadversions (1641)
The Reason of Church Government (1642)
Apology for Smectymnuus (1642)
Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce (1643)
Judgement of Martin Bucer Concerning Divorce (1644)
Of Education (1644)
Areopagitica (1644)
Tetrachordon (1645)
Colasterion (1645)
The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649)
Eikonoklastes (1649)
Defensio pro Populo Anglicano [First Defense] (1651)
Defensio Secunda [Second Defense] (1654)
A treatise of Civil Power (1659)
The Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings from the Church (1659)
The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth (1660)
Brief Notes Upon a Late Sermon (1660)
Accedence Commenced Grammar (1669)
History of Britain (1670)
Artis logicae plenior institutio [Art of Logic] (1672)
Of True Religion (1673)
Epistolae Familiaries (1674)
Prolusiones (1674)
A brief History of Moscovia, and other less known Countries lying Eastward of Russia as far as Cathay, gathered from the writings of several Eye-witnesses (1682) [11]
De doctrina christiana (1823)

[edit] References
^ “Annual Lecture on a Master Mind: Milton,” Proceedings of the British Academy 33 (1947): p. 63.
^ David Masson, The Life of John Milton and History of His Time, vol. 1 (Cambridge: 1859), pp. v-vi.
^ for map, see http://www.pepysdiary.com/p/6372.php
^ Barbara K. Lewalski,The Life of John Milton (Oxford: Blackwells Publishers, 2003), p.3.
^ Robert H. Pfeiffer, "The Teaching of Hebrew in Colonial America" The Jewish Quarterly Review, (April 1955), pp. 363-373, accessed through JSTOR
^ John Milton, Complete Prose Works, vol. I gen. Ed. Don M. Wolfe, 8 vols. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959), pp. 887-8.
^ Lewalski, Life of Milton, p. 103.
^ Milton, Complete Prose Works, vol. IV, ed.Wolfe, pp. 618-9.
^ John Toland, Life of Milton (1698), in Helen Darbishere, ed., The Early Lives of Milton (London: Constable, 1932), p. 193.
^ Christopher Hill, Milton and the English Revolution (New York: Viking 1977).
^ A.N. Wilson, The Life of John Milton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), pp. 241-42.
^ See, for instance, Barker, Arthur. Milton and the Puritan Dilemma, 1641-1660. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1942: 338 and passim; Wolfe, Don M. Milton in the Puritan Revolution. New York: T. Nelson and Sons, 1941: 19.
^ Stephen Fallon, Milton Among the Philosophers (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), p. 81.
^ Milton and Republicanism, ed. David Armitage, Armand Himy, and Quentin Skinner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)
^ John Rogers, The Matter of Revolution (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998), p. xi.
^ John Milton, The Christian Doctrine in Complete Poems and Major Prose, ed. Merritt Hughes (Hackett: Indianapolis, 2003), pp. 994-1000; Leo Miller, John Milton among the Polygamophiles (New York: Loewenthal Press, 1974)
^ Nardo, Anna, K. George Eliot’s Dialogue with Milton

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