Milton and the New Scientific Age represents significant advantages over all previous volumes on the subject of Milton and science, as it includes contributions from top scholars and prominent beginners in a broad number of fields. Most of these fields have long dominated work in both Milton and seventeenth-century studies, but they have previously not included the relatively new and revolutionary topic of early modern chemistry, physiology, and medicine.  Previously this subject was confined to the history of science, with little if any attention to its literary development, even though it prominently appears in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which also includes early "science fiction" speculations on aliens ignored by most readers. Both of these oversights are corrected in this essay collection, while more traditional areas of research have been updated. They include Milton’s relationship both to Bacon and the later or Royal Society Baconians, his views on astronomy, and his "vitalist" views on biology and cosmology. In treating these topics, our contributors are not mired in speculations about whether or not Milton was on the cutting edge of early science or science fiction, for, as nearly all of them show, the idea of a "cutting edge" is deeply anachronistic at a time when most scientists and scientific enthusiasts held both fully modern and backward-looking beliefs. By treating these combinations contextually, Milton’s literary contributions to the "new science" are significantly clarified along with his many contemporary sources, all of which merit study in their own right.

chapter |16 pages


“Encountering the Modern: Seventeenth-Century Science, Poetry, and Fiction”
Edited ByCatherine Gimelli Martin

part I|59 pages

Bacon and the Royal Society Baconians

chapter 1|36 pages

Two Baconian Poets, One Baconian Epic

Milton, Cowley, and the Royal Society
Edited ByCatherine Gimelli Martin

chapter 2|23 pages

“Small Things Discover Great”

“Lower Wisdom” in Paradise Lost
Edited ByPavneet Aulakh

part II|87 pages

Astronomy and Science Fiction

chapter 3|31 pages

The Fall and Galileo’s Law of Falling Bodies

Geometrization vs. Observing and Describing Things in Paradise Lost
Edited ByRachel Trubowitz

chapter 4|19 pages

Does Milton’s God Play Dice with the Universe?

Edited ByJohn Rumrich

chapter 5|23 pages

Starry Messengers

Galileo and the Role of the Observer in Paradise Lost
Edited ByErin Webster

chapter 6|14 pages

The ‘Middle Spirits’ of the Moon

Lunar Soteriology in Francis Godwin’s The Man in the Moone
Edited ByMarisa Bruce

part III|73 pages

Chemistry and Physiology, Vitalist Matter and the Passions

chapter 7|27 pages

“By Gradual Scale Sublimed”

Chymical Medicine and Monist Human Physiology in John Milton’s Paradise Lost
Edited ByCharlotte Nicholls

chapter 8|19 pages

Paracelsian Medicine, Vitalism, and Samson Agonistes

Edited ByLeah S. Marcus

chapter 9|27 pages

John Milton, Isaac Newton, and the Life of Matter

Edited ByStephen M. Fallon