This book is about the relationship between Paradise Lost and Romantic literature. It is also about the legacy that Romantic readings of Paradise Lost have held, and still hold, on the critical consciousness. It seems curious that in the last decade no one has written at length on such a pervasive subject. It turns up almost everywhere in discussions of Romanticism. 1 Yet, since Lucy Newlyn’s book Paradise Lost and the Romantic Reader was published in 1993, a veil of silence appears to have been drawn around the subject suggesting that Newlyn’s is, up until now, the final word on the matter. In 2001, Kay Gilliland Stevenson and Peter J. Kitson made the most recent review of Milton’s reception history in Thomas Corns’ A Companion to Milton. They rightly chose to split the essay into two at the horizon of the Romantic period – explicitly acknowledging that there occurs a sea change in the reception of Paradise Lost at the turn of the eighteenth century. Prior to this, Nicola Trott gave a comprehensive record of Romantic response to Milton in Duncan Wu’s A Companion to Romanticism, 2 but there has been no large-scale attempt made to tackle Newlyn’s provocative thesis that Romantic writers view Milton as a poet of Negative Capability, responding in a metaphorical way to amplify the indeterminacies they see in Milton’s text within their own verse.