This volume brings John Milton's Paradise Lost into dialogue with the challenges of cosmology and the world of Galileo, whom Milton met and admired: a universe encompassing space travel, an earth that participates vibrantly in the cosmic dance, and stars that are 'world[s] / Of destined habitation'. Milton's bold depiction of our universe as merely a small part of a larger multiverse allows the removal of hell from the center of the earth to a location in the primordial abyss. In this wide-ranging work, Dennis Danielson lucidly unfolds early modern cosmological debates, engaging not only Galileo but also Copernicus, Tycho, Kepler, and the English Copernicans, thus placing Milton at a rich crossroads of epic poetry and the history of science.
Dennis Danielson is Professor of English at the University of British Columbia. He is also a member of the Milton Society of America and an associate member of the American Astronomical Society. Danielson's previous books include Milton's Good God: A Study in Literary Theodicy and The Cambridge Companion to Milton (1999).
1. The discarded image; 2. Multiverse, chaos, and cosmos; 3. Copernicus and the cosmological bricoleurs; 4. Milton and Galileo revisited (1); 5. Milton and Galileo revisited (2); 6. The sun; 7. Planet Earth; 8. Space flight, ET, and other worlds.
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