John Milton (1608-1674) is widely considered one of the greatest poets in the English language. His many works include magnificent poems, polemics, history, theology, and treatises on political, eccleasiastical and social issues. No writer before Milton so consciously defined himself as an author both in poetry and in prose as his God vocation. ilton was born in London, the son of a musical composer, and was educated at St Paul's School and a Christ's College, Cambridge. While he initially studied to become a clergyman, he began early to read and write poetry in Latin, Italian and English. After graduating, Milton returned home and spent several years studying languages and theology, becoming more serious and capable in his poetic output, writing some of his best known works such as L'Allegro (1632) and Lycidas (1637). After travelling in Europe for a couple of years, he returned to England and the turmoil of the Civil War. Over the next twenty years, Milton's poetic writing was put aside and his work became predominantly political. The pamphlets he wrote, against the episcopal church and in support of the republic, and the work that he did for Cromwell and the Commonwealt
A. N. Wilson was born in 1950 and educated at Rugby and New College, Oxford. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he has held a prominent position in the world of letters and has been Literary Editor of both the Evening Standard and the Spectator. An award-winning biographer, he has written lives of Sir Walter Scott (John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Tolstoy (Whitbread Award for Biography), C. S. Lewis and Hilaire Belloc. In 1992 he caused a sensation with his bestselling Jesus and this he followed with his equally controversial Paul - also available in Pimlico. He is also a celebrated novelist. He lives in North London.