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This book explores the way in which Milton's poems served as a rich and fruitful resource for the English poets of the eighteenth century. It refutes the old argument about Milton's allegedly 'bad influence' and challenges suggestions that great writers generally inhibit or oppress their successors. Regaining Paradise argues that what interested eighteenth-century poets was primarily Milton's garden myth and that the best writers typically found Milton, not a burden, but an inspiring resources available for their appropriation. Regaining Paradise cuts across some of the boundaries that traditionally divide English studies. It looks at Milton not in a Renaissance but an eighteenth-century context and it combines the perspectives of literary history and literary theory.