Milton's 400th

And a Miltonist's 45th

November/December 2008

Reading time min

Milton's 400th

You might wonder if the marathon public reading of John Milton's Paradise Lost planned by the English department—a 10-hour effort to recite all 12 books—will be a first. It won't. The poet's alma mater, Cambridge, marked his 400th birthday that way in late October. The University of Saskatchewan used to stage a reading annually.

Still, Stanford's event December 4 will be unique: it opens a two-day conference celebrating the preeminent Milton scholar J. Martin Evans. The Milton quadricentennial coincides with Evans's 45th anniversary teaching on the Farm.

Organizers expect the reading and the following two days' symposium at the Humanities Center to draw alumni, academics and the interested public. They hope 80 to 100 people will help read almost 11,000 lines—and that some show up in period costume. The reading starts at 8 a.m. in the Terrace Room in Margaret Jacks Hall, Building 160; food and drink will be served. Prospective readers should contact Alice Staveley.

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