Wife to Mr. Milton: The Story of Marie Powell

Wife to Mr Milton The Story of Marie Powell From the dust jacketWith impressive literary power with a beauty that makes this novel live and glow in the consciousness of the reader Robert Graves unfolds the story of the tragic and eventful lif

  • Title: Wife to Mr. Milton: The Story of Marie Powell
  • Author: Robert Graves
  • ISBN: 9780140010244
  • Page: 102
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the dust jacketWith impressive literary power, with a beauty that makes this novel live and glow in the consciousness of the reader, Robert Graves unfolds the story of the tragic and eventful life of Marie Powell, who, at the age of sixteen, was pushed into marrying the man who was England s greatest epic poet and knew it John Milton.The story, by an acknowledged mFrom the dust jacketWith impressive literary power, with a beauty that makes this novel live and glow in the consciousness of the reader, Robert Graves unfolds the story of the tragic and eventful life of Marie Powell, who, at the age of sixteen, was pushed into marrying the man who was England s greatest epic poet and knew it John Milton.The story, by an acknowledged master of the historical novel, has a triple fascination.First, for its tender account of the romance Marie Powell found outside the walls of her tyrannical husband s house, and the utter misery to which he enforced her.Then, for the astute study of the sublime Milton of Paradise Lost, at last portrayed in his true light, in those characteristics which led him to become Oliver Cromwell s Dr Goebbels.And further, for the brilliant account of one of the most breath taking epochs in English history, when that kingdom was ravaged by a bloody civil war and the tides of fortune swayed from one to the other side of the opposing camps the King against his parliament, tyranny against freedom culminating in the dramatic execution of Charles I, and the establishment of a republic, all of which assumes added significance in the light of today s events.

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    1 thought on “Wife to Mr. Milton: The Story of Marie Powell”

    1. In my view this is a seriously under-rated book. Robert Graves is writing from the POV of a 17th century young woman, describing the sights and sounds and historical events she would have known, and not a word jars. Some people object to the 'old-fashioned' English, and yet to my mind this is perfectly intelligible. Remember Graves was a scholar, writing about the 17th Century from a viewpoint in the middle 20th. He's hardly likely to use text speak is he?Just consider the research that must hav [...]

    2. From dappled shade:Wife to Mr Milton is not a great book. Robert Graves apparently wrote the book to express his disgust with and disdain of John Milton - and to try to convince his readers to hold the same opinion.Publishers also seem to think it's not a great book. I can guarantee that you will have a hard time finding a copy of Wife to Mr Milton (I stumbled across my 50-year-old copy by mistake in a Berkeley secondhand bookstore).I am, though, on my third reading of this book. The reason I'm [...]

    3. from the other side of the college must read list - graves is just the writer to make us feel the pain - all of graves' historical novels are pure pleasure (for me - anyway).

    4. I really enjoy the precision and historical detail of Graves's prose and it can't be helped that the historical facts of this story make the ending a bit dreary. The book shed light and life onto an era of British history that for me had previously been just a jumble of dates and place names. Marie is a lively lass, and through her character I was able to see the grim Protestant countenance of the man she married; Graves' telling grants depth and a window of understanding to the Reformation, a p [...]

    5. This book is actually difficult to read mainly because it uses so much of the old English language style in its narrative. If you're not familiar with the style, try reading any of Shakespeare's works for you to get an idea. And you need to be quite well read to be able to swim through its pages without consulting the dictionary. But just the same, the book's worth reading as it gives you a fair introduction to English history, especially those about Cromwell, Milton, the regicides (what a word! [...]

    6. I found the book boring and difficult to read because of the language used, that of the 1600s. John Milton was a difficult man to get a long with. Milton was an ill-tempered, bitter, superstitious, misogynous, vengeful although intelligent man.He didn't listen to others; he thought he was always right.The novel is written in the first person with his wife Marie as narrator. She marries Milton because her father is in debt. She does not love Milton but instead loves a man called Mun. If Milton we [...]

    7. Certainly not as good as the Claudius books by Graves, but still a very interesting read. It is nice to have a view of Milton from a very human view point. The narrative does use an archaic syntax which can feel a little jarring at times, but it also helps create the illusion that you are reading a genuine historical document. Evidently this was a popular style for Graves as it essentially the same style used in I Claudius/Claudius the God. The characters as rather difficult to like, but do feel [...]

    8. My edition was another one - hardcover, 1944, Creative Age Press.This is a novel, but full of fascinating historical details - including much that doesn't get covered in basic history books, which have to smooth out all the bumps and odd protuberances. The English Civil War was not just Cavaliers and Round Heads - who knew?As for Milton himself, he seems to have been a truly nasty person, and we feel truly sorry for poor Marie Powell

    9. This is probably the only book I've ever read by Robert Graves that I did not very much enjoy. Perhaps it was because of my ignorance about the private life of John Milton. Unfortunately for Graves, this opinion was general. The book was not a success.

    10. A very silly cover-and-blurb, redeemed only by the inadvertent joy occasioned by trying to make Robert Graves sound like Jackie Collins. Worth your time and attention, though not quite as good as Samson Agonistes.

    11. Good writing but a bit thick on historical detail. So much of the scenic accuracy bogs down the story, or so it seemed to me.

    12. set in the time of the English Civil War (my favourite historical era) a well written, historically interesting but ultimately depressing tale of the life and times of John Milton's first wife.

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