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Milton's Talent: the Emergence of Authorial Copyright

Milton's Talent: the Emergence of Authorial Copyright

(p.192) Chapter Seven Milton's Talent: the Emergence of Authorial Copyright
The Author's Due
Joseph Loewenstein
University of Chicago Press

This chapter deals with the interaction of economic and ideological regulation from the Restoration to the passage of the Statute of Anne and fastens on the various ways that the figure of John Milton governs this interplay. It also describes the continuous complex participation of Milton's texts and reputation in the unfolding of the crucial transformation. The Restoration moment is marked in the book trade by an increasing recourse to the rhetoric of property, and by increased codification of trade practices and by the continued erosion of the stationers' powers of self-regulation. The Jacob Tonson era is an increasingly judicial period in the history of public discourse. Ben Jonson wrote “The Life of Milton.” Ten years before he wrote it, Milton had been a witness in a very different historiography of authorship. The contest over Miltonic authoriality sustained throughout the Tonson era has its last skirmish in Johnson's Life.

Keywords:   John Milton, Restoration, Statute of Anne, book trade, property, Jacob Tonson, Ben Jonson, The Life of Milton, authorship

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