The Poems of John Milton (1968) with Alastair Fowler. Published in the Longmans Annotated English Poets Series, this is still the standard edition of Milton’s poetry. Selina Hastings in the Daily Telegraph called it “a very Bible of a Milton”. Alastair Fowler edited Paradise Lost, John Carey the rest, including Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes and the Latin, Italian and Greek poems. Each poem has a headnote summarizing its critical history, plus extensive explanatory footnotes. The original one-volume hardback was followed by twin paperbacks, one containing Fowler’s work, the other Carey’s. In the 1990s both were updated to keep pace with the accelerating rate of Milton scholarship. Carey’s second edition of the Complete Shorter Poems (1997) abstracted some 700 articles and 70 books on Milton’s poetry that had appeared since 1968.
Select the cover to view it at a higher resolution. Cover shown is from the second edition.