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John Milton (1608-1674), Poet

Sitter associated with 70 portraits
Milton is regarded as one of the greatest English poets and a master of political pamphleteering. Forceful and idealistic, he served the Commonwealth as Latin Secretary but was arrested upon the restoration of Charles II. The tragic circumstances of his life - an unhappy marriage, the premature death of his second wife and his eventual blindness in 1652 are reflected in the often despairing tone of his work. Milton is best known for his epics, Paradise Lost (1667), Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes (1671). Intense cultural interest in the nature of blindness meant that artists and writers continued to be fascinated by his experience of sight loss in the Romantic and Victorian periods.