Milton's Paradise Lost is arguably one of the greatest poems in the English Language. Joseph Addison was one of the finest literary critics of his time. We have collected his reviews of Paradise Lost from The Spectator magazine into this book. Addison's reviews are helpful to us for several reasons. He was writing within a generation of Milton, so he was more in touch with the cultural milieu of the poem. He also was more familiar with the classic epics of Homer and Vergil which inspired Milton than most of us are today. Indeed, his main purpose is to look at Milton's epic in the light of the Iliad and the Aeneid. Like Milton, he was also very much in tune with the literary criticism from the ancients to his contemporaries, from Aristotle to French writers of his day. Reading Addison's reviews can help us all appreciate Paradise Lost and what went into it.

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