This looks set to be a vintage year for Milton’s Cottage in Chalfont St Giles, the only surviving home of John Milton, and the place where he sought refuge from London during the Great Plague of 1665.
It was here in the Chilterns that the poet and parliamentarian completed his dramatic epic masterpiece, Paradise Lost.
Not only is 2017 the 350th anniversary of the publication of Paradise Lost but it has also been designated the Year of Literary Heroes.
And Milton’s Cottage will be promoting Paradise Lost 350 alongside other significant literary anniversaries, including the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and 20 years since the release of the first Harry Potter book.
Kelly O’Reilly, business director of Milton’s Cottage Trust, said: “Paradise Lost has inspired many great artists over the years, from Blake to the Bronte sisters, Mary Shelley to Salvador Dali, James Joyce to George Lucas.
“By commissioning a wide range of contemporary responses we aim to engage a new generation of readers with this work.”
From a Manga (comic) version to the world’s first exhibition of private press editions of Paradise Lost, the 2017 season at Milton’s Cottage aims to provide a new take on a poem that changed the course of literary history. There will be a midsummer poetry picnic in the museum’s unique literary garden as well as an opportunity to sit in Milton’s study where his thoughts became words and literary history was made.
Milton’s Cottage is open now until October 28. Opening times are 2-5pm Wednesdays to Saturdays as well as Bank Holidays and the last Sunday of the calendar month. Admission £7, concessions £5, free for accompanied children under 16. Free visitor car park next to the museum.