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Milton in America de Peter Ackroyd
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Milton in America (1996 original; edició 1997)

de Peter Ackroyd

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338660,384 (3.29)8
What if John Milton, Cromwell's secretary, anticipating the King's return to London, had decided to flee England in order to avoid imprisonment or death? What if he had crossed the ocean and joined the Puritans recently settled in New England? From this idea Peter Ackroyd creates an enthralling story of conflict, treachery, hypocrisy and greed.… (més)
Membre:JA_Russell
Títol:Milton in America
Autors:Peter Ackroyd
Informació:London : Vintage, 1997.
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Ackroyd, fiction

Informació de l'obra

Milton in America de Peter Ackroyd (1996)

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I often enjoy Ackroyd's novels, but this book is largely a disappointment. Ackroyd's intriguing conceit, that Milton flees to America to escape persecution with the coming of the Restoration leads to little that might not have been achieved in other ways. The place of the character of Milton, who is served by a comic sidekick called Goosequill, could just as well have been taken by any other strong-willed fanatically bigoted American settler (and there were plenty of those). The working of the plot - a dramatic shipwreck in which (mirabile dictu) only Milton and Goosequill survive, a strange magical realistic episode in which Milton is rescued by Indians and temporarily has his sight restored and has sex with a Native American woman, Goosequill's mastery of Native American languages after a few informal lessons with a friend - strain credulity without much additional dramatic (or comic) punch. The historical pastiche is disappointing - the sections told from Milton's point of view in letters to a friend, do not sound remotely like anything he might have written. It's hard to know whether this is a jeu d'esprit that got inflated out of control, or serious effort at counter-realist history that never quite takes hold. ( )
  sjnorquist | Nov 7, 2015 |
Ackroyd explores Milton's complicated and contradictory character by speculating about what might have happened had he fled to America in 1660 and become the spiritual and temporal leader of a Puritan settlement. It's more of a satire of seventeenth-century religious certainty and the intolerance it led to than a serious attempt to describe the Puritan endeavour, but if you read it on that level and accept its one-sided view, it's quite an engaging read, and often rather funny in a bleak, Monrty Python sort of way. ( )
  thorold | Jan 29, 2014 |
I enjoy Peter Ackroyd's prose and have been a fan since "Hawksmoor", his very chilling possession story. Milton is not his best book, but an interesting exploration of his view of the American character. which seems to be rather autistic. Readable but not captivating. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 6, 2013 |
En 1660, John Milton débarque sur le continent américain, terre encore vierge des turpitudes de la monarchie qui l'ont chassé, lui, le célèbre poète aveugle, de la Vieille Angleterre. À son arrivée, des Puritains, prudes commères et rigides travailleurs, le supplient de se mettre à la tête de leur communauté. C'est pour un intellectuel l'occasion rêvée de créer de toutes pièces la société républicaine et chaste qu'il vantait dans ses pamphlets. Décence et labeur sont les piliers de son œuvre, jusqu'au jour où s'installent de l'autre côté de la rivière une bande de catholiques qui narguent les austères Puritains de leurs chants, de leurs danses, de leur intolérable joie de vivre. John Milton comprend que le Serpent tentateur vient de s'introduire dans son paradis.
  PierreYvesMERCIER | Feb 19, 2012 |
Milton in America (Nan A. Talese, 1997) is Peter Ackroyd's flight of fancy about what might have happened had John Milton opted to leave England at the time of the Restoration and decamp to Puritan America. Told alternately from the perspectives of the blind Milton himself and his companion and guide Goosequill (in both flashbacks and straight narrative, and including transcripts of Milton's missives to an English friend), this novel imagines Milton becoming a sort of Puritanical dictator, enforcing strictures of religion and conduct on the settlers (who are, at first, entirely overawed by Milton's presence and happy to do as he says ... for a while).

There were interesting tidbits of historical material thrown in here and there (but not in any systematic way, and usually greatly disguised), but mostly this is Ackroyd musing, creating his own Paradise Lost and putting Milton right in the center of it. He's captured quite well the tensions between English settlers of different religious perspectives and the original inhabitants of the area.

The narrative thread was sometimes rather difficult to keep hold of, and frankly I thought the idea of this book somewhat better than how it ended up being carried off. Nonetheless, a worthy premise, and certainly it's fascinating to think about how things might have gone had Milton in fact crossed the Atlantic and made a new home on this side of the pond.

http://philobiblos.blogspot.com/2010/07/book-review-milton-in-america.html ( )
1 vota JBD1 | Jul 18, 2010 |
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Peter Ackroydautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Pavlenski, DmitriAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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What if John Milton, Cromwell's secretary, anticipating the King's return to London, had decided to flee England in order to avoid imprisonment or death? What if he had crossed the ocean and joined the Puritans recently settled in New England? From this idea Peter Ackroyd creates an enthralling story of conflict, treachery, hypocrisy and greed.

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