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Noted Milton scholar to deliver Bishop Lecture, Thurs. Feb. 3rd

Illustration by William Blake of "The Judgment of Adam and Eve" in Book Five, from a 1906 edition of Paradise Lost, published in Liverpool by Lyceum Press.

Nigel Smith, Professor of English and Co-director of the Center for the Study of Books and Media at Princeton University, will give the Rutgers University Libraries' 2011 Louis Faugères Bishop III lecture on February 3, 2011 at the Alexander Library in New Brunswick.

Nigel Smith, the author of "Is Milton Better than Shakespeare?," came to Princeton from the University of Oxford in 1999. His lecture will celebrate the opening of the exhibition Milton and the Cultures of Print, on display in the Special Collections and University Archives Galleries until May 31, 2011.

The exhibition in Alexander Library, curated by Rutgers Associate Professor of English Thomas Fulton, will focus on Milton as a historical figure, placing him in the context of the turbulent times in which he lived. In addition to a number of first editions by Milton, the exhibition will include a changing digital display of Milton's manuscripts.

The Rutgers University Libraries hold the fifth largest collection of Milton's works at a public university in the United States. The collection was developed in the mid-twentieth century by Joseph Milton French, professor of English at Rutgers from 1940 to 1960 and esteemed Milton scholar. Highlights of the collection include first editions of Milton prose works Areopagitica, Pro Populo Anglicano, his three pamphlets on divorce, and many editions of Milton's poetry, including a copy of Paradise Lost illustrated by William Blake.

The Bishop Lecture by Professor Nigel Smith will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday February 3rd in the Scholarly Communications Center, on the fourth floor of the Archibald S. Alexander Library at 169 College Avenue in New Brunswick. A light reception will follow his talk. To RSVP for the Bishop Lecture, send email to events@rci.rutgers.edu" or call the Libraries Administration reception desk at 732.932.7505.

On Thursday April 7th at 4:30 p.m., exhibition curator Thomas Fulton will give an informal lecture about the historical Milton followed by tour of the exhibition. For more information or to arrange a tour, please contact Fernanda Perrone, Exhibitions Coordinator in Special Collections and University Archives, at hperrone@rci.rutgers.edu or (732) 932 7006 x363.

This exhibition was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations in the exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the national Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

Posted November 18, 2010; January 11, 2010 (new image)