Friday, November 23, 2018

Sometimes Success Comes Later in Life . . . Sometimes in the Afterlife MILTON’S PARADISE ROYALTIES LOST


Victor Bohnam Carter's Authors by Professiontells the story of John Milton, blind, deprived of his pension and suffering from financial hardships, signing a hellish publishing contract for his epic poem, Paradise Lost.  
"The agreement was dated April 27, 1667, and provided that Milton receive £5 for the first edition or impression of 1300 copies, £5 for the second, and the same for the third.” In today's currency, £5 is approximately £570.00
Under the agreement, Milton transferred "All that Booke, Copy, or Manuscript" to his publisher with "the full benefit, profit, and advantage thereof, or w[hic]h shall or may arise thereby." Milton died  in 1674.  
During his lifetime he received a total of £10 from his publisher Samuel Symons. Milton’s widow later sold the copyright to Symons for £8. 
The contract, the earliest known contract between an English author and publisher, resides in the British Library today.

Milton publishing contract
Contract for John Milton's "Paradise Lost"

No comments:

Post a Comment