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Book Review

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When this book arrived from the Milton Quarterly office, I nearly decided to return it with the afternoon mail after my first cursory look at it. That would have been a mistake. My initial response flouted the old cliché: don’t judge a book by its cover. The cover photo—misty woodland and mountain landscape with luminous autumn foliage, location unidentified, and the author’s name in cursive font under the subtitle—had me suspecting, and expecting, something more like a devotional book than a work of scholarship. And both the author and the publisher were utterly unknown to me (Falcone is an Italian scholar—this book is his revised dissertation; Pickwick Publications turns out to be the scholarly imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers, specializing in Christian scholarship, broadly defined). Then the back cover, which continues the front cover photo, features three blurbs, the first of which identifies the book as “a refreshing throwback to an era when Christian scholarship was allowed to be Christian scholarship, not a propaganda tool wielded in the service of a liberal social agenda”—this only increased my suspicion.


Originally published as:

Milton’s Inward Liberty: A Reading of Christian Liberty from the Prose to Paradise Lost, by Filippo Falcone. Milton Quarterly 49.1 (March 2015): 60-63.