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Areopagitica by John Milton

1644

Areopagitica by John Milton

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  • Intro

    State control of printing was introduced by Henry VIII and continued into Elizabeth's reign, with further controls issued in 1586 and 1637 over the growing number of printing presses. In April 1638, political agitator John Lilburne was arrested for importing subversive books. He was fined £500 for contempt, and flogged for the two miles between Fleet Prison and the pillory. This controversial pamphlet, entitled Areopagitica, was written by the writer and poet John Milton as a protest against Lilburne's treatment. It was the first great impassioned plea for free speech. In fact, it had little impact. It was not until 1695 that the laws on printing were relaxed, allowing for a blossoming of newspapers and provincial presses.

     

    Shelfmark: Ashley 1176.

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