Though his tone is somewhat rigid and didactic and he is at times overzealous in his punctuation, Albert Perry Walker is loving and thorough in his creation of this selection of lesser read poems by John Milton. A Master of English who appears to have devoted his career to secondary school education in literature, Walker writes with the aim of making Milton and the world of his work accessible to the young, uneducated, or simply uninitiated. Walker subscribes to the belief “that pupils should be enabled and induced to equip themselves as thoroughly as possible for reading any poem before they enter upon the study of the text, and that they should not be led to degrade a noble poem to the level of a catalogue of bits of recondite information to be laboriously acquired through notes of words of reference” (Preface, iv). This book is, therefore, constructed with a large, overarching historical/poetical introduction at the front and smaller, more specialized introductions before each of the selected works. Walker does conform to the convention of including an index and glossary at the back, but he seems to have done so most begrudgingly: “[...] the Glossary being used only when the failure of the pupils’ memory renders it necessary” (Preface, iv).
- Title: Select Minor Poems of John Milton: Hymn on the Nativity, L’Allegro, Il Penseroso, Comus, Lycidas, Sonnets
- Editor: Albert Perry Walker, M.A.
- Publisher: C. Heath & Co.
- Place: Boston
- Year: 1900
- Length: 186pp
- Dimensions: 5” x 6.75”
- Format: 8vo
- Condition: Bound with boards covered in a buttery golden cloth. Titles are printed directly on the cloth in a light brown. The cover is whole but is noticeably worn and stained form time and use. The spine is darker than the rest of the cover, and there is particular wear as well as some dents/warping along the edges of the boards. The binding is tight. The pages are clean—no folds or extraneous marks. There is a small tear along the bottom edge of p.135. A name is inscribed in the front endpapers in black ink. It appears to read “Aini M. Maki.”