Renaissance Literature: Julianne Werlin
Early Modern Studies Institute
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Setting Milton’s writing against research on English state formation, in “The Social Lives of Angels” Werlin shows that he was attuned to a process occurring throughout the seventeenth century in which the centralized state developed through and in response to local and professional associations. Milton is usually treated as an individualist par excellence, but through an examination of the anonymous angels who follow Satan, Werlin suggests that Milton’s nuanced sense of the power — and danger — of association underwrites his conception of the society of heaven as well as earthly society.