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Title: 'Cleaving together' : John Milton and Geoffrey Hill
Author: Potts, G. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 5109
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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The central concern of this thesis is the literary relationship between two writers from across the centuries, John Milton and Geoffrey Hill. By exploring this connection, it offers an important perspective from which we can approach themes that resonate throughout Hill's work. More broadly, the thesis positions this relationship within the wider context of Milton's reception in twentieth- and twenty-first-century poetry and criticism, exploring mediating presences in Hill's engagement with Milton as well as Hill's own education and academic career. The opening chapter considers Hill's early work, arguing that Milton's presence can be felt throughout Hill's entire oeuvre from his undergraduate compositions onwards. It assesses ways in which Hill's early appreciation of Milton is inflected through other poets such as T. S. Eliot, Robert Lowell, and Allen Tate. Three subsequent chapters thematically consider Hill's later work in light of Milton's recurrent presence within it. They trace the emergence of Milton as the presiding muse of Hill's late period through his work's engagement with politics, theological conceptions of language, and eros. All four chapters draw extensively on recently-released materials from the Geoffrey Hill Archive at the University of Leeds Special Collections. The thesis thus offers a detailed reading of Hill's corpus by looking at one of the most significant literary relationships of his career, challenging assumptions about his earlier work while also approaching his later poetry and criticism from a fresh perspective. As well as using Milton's influence as a method of reading Hill's oeuvre it develops this reading in order to offer new insights into Milton, while also tracing the earlier poet's reception across the twentieth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available