A Landmark Work on Freedom of the Press Milton, John. Areopagitica: A Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing, to the Parliament of England. With an Introduction by James Russell Lowell. New York: The Grolier Club, 1890. lvii, 189 pp. Reprinted 2006 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN-13: 9781584775454. ISBN-10: 1584775459. Hardcover. New. $29.95 * Reprint of the 1890 Grolier Club edition, which was limited to 325 copies. The victory of Parliament over Crown during the Civil War prompted many questions including those regarding the liberty of the press under the new regime. The Stationers Company, which enjoyed Royal patronage and a monopoly on printing and bookselling granted by the Crown, petitioned Parliament for the continuation of its privileges under the new regime. This was a controversial request because Milton and others resented the Company's censorship of political and religious publications in the years before the Civil War. Milton [1608-1674], in what has been called his "most important" prose, urged Parliament to reject its petition in the name of intellectual freedom. This edition has a long introduction by James Russell Lowell [1819-1891], the notable poet and associate of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Book number 41425