Notable Houses of Great Britain [Secure eReader]
Click on image to enlarge.
eBook by Linda Lee
eBook Category: History/Travel
eBook Description: In Britain today there are many 'normal' houses that were once owned by, or been the birthplace of, famous authors, poets, painters, explorers and naturalists. Many are open to the public and the fascination and interests of their one-time occupants are often as diverse as the structures themselves. Classical and contemporary art, literary masterpieces, entrepreneurial engineering, religious symbolism, and the foundations of modern science are all secreted in this miscellany. This book explores 30 such properties, each article comprising of a colour photograph, an historical overview, and an information panel containing opening times, grid reference, address, telephone number, and web site details (where applicable) NB--This title is not suitable for use with 'Adobe Reader for PalmOS'. Please select either our Palm reader or Mobipocket Reader versions, when using PalmOS devices.
eBook Publisher: Heritage Trail Publications Ltd, Published: 2004
Fictionwise Release Date: May 2004
2 Reader Ratings:
For the purposes of this excerpt the photogragh and information panel have been removed
The significance of this delightful timber-framed cottage in the pretty village street of Chalfont St Giles could almost be passed by. Only a small sign protruding from the brick chimney stack indicates that this was once the home of the great Englishman, John Milton. Leaving their London house in 1665 to escape the Plague, Milton and his wife took up tenancy of the roadside cottage in the summer, but remained there for less than one year. In any other circumstances, such a short period of occupation would infer a very tenuous connection, but Milton established firm roots within the community. It is also the only house ever occupied by Milton that is still in existence. Perhaps most importantly of all, the cottage was where he completed his great poetic masterpiece ?Paradise Lost?, and where the seeds were sown for ?Paradise Regained?.
From his early school days, Milton was recognised as an unusually studious and serious young man with a love for the romantic and artistic works of the world. Known primarily as one of the greatest English poets of all time, Milton was also a master of languages and an enthusiastic historian. For some 20 years he put aside his poetry to take up the Puritan cause during the Civil War, publishing numerous pamphlets about religious and civil liberties, and acting as a government translator of important Latin documents. By the age of 43 Milton had lost his sight, but continued working with a passion for the Commonwealth. During the next ten years he became thoroughly disillusioned, his relentless work appearing to have given him few comforts in his life. Instead, he suffered blindness, temporary imprisonment and near poverty for his strong beliefs.
Deciding to settle for a more sedentary life, away from the political and religious controversies of the time, Milton returned to his first real love--poetry. It was whilst living at the cottage that Milton completed the epic ?Paradise Lost?, and had the idea for the sequel given to him by his former pupil and neighbouring friend, Thomas Ellwood. As the only home of his to survive, and the place where his most renowned work was revived, this late sixteenth century cottage developed an indelible association with John Milton. It is shown today much as it would have appeared over 300 years ago when Milton first arrived. A fairly basic home with few furnishings, now set out as a museum to his life and works. This modest Grade I listed cottage is delightful enough for its architectural history but, when combined with the fact that it now houses some of the world's most profound literary works, it is quite overwhelming.
To the side and rear of the property are surprisingly large, well-stocked gardens, featuring many of the plants, flowers, trees, and herbs referred to in Milton's poems. As the only garden in the Chilterns to be listed Grade II, the serenity and magnificence of this fragrant cottage garden offers the visitor a perfect resting place for contemplating the many facets of John Milton.