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Oxford University academics find lost John Milton poem

23rd September 2010

Academics have come across a poem in Oxford University's archives that appears to have been written by John Milton.

The author is famous for his epic poem Paradise Lost, but the newly-discovered piece - An Extempore Upon a Faggot - follows something of a different theme and is laden with sexual innuendos.

Dr Jennifer Batt, an English lecturer at the university, found the work while reading a forgotten early-18th century poetry anthology.

'To see the name of John Milton, the great religious and political polemicist, attached to such a bawdy epigram, is extremely surprising to say the least,' Dr Batt told the Independent.

She went on to say that the piece is so different to Milton's other works that, if it is proven to have been created by him, then it would 'prompt a major revision of our ideas' about the writer.

Earlier this month, a 'lost' poem by Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott, titled The Hills of Killearn, was recited in public for the first time.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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