Department of English

University of Toronto

Pre-Modern Research Symposium | Professor Paul Stevens

Event date: Wednesday, September 28, 2016, at 4:00 PM
Location: Regent’s Room of the Goldring Student Centre (GSC 206

We’re excited to announce the year’s first meeting of the Pre-Modern Research Symposium, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 4pm in the Regent’s Room of the Goldring Student Centre (GSC 206). PMRS is a rewarding opportunity for medieval and Renaissance scholars to come together and share each other’s work, and in doing so to celebrate the complex connections between our two historical periods.

Our September meeting will feature Prof. Paul Stevens, recently returned from a year as Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford, who will be presenting a paper titled “‘Monstrous Milton’: Reading Robert Graves Misreading Milton”. Prof. Stevens explains:

Robert Graves is notorious among early modern scholars as the author of the popular 1942 novel Wife to Mr. Milton. The novel is relentless in its representation of Milton as the most abusive of husbands, egotistical and cruel. Whatever the very real failings of the historical Milton, Graves’s representation of the poet is so extreme as to beggar belief. But Graves was no hack: he was immensely talented, one of the greatest English poets of the twentieth century, and his novel is a disconcertingly brilliant piece of work. The principal topic of this paper is then the mysterious relationship between these two great poets, Graves and Milton – specifically the problem of the younger poet’s extraordinary antipathy to and sustained misreading of the elder.

We hope that many of you will be able to attend, to hear Prof. Stevens’s paper and enjoy the collegial conversation that it will provoke! Afterwards we will decamp to the Bedford Academy to continue our conversation informally. 

Please direct any questions to the PMRS organizers, Sarah Star and Joel Faber, at

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