'Citizen Milton' tops The Times Museum List

31 March 2008

top_throneFor the first time, a Bodleian Library exhibition is ranked first in The Times Top Five Museums. After hanging on to second place for a month at the beginning of the year, the Citizen Milton exhibition now tops the nationwide museum chart. The last Bodleian exhibition to enter The Times list was Children’s Games and Pastimes, winter 2005-06, which was ranked fifth.

Celebrating the 400th anniversary of Milton’s birth, the display presents Milton’s major works in important and beautiful editions from the Bodleian Library’s collections including the rare first edition of Areopagitica and the first twelve-book edition of the greatest epic poem in the English language, Paradise Lost, printed in octavo format, with a portrait engraving made by William Dolle.

Dr. Chris Fletcher, Head of Western Manuscripts, said: ‘We are delighted that our exhibition was ranked first in The Times Top Five Museums. Exploring the theme of citizenship in Milton’s work is a topical approach but this is done through the display of many rare, unique and fascinating books, objects and pictures. I hope people come along to discover for themselves – for free!’

Curated by the acclaimed Milton scholar Dr Sharon Achinstein, Fellow of St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, the exhibition was officially opened by Philip Pullman on 7 December 2007. You can listen to the BODcast of the opening speech on this website.

The exhibition is open until 28 April 2008 and can be visited Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. in the Exhibition Room, Old Schools Quadrangle, Catte Street, Oxford. Admission is free.

The Times Top Five Museums – 22 March 2008

The Times Top Five Museums – 26 January 2008

The Times Top Five Museums – 12 January 2008

Citizen Milton online exhibition can be viewed at: www.cems.ox.ac.uk/citizenmilton/index.shtml

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