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'Be Strong, Live Happy & Love': 350 Years of Paradise Lost


One of the seminal works of English literature, Paradise Lost and its themes have inspired generations of artists, writers and thinkers. A portrait of its author, John Milton, sits opposite that of William Shakespeare in The Portico Library’s main space and the collection holds a first illustrated copy of the original text. To mark 350 years since its initial publication in 1667, we have invited responses from a group of contemporary female artists, addressing the historical gendered imbalance of depictions of its central stories of Adam & Eve and the Fall from Grace, including Kate Shaw, Chloë Manasseh, Helen Mather and Ilona Kiss. Their works will be shown alongside historic illustrations and associated books from the collection and partner libraries.