Once Upon the Orient Wave
by Dahiyat, Eid Abdallah
John Milton’s poems Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained are among the greatest pieces of writing in the English language. Like other writers of his time, Milton had only a sketchy idea of Islam and the Arab world, from travellers and linguists who had made the arduous journey to and from the Middle East. But buried in his works are signs that Milton had absorbed ideas and influences from Islam and Arab culture. Professor Dahiyat shows how from the Middle Ages, partly as an attempt to counteract Islam with Christianity, a wide range of writers and researchers spoke, read and wrote Arabic and published books. Dahiyat then shows how many different references there are to the Orient and Islam in Milton’s writings, and discusses the later response of Arab writers and scholars to Milton’s major works.