Paradise Lost for ten pounds

The poet John Milton sold the copyright of Paradise Lost to a London publisher for five pounds, plus another five for subsequent editions – a grand total of ten pounds for one of the greatest works in the English language. After his death, his widow Elizabeth sold all remaining rights for eight pounds to the publisher, who became perpetual copyright owner. She, like so many today, knew the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
It’s hard to imagine someone selling something of such great value for so little. As Tom Paine said, ‘What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.’ It reminds me of those confronting words Jesus spoke to those who rarely think about the spiritual dimension of life: ‘What is a person prepared to give in exchange for their soul?’ For some of us it’s not very much at all.

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This entry was posted in Cost, selling our souls, Value, Wasted Opportunity and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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