Perhaps the outstanding exponent of the not quite lost art of belles lettres, this cultivated classicist writes what is virtually an expanded essay on the subject of Milton and the modern ""criticasters"" who have attempted to dethrone him. First there was pound who shouted his abuse; then T.S. Eliot who whispered with greater effect; then more and more moderns turning against him. Smith takes up the charges, and analyzes Milton, his language, his Puritanism, his spiritual (and very controversial) message. He shows how today, with changing standards of taste and little appreciation of fine writing, Milton's perfectionism is ignored. Written as only Pearsell Smith can write -- but in subject matter of interest largely to scholars.