Saturday 20th August, 10am – 10pm

To celebrate the anniversary of its publication, we are staging a shared reading of Paradise Lost – and want you to help us perform it! 

Join us for a shared reading of Paradise Lost on Saturday 20th August – in the place where Milton completed his epic masterpiece. From shopkeepers to schoolchildren, faith groups to football clubs, we want this to be a collective reading for everyone. The event is free and you can drop in at any time – or contact us to get your lines in advance.

When will it take place?

In Search of Readers will take place on 20th August 2022 – 355 years from the day when Milton’s publisher, Samuel Simmons, registered the copyright for Paradise Lost with Stationers’ Hall.  The performance will start at 10am, taking approximately 12 hours to complete. 

Where will the event take place?

This event will be performed at Milton’s Cottage – the only surviving residence of John Milton and place where he completed his epic masterpiece, Paradise Lost.  Short excerpts will also be performed at other locations in Chalfont St Giles.

What’s required of readers?

Each of our readers will be allocated between 1 – 100 lines of Paradise Lost to read aloud at a time to suit them (with drop-in readers also welcome).  Readers who register in advance will be sent a copy of their lines, along with the time they need to arrive by.  Our stage managers will cue in each performer on the day as well as help people rehearse, if required.

Will the reading be recorded?

Yes: the reading will be recorded and released as a series of short excerpts to help us launch a TikTok account for Milton’s Cottage.  We hope this will help us reach new audiences for Milton’s Cottage and Milton’s poetry.  If you don’t want to be recorded, please just let us know.

What will the project achieve?

  • Celebrate the 355th anniversary of the publication of Paradise Lost in style
  • Provide a fun way to engage – and re-engage – audiences following the recent lockdowns
  • Bring communities together to showcase Chalfont St Giles as the village where Paradise Lost was completed
  • Create an engaging way to launch for our new TikTok account and help connect new audiences with Milton’s Cottage and Milton’s poetry

How can you help?

  • By joining our collective cast of readers
  • By encouraging other readers to join us: we are not looking for professional actors and want an eclectic cast that takes in all age groups and backgrounds, including children
  • By helping promote the shared reading to local audiences

Want to take part?

For further information and to sign up please contact Kelly O’Reilly, Director of Milton’s Cottage, on 01494 872313 /


Thursday 1st September, from 6.30pm

Join us for Pimm’s in Paradise at this annual social event by the Friends of Milton’s Cottage.

Join us for an evening of Pimm’s, poetry and music inspired by Milton’s verse – and all in the beautiful setting of the garden at Milton’s Cottage. Grade II registered in its own right, our unique literary garden is planted with trees, flowers and fruits that are referenced in Milton’s poetry.

Tickets cost just £12 if booked in advance via the Eventbrite link below, or £15 on the door, and include drinks and canapes as well as a short performance:

All proceeds will support Milton’s Cottage. We hope you can join us.;