Paradise Lost is an epic poem by John Milton, originally published in 1667 in ten books, with a second edition in twelve books following in 1667.
It tells the story of Satan's fall from heaven and the temptation of Adam and Eve. Blake wrote of Milton that 'he was of the Devil's party without knowing it' because of his portrayal of Satan as a charismatic antihero. Many critics have seen an underlying tension between Milton's affirmation of divine authority against Satan's rebellion and his support for an English Commonwealth founded on rebellion against the Stuart monarchy.
Free online texts
Dartmouth College: Paradise Lost. HTML format.
Gutenberg: Paradise Lost. HTML, EPUB, Kindle and TXT formats.
Internet Archive. English Minor Poems, Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes, Areopagitica. Britannica Great Books edition. EPUB, TXT, MOBI and PDF formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Paradise Lost. HTML, EPUB, TXT and Kindle formats.
Wikisource: Paradise Lost. Multiple editions. HTML and other formats.
The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes
Milton: Paradise Regained
The Bible: Genesis, Revelation.
Virgil: The Aeneid
Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queene.
John Aubrey: Brief Lives - includes a life of Milton.
Alexander Pope: The Rape of the Lock.
Samuel Johnson: Lives of the English Poets.
William Blake: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.
Percy Bysshe Shelley: A Defence of Poetry.
Mary Shelley: Frankenstein.
John Keats: Endymion.
Harold Bloom's Western Canon - Paradise Lost is included.