Heroic Knowledge was first published in 1957. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Professor Stein's critical work on Milton which was launched in his earlier book, Answerable Style: Essays on Paradise Lost, is completed in this volume. He devotes eight essays to Paradise Regained and five to Samson Agonistes. In addition, a preface explains his assumptions and a postscript connects and extends the implications of his work. The author's purpose and method are, perhaps, best described in his own words: "For the most part I have tried to demonstrate rather than to argue, and have (except in some notes) avoided engaging the established critical problems separately; but have instead trusted that a fresh critical interpretation of the poems would come to terms with the major problems while in motion, as part of a developing grasp of the integrated working of the poems."