There are so many editions of Milton's epic, so how does someone interested in owning a copy choose from the crowd? Unfortunately there are not many "bad" editions of Milton's poetry, so the decision requires effort, and every editor has their own interpretation (which is more or less valid than others') of their author. (Indeed, editors are always like secondary authors.) First a few quick words about NCEs. All have bigraphical, historical, literary backgrounds, and criticism that are outside the text (in this case _PL_) and are useful, or at the least interesting. But I do not advocate the NCE edition of _PL_ for these reasons though they are rewarding. Rather I encourage those who are interested in Milton, _PL_, and poetry to get a copy of the NCE because of its editor's philosophy on footnotes. The footnotes are what separate one edition of poetry from another, and Scott Elledge's footnotes to _PL_ were made with the following prescription: "No one, I think, should interrupt his or her first reading of a poem, or a substantial part of it, by looking to the bottom of the page for help. The best way to read is to listen to the poet , the way one listens to someone speaking; then if one is attracted to what one hears, or is curious about it, one can go back over the poem, or a passage in it, consulting the notes. In my opinion one should read a poem before one begins to study it" (2). Finally, Elledges, footnotes to _PL_ are so rewarding to read because of their etymological emphasis.