John Milton is most famous today for his epic poem Paradise Lost, a poem that might have been lost itself. In 1660, Milton was best known for his work writing defences of the Commonwealth against Royalist attacks as Secretary of Foreign Tongues to the Council of State (since 1649). These included Eikonoklastes (1649, justifying Charles I’s execution) and The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth (1660, arguing against the Restoration). After the Restoration, Milton had to be hidden by friends: he eventually was arrested and held in custody for a few months. Friends in high places worked to prevent his exclusion from the Act of Pardon. Their success meant that Milton could complete his half-finished epic poem 1.
Milton had first come to attention as a poet. His first published work was Lycidas, an acclaimed pastoral elegy written for Dorothy Moore‘s brother Edward King. It’s plausible that Dorothy Moore met at some point, though as far as I’m aware there is no record of it. In the 1640s Milton became acquainted with members of the Hartlib circle, including Samuel Hartlib, John Durie, Henry Oldenburg and Lady Ranelagh. Milton and Hartlib probably met in 1643 and in 1644 Hartlib circulated Milton’s tract Of Education, To Master Samuel Hartlib2.