[Milton-L] query

john shawcross jtshaw74 at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 4 10:04:33 EST 2004

Dear Bill,

Any connection of the notes in that copy of Best with Milton is simply
ignorant of Milton and his handwriting, and has long been rejected. See
Maurice Kelley's article in the "Library," 5th Series, V (1950): 49-51. As
to the "Arian" likeness there are two major problems: First, the word is
misused, being employed to mean ANY deviation from a standard and unmodified
position on the Trinity. Indeed, Arius himself wasn't an Arian as the word
is usually used. But second, Aspland (and I'm afraid some current Milton
scholars) has not read "De doctrina christiana" very well. He has read it in
translation, and the translation(s) are absolutely wrong in a number of very
significant spots. There is a Consortium of British scholars currently
working on the manuscript, and a new translation will be provided, which
should go a long way in clarifying what Milton's deviation from the standard
position on the Trinity is. It is not what I remember that Best espouses or
that Aspland (in 1853 working out of Sumner's translation of 1825) says it

I hope your work is going well.



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