[Milton-L] Milton on Divorce and Polygamy
rudrum at shaw.ca
Sat Nov 17 12:47:37 EST 2007
Carol Barton and Cristine Soliz have both made good points. I would
like to enlarge a little. The questions of divorce and polygamy had
been swirling around in Europe for a long time - from before Milton was
born I believe. This was partly due to the Reformers' different take on
things, partly due to "Catholic" monarchs wanting divorces and the
Church pondering the question of whether "polygamy" might not be the
lesser evil. So Milton had reason to begin thinking about these things
before his personal problems gave them a greater urgency. Further, by
the time the /Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce/ was published,
ecclesiastical law had broken down in England, - even Henry Vaughan,
that great "Anglican", took advantage of the breakdown and married his
deceased wife's sister - so naturally Milton was among those who were
thinking about those laws that had formerly been administered by the
See my essay "Polygamy in /Paradise/ /Lost,/ /Essays/ /in/ /Criticism/,"
Vol. 20, No. 1 (1970), 18-23 (for the reference[s]) therein as well as
for the argument); and see also
Leo Miller, /Milton Among the Polygamophiles/, NY, 1974.
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