[Milton-L] who was Sabrina?

Leslie McMurtry leslie.mcmurtry at gmail.com
Mon Feb 9 10:13:09 EST 2009


Hi all,

I just finished reading *John Milton's Aristocratic Entertainment *by Cedric
C. Brown.  In the past, and I think I formed this impression from Roy
Flannagan's Riverside Milton & the teaching of Dr. Cheryl Fresch, I thought
it was fairly certain that a cousin of the Egertons' named Jane had been
called in to the play the part of Sabrina in the masque (*Comus*).  However,
Mr. Brown finds it "unthinkable" that any of the Egerton relatives would
have played Sabrina.  Yet, frustratingly, he gives no clue as to who he
thought might have played the role.  We know she must have been a good
singer, and it's such a great part, with such power and the might of
Milton's ideas of virtue and grace conferred upon it, it seems strange to me
that the identity should still be unknown, or that an actress could have
been picked at random.  (Still, we don't know who played Comus, though I
believe Riverside Milton suggested it was an actor friend of Henry Lawes'?)
Lady Alice had quite a few older sisters, but they were all married and
presumably not in Ludlow by the time the masque was played.

What are your thoughts?  Who played Sabrina?

Thanks for your insights.

Leslie M.
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