[Milton-L] Vallombrosa

Sara van den Berg vandens at slu.edu
Wed Feb 20 12:41:39 EST 2013

Dear Mario,

At the Milton conference in Vallambrosa, several people commented that the
trees were evergreens.  So the organizers brought a forest specialist who
told us that in Milton's day the area would have been forested with large
oaks.  In the 18th century, the monks replanted with evergreens.

Sara van den Berg

On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 5:12 PM, Mario A. DiCesare <dicesare1 at mindspring.com
> wrote:

> Dear Friends,
> I came across an odd notation recently declaring that Milton
> misrepresented Vallombrosa in the famous line from PL I, "Thick as autumnal
> leaves that strow the brooks / Of Vallombrosa." The writer claimed that the
> line proves Milton was never at Vallombrosa; there are only evergreens at
> present day Vallombrosa.  But as our local arborist pointed out to me when
> I quoted the line, evergreens will gradually displace deciduous trees and
> even take over a forest.  I don't recall how dominant evergreens were when
> the great international Milton bash took place in the late 1980s, bringing
> Miltonists from all over to Vallombrosa and Florence. Had the evergreens
> completely displaced the deciduous trees on those mountains?
> Mario DiCesare
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