[Milton-L] Milton's Eldest Daughter

Harper, Dave LTC MIL USA USMA Dave.Harper at usma.edu
Mon Jul 8 12:43:29 EDT 2013


George,

Thanks. I will take a look at the documentation surrounding the will.

I know that Aubrey referred to Anne as "a mechanique" in the little family 
tree he sketched (reproduced in Darbishire), and that Edward Phillips wrote 
that Anne was excused from assisting her father "by reason of her bodily 
Infirmity, and difficult utterance of speech (which to say truth I doubt was 
the Principal cause of excusing her)."  All of which seems to point toward a 
mental disability.

I suspect I'll find there is no reference to her challenges in Milton's 
autobiographical passages, but was curious if anyone had a suspected reference 
from him on the subject of disability that might apply to her.

Dave

-----Original Message-----
From: ghmcloone at earthlink.net [mailto:ghmcloone at earthlink.net]
Sent: Monday, July 08, 2013 10:57 AM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Milton's Eldest Daughter

Dave,

You have probably already looked here, but in his biography of Milton (the 
original 1968 edition), Parker cites Phillips (Darbishire's edition) and 
"court proceedings incident to Milton's oral will on Anne's disability." 
Parker also speculates interestingly that Anne "was a retarded child" as well 
as physically disabled.  He does not cite any comments from Milton himself 
(Parker,Vol. II, 936, n. 61).  Anyway,I had the biography at hand.

All best,

George




-----Original Message-----
>From: "Harper, Dave LTC MIL USA USMA" <Dave.Harper at usma.edu>
>Sent: Jul 7, 2013 2:33 PM
>To: "milton-l at lists.richmond.edu" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>Subject: [Milton-L] Milton's Eldest Daughter
>
>Those of you who subscribed to my humble blog (thank you!) already know I've 
>been thinking recently about the iconic image and legend of Milton dictating 
>PL to his daughters. I'm wondering if anyone here is aware of Milton making 
>reference to Anne's disability? I seem to recall reading a comment in one of 
>his letters or pamphlet that may have obliquely referred to her, but I can't 
>seem to find it now. Thanks!
>
>Dave Harper
>Academy Professor, USMA
>Blog: http://mu-se.me/
>
>
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