[Milton-L] Dating Sonnet 19

Hannibal Hamlin hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com
Wed Jan 22 10:10:49 EST 2014

Friends and Colleagues,

Having just taught Sonnet 19 ("When I consider"), and reading Jonathan
Goldberg's "Dating Milton," I'm wondering whether it's been pointed out --
surely it must have been -- that Milton's father lived to the ripe old age
of 85. Even in 1642, usually the earliest dating for the sonnet, John Sr.
was 80, and he lived on to 1647. When Milton writes "e'er half my years are
spent," he could, of course, be thinking of the biblical three score and
ten, but might he not also be thinking of a span closer to hand, his
father's four score and five? And doesn't this somewhat uncomplicate the
dating problems?


Hannibal Hamlin
Associate Professor of English
Author of *The Bible in Shakespeare*, now available through all good
bookshops, or direct from Oxford University Press at
Editor, *Reformation*
The Ohio State University
164 West 17th Ave., 421 Denney Hall
Columbus, OH 43210-1340
hamlin.22 at osu.edu/
hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com
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