[Milton-L] Dating Sonnet 19

jsavoie at siue.edu jsavoie at siue.edu
Wed Jan 22 10:35:21 EST 2014

Indeed, Psalm 90 actually emphasizes the possibility of four score years (the
usage, I believe, that influenced Lincoln):

90.10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of
strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for
it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

John Savoie

Quoting Hannibal Hamlin <hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com>:

> 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
> --
> 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
> http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199677610.do
> 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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