[Milton-L] MDram-John Bulwer

Brendan Prawdzik brendanprawdzik at gmail.com
Wed May 11 14:35:06 EDT 2016

Hi Angelica,

Funny you mention it.  I do think that there is a connection between John
Milton and John Bulwer- - I have not historical evidence but rather
intertextual evidence.

Bulwer wrote some fascinating texts.  I have even considered putting
together, at some point, an edition of his collected works.  He wrote two
books on hand gestures, another ethnographic text (that is bizarre and
fascinating), a tract about the relationship between emotion and the
muscles of the face, and some seminal work on sign language.

The first of the gesture books (published together), *Chirologia *(1644),
contains an image of the comedian Roscius teaching gestures to Cicero and
the tragedian Andronicus teaching gestures to Demosthenes.  The image
corresponds closely -- though with meaningful difference -- with Milton's
remarks about the benefit of teaching declamation in *Of Education* (1644).
I am not sure at this moment which was published earlier in 1644.  It
should also be noted that the association of the actors with these orators
is not uncommon, and can be found in Petrarch's *Lives*.  But this
nonetheless seems to be evidence of connection.

I'm intrigued to see what else you find!  My discussion of the above can be
found in my chapter in the forthcoming *"With Wandering Steps": Generative
Ambiguity in Milton's Poetics* (Duquesne UP: real soon) and, more
expansively, in my forthcoming book *Theatrical Milton: Politics and
Poetics of the Staged Body* (Edinburgh University Press), shameless

Best wishes,


On Wed, May 11, 2016 at 2:13 PM, Duran, Angelica A <duran0 at purdue.edu>

> Dear scholars,
> The nineteenth-century Spanish play, *Milton’s Paradise*, plays
> loose with historical elements surrounding Milton’s life. It refers to
> a “Jhonson (sic) Bulwer” as a printer interested in publishing *Paradise
> Lost*. I’ve found a co-eval John Bulwer (*bap. *1606, *d.* 1656) in the *Oxford Dictionary
> of National Biography* but have found no reference to any connection,
> factual or legendary, between Bulwer and Milton, much less to
> the publication of *PL*.
> I solicit any leads. Many thanks, all.
> --
> Adios,
> Angelica Duran
> Professor
> English, Comparative Literature, Religious Studies (Director, 2009-13)
> 500 Oval Drive -­ Heavilon Hall
> Purdue University
> West Lafayette, Indiana 47907 USA
> <duran0 at purdue.edu>
> <http://www.cla.purdue.edu/english/directory/index.aspx?p=Angelica_Duran>
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Dr. Brendan Prawdzik

BA Rutgers University, 2001
PhD The University of California, Berkeley, 2009
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