« PreviousContinue »
THE NEW CONCEPTION OF MILTON: A CRITICAL
COMPLETELY new conception of Milton has been brought forward since 1917. It may be summed up, in the main, by saying that it considers Milton as a Renaissance thinker and artist, and no longer as a Puritan. In the elaboration of this new view two groups have been chiefly at work: an American group, by far the more numerous; and a European group, centering mainly in Germany and starting from the work of Mr. S. B. Liljegren, of the University of Lund, Sweden. The edition of the sonnets published in 1921 by Professor John S. Smart of the University of Glasgow, and my own Pensée de Milton (Paris, 1920) stand outside both of these groups.
I. THE AMERICAN GROUP 3
I. EDWARD CHAUNCEY BALDWIN. A note on Paradise Lost IX. In M. L. N., February, 1917, XXXII, 119-21.
1 In 1916 Mr. Elbert N. S. Thompson published his very useful John Milton: topical bibliography (New Haven, Yale University Press). This appendix is an attempt to continue his work down to the present moment (June, 1924). A great part of the material which it contains originally appeared in an article entitled "La conception nouvelle de Milton," which I contributed to the Revue germanique for April-June, 1923 (XIV, 113–41).
2 The Sonnets of Milton, with an introduction and notes, Glasgow, Maclehose, Jackson and Co., 1921. This is a most important work from the biographical point of view. Prof. Smart has in preparation historical work of the highest interest on Milton, and intends " to get Milton completely and resolutely demassonised."
3 The following abbreviations have been used: J. E. G. P. Journal of English and Germanic Philology; M. L. N. = Modern Language Notes; M. L. R. = Modern Language Review; M. P. = Modern Philology; P. M. L. A.= Publications of the Modern Language Association; S. P. = Studies in Philology.
2. JAMES HOLLY HANFORD. The dramatic element in Paradise Lost. In S. P., April, 1917, XIV, 178–95.
A criticism of Sir Walter Raleigh's phrase, "Milton is an epic, not a dramatic poet "; shows the truth and depth of the human drama between Adam and Eve. Very important.
3. EDWIN GREENLAW. "A better teacher than Aquinas." In S. P., April, 1917, XIV, 196-217.
Starts from the text of the Areopagitica, and analyzes it by comparing it with the episode of Guyon in the Faerie Queen; finds there an anticipation of Milton's theories on man's freedom, on destiny as a consequence of man's moral state, on reason and passion; shows the influence on Milton's thought of Renaissance Neo-Platonism. Does not sufficiently insist on the conception of the "goodness" of matter, which separates Milton and the Renaissance from ancient Neo-Platonism.. A very important article.
4. ELBERT N. S. THOMPSON.
A forerunner of Milton. In
M. L. N., December, 1917, XXXII, 479-82.
On Henry More and astronomy.
5. JOHN ERSKINE. The theme of death in Paradise Lost. In P. L. M. A., December, 1917, XXXII, 573-82.
6. R. E. NEIL DODGE. Theology in Paradise Lost. In University of Wisconsin Studies in language and literature, 1918, No. 2, pp. 9-21.
7. EDWARD CHAUNCEY BALDWIN. A note on Il Penseroso. In M. L. N., March, 1918, XXXIII, 184–85.
On Milton and Hermes Trismegistus. An important short note.
8. EDWARD CHAUNCEY BALDWIN. Milton and Ezekiel. M. L. N., April, 1918, XXXIII, 211-15.
9. ROBERT L. RAMSAY. Morality themes in Milton's poetry. In S. P., April, 1918, XV, 123–58.
Shows Milton's emancipation from Platonism in Comus and the cause thereof: his belief in the goodness of matter. A little of the moralities left in Milton.
IO. ELBERT N. S. THOMPSON. Milton's Of Education. In S. P., April, 1918, XV, 159–75.
11. JAMES HOLLY HANFORD. The temptation motive in Milton. In S. P., April, 1918, XV, 176-94.
Shows the Puritan and Christian element in Milton in his liability to succumb before passion.
12. RONALD S. CRANE. Imitation of Spenser and Milton in the early eighteenth century: a new document. In S. P., April, 1918, XV, 195–206.
13. ELMER EDGAR STOLL. Was Paradise well lost? In P. M. L. A., September, 1918, XXXIII, 429-35.
A reply to No. 5.
14. ALLAN H. GILBERT. A geographical dictionary of Milton. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1919.
15. ALLAN H. GILBERT. A parallel between Milton and Seneca. In M. L. N., February, 1919, XXXIV, 120-21.
Points out the resemblance between "Nor love thy life, nor hate " (P. L., XI, 549) and "In utrumque enim monendi ac firmandi sumus, et ne nimis amemus vitam et ne nimis oderimus" (Seneca, Epist., XXIV, 24).
16. JAMES HOLLY HANFORD. Milton and the return to humanism. In S. P., April, 1919, XVI, 126-47.
A manifesto of the new conception of Milton: " proposes a reinterpretation and a revaluation of the poem in terms of humanism . . . to see Milton's philosophy as a whole. . . to set him in his right relation, not to Puritanism alone, but to the whole Renaissance . . . [to] realize the significance of his work as a poetic criticism of life." Very important. 17. ELBERT N. S. THOMPSON. Milton's knowledge of geography. In S. P., April, 1919, XVI, 148–71.
18. ALLAN H. GILBERT. The Cambridge manuscript and Milton's plans for an epic. In S. P., April, 1919, XVI, 172–76. 19. ALLAN H. GILBERT. Pierre Davity: his Geography and its use by Milton. In the Geographical Review, May, 1919, VII, 322-38.
20. DAVID HARRISON STEVENS. The order of Milton's sonnets. In M. P., May, 1919, XVII, 25-33.
21. GEORGE SHERBURN. The early popularity of Milton's minor poems. In M. P., September, 1919, and January, 1920, XVII, 259-78, 515-40.
22. EDWARD CHAUNCEY BALDWIN. Milton and the Psalms. In M. P., December, 1919, XVII, 457–63.
23. HARRY GLICKSMAN. The sources of Milton's History of Britain.
In University of Wisconsin Studies in language and literature, 1920, No. 11, pp. 105-44.
Very important and thorough.
24. ALLAN H. GILBERT. Milton on the position of women. M. L. R., January and July, 1920, XV, 7-27, 240-64.
Very important; the most considerable work that has appeared on the subject. It ought to destroy forever the legend of Milton's contempt for women. Comes to the same conclusions as the section devoted to the subject in Part II of the present work.
25. HARRY GLICKSMAN. Lowell on Milton's Areopagitica. In M. L. N., March, 1920, XXXV, 185–86.
26. ELBERT N. S. THOMPSON. War journalism three hundred years ago. In P. M. L. A., March, 1920, XXXV, 93–115.
On Milton as press censor.
27. HARRY GLICKSMAN. The editions of Milton's History of Britain. In P. M. L. A., March, 1920, XXXV, 116–22.
28. ALLAN H. GILBERT. Milton and the mysteries. In S. P., April, 1920, XVII, 147-69.
Comes, in the main, to a negative conclusion on the subject of influence. 29. EDWARD CHAUNCEY BALDWIN. Milton and Plato's Timæus. In P. M. L. A., June, 1920, XXXV, 210–17.
Insists on the main difference: for Milton, matter is good.
30. WILLIAM HALLER. Order and progress in Paradise Lost. In P. M. L. A., June, 1920, XXXV, 218-25.
Continues the discussion begun in Nos. 5 and 13, with little result. 31. ALWIN THALER. Milton in the theatre. In S. P., July, 1920, XVII, 269-308.
32. JAMES HOLLY HANFORD. The date of Milton's De doctrina Christiana. In S. P., July, 1920, XVII, 309-19.
See my note, p. 111, above.
33. EDWIN GREENLAW. Spenser's influence on Paradise Lost. In S. P., July, 1920, XVII, 320-59.
Perhaps the most important single piece of work of the American group. Shows the intimate relationship in thought between Spenser and Milton, and its origin in the influence of Renaissance philosophy: Copernicus, Bacon, Galileo, Bruno. A decisive demonstration in favor of the new conception of Milton.
34. JAMES WADDELL TUPPER. The dramatic structure of Samson Agonistes. In P. M. L. A., September, 1920, XXXV, 37589.
35. ELBERT N. S. THOMPSON. Milton's part in Theatrum poetarum. In M. L. N., January, 1921, XXXVI, 18–21.
36. JAMES HOLLY HANFORD. The arrangement and dates of Milton's sonnets. In M. P., January, 1921, XVIII, 475-83.
A sequel to No. 20.
37. JAMES HOLLY HANFORD. Milton and Ochino. In M. L. N., February, 1921, XXXVI, 121-22.
38. C. A. MOORE. The conclusion of Paradise Lost. In P. M. L. A., March, 1921, XXXVI, 1-34.
Continues the discussion begun in Nos. 5, 13, and 30. The whole controversy seems to me to be rather barren.
39. ELBERT N. S. THOMPSON. Mysticism in seventeenth-century English literature. In S. P., April, 1921, XVIII, 170–231.
40. JAMES HOLLY HANFORD. Milton and the art of war. In S. P., April, 1921, XVIII, 232–66.
41. P. F. SHERWIN. Detached similes in Milton's epics. M. L. N., June, 1921, XXXVI, 341-48.
42. EDWARD CHAUNCEY BALDWIN. The Authorized Version's influence upon Milton's diction. In M. L. N., June, 1921, XXXVI, 376-77.
43. JAMES HOLLY HANFORD. The chronology of Milton's private studies. In P. M. L. A., June, 1921, XXXVI, 251–314.
Perhaps the most scholarly and useful instrument of work in Miltonic research; indispensable to a proper study of Milton. An analytical study of his Commonplace Book. I have used it (see pp. 254 and 273, above) in confirmation of my hypothesis on Azazel and of my remarks on Augustine.
44. PAULL FRANKLIN
BAUM. Samson Agonistes again. In
P. M. L. A., September, 1921, XXXVI, 354-71.
A reply to No. 34.
45. JOHN A. HIMES. Further interpretations of Milton. In M. L. N., November, 1921, XXXVI, 414-19.