The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO AN UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT ; 17 February 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530217-TC-UC-01; CL 28: 45-46


Chelsea, 17 feby, 1853

Dear Sir

Todd's Life of Milton, so far as I know, is the last and completest; a volume easy to be had in the Old Book Shops: Symmons's do is 40 or 50 years old, perhaps worth getting too, tho' more declamatory, and wants the curious Document (only to be found in Todd) about Milton's Will.1 I have also read an old Life by Toland (160 Years old or so), but do not recollect that I learned anything from it. The most curious of all the Lives is that by the Richardsons (Painters, father & son), who give us M's living physiognomy, and have heaped together in a confused way a variety of notable particulars.2 It is probably M. Guizot will find this Book in the Bibliothèque Royale;3 otherwise it will be worth searching out for him.

These are all the Lives of Milton I know. Perhaps there is one other by Hayley;4 which I do not remember to have read? If there be, it is pretty sure to be a very flimsy performance.— Indeed it ought to be said, all these Lives of Milton, considered as Lives, are of a very low quality indeed: but, except Toland & Hayley, they ought to be looked into,—especially Richardson.

As M. Guizot has got my Book on Cromwell, he will find, in the Notes or Text, indication of nearly all the Books on his subject which I found of any value to me;—and on any especial point of inquiry, my light (if I have any) is at your service & his.

Yours very truly /

T. Carlyle

Please do send that Schiller at last!—