Article

Milton, the Hartlib Circle, and the Education of the Aristocracy

Timothy Raylor

in The Oxford Handbook of Milton

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199697885
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199697885.013.0021

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Milton, the Hartlib Circle, and the Education of the Aristocracy

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This article suggests that one should take seriously the institutional aspect of John Milton's sketch. Although in some respects eccentric and certainly overambitious, it nevertheless represented a genuine proposal to establish in England a version of the French noble academy that was then enjoying great popularity among the English upper classes. Samuel Hartlib and his associates were profoundly influenced by Milton's work. The French academies emerged in the wake of the wars of religion. The institution Milton proposed to establish in Of Education was a version of a noble academy – a distinctly English, reformed, and Miltonic version, to be sure; but a version nonetheless. It is in terms of the noble academy that Milton's curriculum can best be understood. The article suggests that Milton's tract played a significant part in shaping the Hartlibians' understanding of the institutional and curricular structure of a reformed institution of aristocratic education.

Keywords: John Milton; Samuel Hartlib; French noble academy; Of Education; aristocratic education; England

Article.  13702 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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