"My father's daughter" : Deborah Milton's biography of silence

Carolina Sánchez Palencia Carazo, Manuel Almagro


In The Tree of Knowledge (1990) Eva Figes re-creates the life of John Milton's daughter, Deborah, who, due to the poet's blindness, became the actual "hand" of the author. At the end of her life she gives us an alternative vision of the poet both as father and writer in a narrative which, as opposed to the centrality of Milton's narratives, concentrates upon the marginal aspects of everyday life. Thus, in Figes's novel the "grand narrative" constituted by Milton and his work is displaced by Deborah's "petite histoire", which paradigmatically exemplifies the role women have been assigned in History. That displacement of one narrative by another is in itself an occasion to re-consider the validity and the culturality of our notions of historical relevance.

Full Text:



Anderson, B. y Zinsser, J. 1991. Historia de las mujeres: Una historia propia. Barcelona: Editorial Crítica.

Ariès, P. y Duby, G. 1990. Historia de la vida privada. Madrid: Taurus.

Blessington, F.C. 1979. Paradise Lost and the Classical Epic. London: Routledge.

Bloom, H. 1973. The Anxiety of Influence. New York: O.U. P.

Breitenberg, M. 1996. Anxious Masculinity in Early Modern England: Cambridge: C.U.P.

Briggs, A. 1983. A Social History of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Bridenthal, R. and C. Koonz. 1977. Becoming Visible: Women in European History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Duby, G. y Perrot, M. 1991. Historia de las mujeres. Madrid: Taurus.

Figes, E. 1991. The Tree of Knowledge. London: Minerva.

Figes, E. 2000. “Eva Figes: An Interview”, by C. Sánchez-Palencia and M. Almagro. Atlantis XXII, 1: 177-86.

Hill, C. 1979. Milton and the English Revolution. London: Faber and Faber.

Milton, J. 1991. Paradise Lost. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Willey, B.1979. The Seventeenth-Century Background. London: Routledge.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18172/jes.62

Copyright (c) 2000 Carolina Sánchez Palencia Carazo, Manuel Almagro

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

© Universidad de La Rioja, 2013

ISSN 1576-6357

EISSN 1695-4300