16 FEBRUARY 1940, Page 22


SIR,—My attention has only just been called to the outraged letter from Miss Drew in your issue of January 19th. May 1 just say that (i) Miss Drew seems to be more serious than I was.

(ii) Miss Drew's definition of " jibing " must be an odd one. I was, as I supposed would be obvious to anyone less solemn than Miss Drew, deliberately overstating a case.

(iii) Most of Miss Drew's own verdict seems to me per- fectly true (though I should state it with less wealth of vague superlatives than she does), but also completely beside the point. The point at issue was not whether Milton was a great poet, which I imagine no one doubts, but whether Paradise Lost as a whole is a good epic poem.

(iv) Anyone who can read Paradise Lost through in an even- ing, and suppose that he has really appreciated it, is either a superman or self-confessedly incapable of appreciating Milton in anything but an impressionistically superficial way.—