The story of the life of John Clare (1793-1864) was first set down more than a century ago, and it has captured the imagination of the reading public ever since. It is told most vividly and poignantly in John Clare's own words. In this volume all of Clare's important autobiographical writing is brought together in definitive form. This book extends, corrects and thus replaces the Autobiographical Writings of John Clare edited by Eric Robinson (Oxford, 1983). Clare's Journal is set alongside his Sketches and 'Autobiographical Fragments', as well as his famous 'Journey Out of Essex'. Extracts from his asylum letters are included, his will, and maps of Clare's countryside and his 'Journey'. Ploughboy, gardener's boy and militiaman, lover and husband, acquaintance of Hazlitt, Lamb and Coleridge, 'lunatic': the manifold person of John Clare emerges with great freshness and true voice from this remarkable book. He is a defining figure of our rural tradition. The book includes an Introduction, notes, two maps and a glossary of dialect and unfamiliar words, and is handsomely illustrated with wood engravings by John Lawrence.
John Clare was a defining voice of the rural poetic tradition. His story was first set down more than two centuries ago and has captured the imagination of the reading public ever since. It is told most vividly and poignantly in Clare's own words. This volume brings together, in definitive form, all Clare's important autobiographical writing. His Journal is set alongside his Sketches and 'Autobiographical Fragments' as well as his famous 'Journey out of Essex'. Maps of Clare's countryside are also included, as are his will and extracts from his asylum letters. Clare appears here as ploughboy, gardener's boy and militiaman; as lover and husband, acquaintance of Hazlitt, Lamb and Coleridge and finally, as inmate in an asylum: his manifold personas emerge with great freshness from this remarkable book.
In 1841 the 'peasant poet' John Clare escaped from an asylum in Epping Forest, where he had been kept for four years, and walked over eighty miles home to Northamptonshire. Suffering from poor mental health, Clare was attempting to return to his idealized first love, Mary, unaware that she had died three years earlier. In 1995, with his life in crisis and his own mental health fragile, Robert decides to retrace Clare's route along the Great North Road over a punishing four-day walk. As he walks he reflects on the changing landscape and on the evolving shape of his own family, on fatherhood and masculinity, and on the meaning of home. Part memoir, part travel-writing, part literary criticism, A Length of Road is a deeply profound and poetic exploration of class, gender, grief and sexuality through the author's own experiences and through the autobiographical writing of poet John Clare.
John Clare (1793–1864) has long been recognized as one of England's foremost poets of nature, landscape and rural life. Scholars and general readers alike regard his tremendous creative output as a testament to a probing and powerful intellect. Clare was that rare amalgam ‒ a poet who wrote from a working-class, impoverished background, who was steeped in folk and ballad culture, and who yet, against all social expectations and prejudices, read and wrote himself into a grand literary tradition. All the while he maintained a determined sense of his own commitments to the poor, to natural history and to the local. Through the diverse approaches of ten scholars, this collection shows how Clare's many angles of critical vision illuminate current understandings of environmental ethics, aesthetics, Romantic and Victorian literary history, and the nature of work.
This book offers a major reassessment of John Clare’s poetry and his position in the Romantic canon. Alert to Clare’s knowledge of the work of his Romantic contemporaries and near contemporaries, it puts forward the first extended series of comparisons of Clare’s poetry with texts we now think of as defining the period – in particular poems by Robert Burns, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, and John Keats. It makes fully evident Clare’s original contribution to the aesthetic culture of the age by analysing how he explores a wide range of concerns and preoccupations which are central to, and especially privileged in, Romantic-period poetics, including ‘fancy’, the sublime, childhood, ruins, joy, ‘poesy’, and a love lyric marked by a peculiar self-consciousness about sincere expression. At the heart of this book is the claim that the hitherto under-scrutinised subjective stances, transcendent modes, and abstract qualities of Clare’s lyric poetry situate him firmly within, and as fundamentally part of, Romanticism, at the same time as his writing constitutes a distinctive contribution to one of the most fascinating eras of English literature.
‘What distinguished Clare is an unspectacular joy and a love for the inexorable one-thing-after-anotherness of the world’ Seamus Heaney John Clare (1793-1864) was a great Romantic poet, with a name to rival that of Blake, Byron, Wordsworth or Shelley – and a life to match. The ‘poet’s poet’, he has a place in the national pantheon and, more tangibly, a plaque in Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner, unveiled in 1989. Here at last is Clare’s full story, from his birth in poverty and employment as an agricultural labourer, via his burgeoning promise as a writer – cultivated under the gaze of rival patrons – and moment of fame, in the company of John Keats, as the toast of literary London, to his final decline into mental illness and the last years of his life, confined in asylums. Clare’s ringing voice – quick-witted, passionate, vulnerable, courageous – emerges through extracts from his letters, journals, autobiographical writings and poems, as Jonathan Bate brings this complex man, his revered work and his ribald world, vividly to life.
John Clare's verse is a celebration of country life. Clare ended his life in an asyum, yet his work expresses an innate wisdom and a profound understanding of nature and of his contemporary rural society. Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards.
Traditional accounts of Romantic poetry have depicted John Clare as a peripheral figure, an original genius whose talents removed him from the mainstream. This volume helps to show that far from being brilliant yet isolated, Clare was deeply involved in the rich cultural life of both his village and the larger metropolis. Offering an account of Clare’s poems as they relate to the literary culture and burgeoning literary history of his day, Mina Gorji defines the context in which Clare’s work can best be understood: in relation to eighteenth-century traditions as they persisted and developed in the Romantic period.
John Clare (1793-1864), poet and naturalist, was a prolific writer. His letters to a large circle of friends and associates cover his entire writing life and give a remarkable portrait of this man whose life ended sadly in an insane asylum. This comprehensive volume contains all Clare's known extant letters together with some letters to him from his publisher and family; drafts and scraps are included, as are poems incorporated in the letters, and Clare's idiosyncrasies of spelling and punctuation are preserved. The notes, drawing heavily on the large bulk of surviving correspondence written by others to Clare, address themselves to the intimate life carried on behind the letters. A chronology and an index of correspondents enhance the volume.
Country life in literature by William James Howard
Essay from the year 2017 in the subject English - Literature, Works, grade: A, The University of Southern Mississippi , language: English, abstract: In this paper, I expand upon Cathy Caruth's theories of "trauma narratives" to examine how Clare’s poetry is an expression of survival. By joining trauma narrative with poetry, Clare carves out a niche for himself that transcends the boundaries of his poverty-stricken birth and his subsequent institutionalization. In an age that did not take for granted the precept of self-invention, Clare used poetry as a means of centering himself, of returning to his essential nature. I propose that Clare’s language offers an insider’s view of a life that was too circumscribed for his evident intelligence, imagination, and verbal acuity. Stark and haunting, Clare’s poetry insists on a certain kind of authority, exercises jurisdiction over his circumstances, and serves as a muted, posthumous triumph over the would-be eradication of identity. Literary critics have hailed John Clare’s poetry of his "asylum years" as rich, deeply emotional, and even more complex and skillful than the work of his prime. In the letters and poetry of the last 23 years of his life, Clare at once laments, rages against, and reluctantly acquiesces to his truncated circumstances. In this paper, I will argue that Clare’s poetry deserves further study as the narrative of a man imprisoned not only by the confines of an insane asylum but the conditions of his birth and the subsequent establishment of the Enclosure Laws. Written during an era that witnessed the first stirrings of mental health reform, at least in a few of the more affluent institutions, Clare’s poetry offers a view into the mind of a man and writer struggling to maintain an identity amidst the chaos.
John Clare (1793-1864), the 'peasant poet', worked as an agricultural labourer in Northamptonshire until a deterioration in his mental health saw him committed to an insane asylum. He published four volumes of verse, including Poems, Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (1820), and The Shepherd's Calendar (1827). In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to some of the greatest poets of our literature.
This is the first anthology of the great "peasant poet's" remarkable verse that makes available the full range of his accomplishments. Here are the different Clares that have beguiled readers for two centuries.
Full of analysis and interpretation, historical background, discussions and commentaries, York Notes will help you get right to the heart of the text you're studying, whether it's poetry, a play or a novel.
John Ashbery explores the work of six writers whose poetry he turns to when requiring a 'poetic jump-start'. This book covers the work of less familiar writers such as John Clare and David Schubert, offering both an analysis of their writings as well as giving insights into Ashbery's own.