John Clare and Community

John Clare and Community

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John Clare (1793-1864) is one of the most sensitive poetic observers of the natural world. Born into a rural labouring family, he felt connected to two communities: his native village and the Romantic and earlier poets who inspired him. The first part of this study of Clare and community shows how Clare absorbed and responded to his reading of a selection of poets including Chatterton, Bloomfield, Gray and Keats, revealing just how serious the process of self-education was to his development. The second part shows how he combined this reading with the oral folk-culture he was steeped in, to create an unrivalled poetic record of a rural culture during the period of enclosure, and the painful transition to the modern world. In his lifelong engagement with rural and literary life, Clare understood the limitations as well as the strengths in communities, the pleasures as well as the horrors of more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139603027
  • 9781139603027

Review quote

'Adds yet another joyous dimension to this endlessly fascinating character.' The Times Literary Supplement 'Goodridge's long-awaited study represents another milestone in the critical understanding and reception of Clare's poetry ... Simply put, there is no better reader of Clare alive today. Not only does Goodridge know the poetry as intimately as the editors of the monumental Oxford English Texts edition, but he also has the richest and most astute sense of the broader literary and socio-cultural milieu in which Clare wrote and to which Clare responded.' European Romantic Reviewshow more

Table of contents

Introduction: Clare and community; Part I. Brother Bards and Fellow Labourers: 1. Great expectations: Clare, Chatterton and becoming a poet; 2. 'Three cheers for mute ingloriousness!': Clare and eighteenth-century poetry; 3. Junkets and Clarissimus: the Clare-Keats dialogue; 4. 'Neighbour John': Bloomfield, companionship and isolation; Part II. Representing Rural Life: 5. Enclosure and the poetry of protest; 6. The bird's nest poems, protection and violation; 7. Festive ritual and folk narrative; 8. Storytellings: 'old womens memorys'; Conclusion: community and solitude; Works consulted; more

About John Goodridge

John Goodridge is Professor of English at Nottingham Trent more

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