For the first time all Clare's early poems are brought together with all known variants, and with Clare's characteristic vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and punctuation preserved. Through this collection, ranging from juvenilia to the published poems that first established his reputation with Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery and The Village Minstrel, it becomes clear how many more poems Clare composed in these early years than have previously seen the
light of day. Strenuous efforts have been made to recover poems obliterated in some of Clare's first manuscripts, and the complete text of The Parish, his major satirical poem, is
included. A glossary is provided for both volumes, together with extensive annotation. Clare's own dating of his first poems is employed and every attempt has been made to establish a reliable chronology. This edition provides the first reliable basis for a new assessment of Clare's poetic growth, allowing his increasing assurance as a poet writing in a characteristic idiom of his own to be traced, and demonstrating how surprisingly early his individuality as a poet
'it is marvellous to read the poems in their freshness, and the previously unpublished material reveals Clare as a poet of much greater variety than has sometimes been supposed'
'This is true scholarship: these volumes - whatever their price and weight - are long overdue.'
'Eric Robinson and David Powell have done everything humanly possible to ensure that Clare's work will never again be wholly at the mercy of fashions in taste'
Times Literary Supplement
outstanding quality ... It will unquestionably be the authoritative text of Clare's early poetry for decades to come.'
Tim Chilcott, West Sussex Institute of Higher Education, Review of English Studies, Vol.XLI, No.164, Nov '90
'Admirers of Clare, increased in number as a direct result of Eric Robinson's and his team's tireless efforts, will eagerly pore over the fine print of these texts, and just as eagerly await the next instalment of this mammoth project.'
Mark Story, University of Birmingham, Notes and Queries, March 1991
Editorial conventions and abbreviations. "The village minstrel" and other poems. "The parish". Overpunctuated poems in MS1. Explanatory notes. Glossary. Index of titles. Index of first lines.
Series: Oxford English Texts : Book 2
Number Of Pages: 850
Published: 13th April 1989
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 14.61
Weight (kg): 1.06