Poems of the Middle Period, 1822-1837: Volume I: The Shepherd's Calendar, Village Stories and Other Poems: 1822-37 Vol 1 (Oxford English Texts: John Clare)

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9780198123408: Poems of the Middle Period, 1822-1837: Volume I: The Shepherd's Calendar, Village Stories and Other Poems: 1822-37 Vol 1 (Oxford English Texts: John Clare)
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Clare's `The Shepherd's Calendar' has become the classic poem of English rural life and ceremony. It was accompanied, when first published, by other poems, pastorals and verse-tales, all of which appear in these two volumes, along with many others which were not selected for publication in 1827. Clare's first editors also tidied up and standardized his vocabulary, grammar and spelling, but his original language has here been restored. By the later 1820s Clare had developed his own distinctive idiom and had adopted a more powerful voice. These volumes will make an important contribution to the ongoing assessment of Clare as a major English poet.

This is the first of five volumes devoted to Clare's `middle period', between 1822 and 1837, arguably the years of his finest creativity. These Poems of the Middle Period, which will complete the nine volume series of Clare's work, reveal the poet at his best.

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Review:

The poems' appearance, in two volumes from the Oxford University Press, will be one of the outstanding literary events of recent years. (Independent on Sunday)

The magnitude and complexity of this editorial labor can scarcely be exaggerated. Sheer bulk is only one of the problems.

The magnitude and complexity of this editorial labor can scarcely be exaggerated (The New York Review)

Variants of the texts in the numerous manuscripts are comprehensively recorded. For the first time ever we are able to see fully and precisely what Clare wrote and acheived between about 1823 and 1832 in these well produced and lucidly arranged volumes. We must thank the editors and the press for the enormous labour they have so meticulously undertaken. (The John Clare Society)

What the present edition of the poems, in the Oxford English Texts series, does is to restore the confusion and clarity in their original raw mix, allowing Clare's readers to play the editor's part, so far as they choose, for themselves. (Times Literary Supplement)

Eric Robinson and David Powell have done yet further invaluable service in helping us to realise the remarkable triumph of Clare as a writer. (Mark Storey, University of Birmingham, John Clare Society Journal, Number 16 July 1997)

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Clare, John
Published by Clarendon Press (1996)
ISBN 10: 019812340X ISBN 13: 9780198123408
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