MADRIGALS & CHRONICLES: Being Newly Found Poems Written by John Clare.

First edition. One of 310 numbered copies, this being no. 265. Quarter oatmeal cloth over pale grey paper-covered boards decorated in yellow and olive with a pattern of flowers and leaves, lettered and ornamented in gilt to the spine. Upper edges trimmed, fore- and lower edges untrimmed. "Cover and illustrations designed by Randolph Schwabe; The typography and binding arranged and the book produced by Cyril William Beaumont; Printed on his Press at 75 Charing Cross Road in the City of Westminster; Completed on the twentieth day of February MDCCCCXXIV". A better than very good copy, the binding square and firm, the contents clean, with a few marks to the rear endpapers. The boards are a little toned and dusty, rubbed to corners, the cloth darkened at the spine.

Edmund Blunden was foremost among a handful of significant early twentieth-century champions of Clare's poetry. Routinely dismissed, condescended to, and bowdlerised during the nineteenth century, Clare was either "the Northamptonshire Peasant poet" or "poor mad Clare". It wasn't until 1908, when Arthur Symons (friend of Yeats and author of a pioneering book on French Symbolism), published his edition of the poems that Clare's greatness was properly recognised. Among those struck by Symons' edition were the poets Edward Thomas and Edmund Blunden. Following the war (which killed Thomas), in the spring of 1920, Blunden along with Alan Porter (the editor of The Spectator) made the first proper examination of the Clare manuscripts held at the Peterborough Museum. The fruits of these investigations were two freshly edited volumes of Clare's poems, 'Poems Chiefly from Manuscript' (1920) and 'Madrigals and Chronicles' (1924), books which changed the face of Clare studies, paving the way for John Tibble and Geoffrey Grigson in the thirties and forties. (Kirkpatrick B14).

Stock code: 25354


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London: The Beaumont Press.


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