We have long been familiar with the famous (or nowadays infamous) accounts from the Romantic period of the spontaneous and solitary nature of literary creation. Wordsworth's 'spontaneous overflow' of powerful feelings, Byron's 'I am like the tyger (in poesy) if I miss my first spring -- I go growling back to my Jungle. There is no second. -- I can't correct', Shelley's version of the mind in creation as 'a fading coal'. To these we might add John Clare's 'I found the poems in the fields, / And only wrote them down.' (1) More prosaically, in his autobiography, he said that 'I always wrote my poems in great haste and generaly finishd them at once wether long or short for if I did not they generaly were left unfinishd'. (2)
For some time, however, this particular Romantic myth of spontaneous creation has been under pretty concerted attack and identified with what Jerome McGann (in his book of that title) has called 'The Romantic Ideology'. (3) The Romantic poets left us with many such inherently pre-textual theories of creation (Wordsworth's Prelude tells us in epic detail about 'the growth of the poet's mind', but nothing about writing or publication), but also with a complex legacy of manuscripts and letters which record the often fraught and problematic struggle to get written texts into printed form. No longer 'lonely as a cloud', poets engaged in publication were inevitably caught up in the complex cultural weave of relationships which included their later selves, their friends, partners, reviewers, editors and publishers among others. What Stillinger called 'the myth of solitary genius' or isolated author -- the Frankenstein fantasy we could call it -- disguises what McGann sees as the inherently 'social' nature of authorship. Authorship inevitably involves multiple serial interventions by writers themselves, as they work over their own texts, as well as input by variously defined collaborators and editors. And at the same time as the figure of the single author begins to dissolve so too does the idea of a single, authorised or authoritative text. Instead of the single text of 'The Ancient Mariner', The Prelude, Byron's Corsair or Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, we now have multiple alternative and chronologically consecutive versions to choose between -- or not to choose between (as some theorists of instability have argued).
Our views of Romantic texts have been reshaped on all sides by the editorial practice and theory of a recent generation of Romantic editors. Most prominent of these are McGann himself, the editor of Lord Byron: The Complete Poetical Works and brilliant revisionary theorist of editing, Jonathan Wordsworth and the editorial team involved in the major ongoing Cornell edition of Wordsworth, Donald Reiman, editor of Shelley and author of a book on editing the Romantics, (4) and Jack Stillinger, the editor of Keats and author of two ground-breaking close-up studies of editorial theory and practice, Multiple Authorship and the Myth of Solitary Genius (5) and Coleridge and Textual Instability. (6) In the case of Clare, by contrast, our reading of the poet's texts has overwhelmingly been shaped by the largely untheorised, and rarely fully explicit, editorial practice embodied in the monumental ongoing Oxford edition of his complete poetry under the editorial direction of Eric Robinson.
Zachary Leader's Revision and Romantic Authorship (7) takes its bearings from this new textual situation, and sets out to revise our views of Romantic notions of authorship by focusing on the different forms of textual 'revision' practised by Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Mary Shelley, Keats and Clare. His study takes the form of densely documented investigations of the publication and editorial practice of the six authors within their early-nineteenth-century context. Taking off from McGann's and Stillinger's theories of authorship, he demonstrates the positive role of personal revision in Wordsworth's work and argues for the greater authority of the later, 'final' versions of his poems (in opposition to the prevailing orthodoxy represented by Jonathan Wordsowrth and the Cornell edition); he presents Coleridge as a 'reluctant, even despairing indeterminist' (in contrast to the genial practitioner of endless instability conjured up by Stillinger's study); he emphasises the creative pay-off that emerged from the dialogue with reviewers in the modifications Byron made to the first cantos of Don Juan and Keats to Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St Agnes and Other Poems; and argues for the constructuive and constitutive role of collaboration between the Shelleys in the production of Frankenstein (in contrast to Anne Mellor's repudiation of Percy's editorial contribution as unwarranted interference with Mary's text). These detailed case studies are consistently fascinating, though some of his arguments are more convincing than others. Taken together, they represent a subtle and readable account of the different problems of reading represented by the editorial practices of these five very different authors of the period, and the effect of their different attitudes towards editorial revision on modern interpretations and editions. In each case Leader give a persuasive account of texts emerging historically, by way of complex collaborative editorial mediations during the writer's lifetime.
It is his controversial treatment of the editorial case of John Clare that concerns Clareans, however. Arguing that '[n]owhere in the writing of the English Romantic period do questions of [editorial] imposition figure more prominently than in the revision of the poems of John Clare, the work mostly of Clare's publisher, John Taylor' (p. 206), Leader gives the most persuasive account yet of Taylor's role as Clare's editor and sponsor. Relying heavily on McGann's notions of the social constitution of literary texts, and of the historical primacy of early printed editions of poets in general, Leader argues for the authority of the first published editions of Clare's work. In doing so, he follows the lead established by Tim Chilcott in his study of Taylor, (8) but flies in the face of the almost unanimous critical and editorial orthodoxy of the present. 'At long last', Andrew Motion declared of the recent Oxford editions, scholars have established Clare's 'authentic texts'. (9) Modern Clareans, almost without exception, privilege the greater authenticity in every sense of un-Taylored, 'pre-edited' Clare. As a result modern editors have sought to purge Clare's texts from all contaminating traces of Taylor's editorial intervention and to restore, where possible, the (implied) purity of the poet's original manuscript texts, however messy, unfinished and unrevised they may be. It is this editorial practice, embodied by the big Oxford edition of Clare's work under the direction of Eric Robinson and endorsed by Motion, which is contested by Leader.
The contents and verbal form of Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (1820) and The Village Minstrel (1821), in particular, were worked out, as Leader documents in detail, by means of protracted, close and tactful negotiations in conversations and letters between the poet and his publishers, Taylor and Hessey. This is familiar ground to Clare scholars, but Leader gives a much more positive account of the process and its outcome. There were disagreements between poet and publisher, but the texts that resulted were by and large agreed between them. There are important exceptions to Leader's general case, including some of Taylor's diplomatic cuts of physically frank detail and the 'vulgarity' of 'The Crafty Maid' and 'Love Epistles between Richard and Kate', and the more questionable political cuts of the 'radical slang' in 'Helpstone', exacted by Clare's patron Lord Radstock, which Clare wanted reinstated and Taylor promised to restore '[w]hen the Follies of the Day are past'. (10) Clare generally gave Taylor's text his seal of approval ('you will see I approve of most of your alterations as usual'). (11) Though he often argued his corner where absolutely sure of his ground, he was as often willing to cede ultimate editorial authority to Taylor ('your taste is preferable to any I have witnessd & on that I rely -- mines not worth twopence'). (12) This was especially true in the early years where he generally trusted in Taylor's more experienced literary and commercial judgements on these matters ('I think your taste & mine had I education would be as like as "pin to pin"') and came to rely on the dialogue between them ('The fact is if I cannot hear from John Taylor now & then I cannot ryhme'). (13) Taylor was Clare's mediator to the literary market-place and shaped his career from the publication of Poems Descriptive in 1820 to The Rural Muse in 1835.
Relations between poet and publisher broke down over The Shepherd's Calendar and proved increasingly acrimonious and difficult in later years, as a result of the sheer quantity of unrevised verse Clare produced, differences of taste between them, and the problems of fitting Clare's projected books with Taylor's commercial sense of the declining market for poetry during the later 1820s. Nevertheless, in 1826, during this troubled time, Clare praised Taylor in a draft preface as 'an early literary friend who first ushered my Poems into notice and still corrects them for publication', adding that 'to his critical abilitys [...] I owe a great portion of my success.' We may see these tributes to Taylor's editorial role as a diplomatic marker of Clare's relative social and political inequality, offered as sops to keep his publisher sweet since it is not clear anyone else would have published him, and Clare was desperate for money as well as recognition. He obviously needed to keep Taylor on his side: 'he is left to do as he likes you know', he wrote to Hessey in 1820, '& if we controul him he will give us up', adding significantly 'but I think I shall soon be qualified to be my own editor'. (14) However, that is not the whole story. The big question is, did Clare ever qualify, even in his own eyes, to be his own editor? If not, why not? And if not, where does this leave his editors then and now? Taylor was not without a point in arguing in 1826 that 'the Poems are not only slovenly written, but as slovenly composed, & to make good Poems out of some of them is a greater Difficulty than I ever had to engage with in your former Works'. Confronted by the growing disorder of the manuscripts sent to him, and wanting to push away the cup of editorial responsibility from publisher to author, Taylor continued 'You have far more Talent, indeed no other Person can mend or make some of the Poems but yourself.' (15)
As Leader shows, Clare evidently had genuine, deep-rooted problems in selecting and organising his prolific output during the 1820s. Perhaps by the time of the projected but unpublished Midsummer Cushion, completed in the early 1830s, he was closer to becoming his own editor, but even that magnificent volume suffers from the unstoppable, unself-censoring volubility and descriptive over-productivity that were Clare's trademark. Leader has a case when he argues that Clare, far from being imposed upon by Taylor, imposed equally on Taylor by his refusal (or inability) to edit and revise himself. By leaving the job of selection, pruning and revision of his almost illegible later manuscripts to his hard-pressed publisher, Clare posed an unresolvable dilemma to his sympathetic, but increasingly hard-pressed, editor in his lifetime -- and to his modern editors now. Quite apart from the diffidence he may have felt in relation to his status as 'peasant poet' and social outsider, a part of him seems to have feared the very publication and publicity he desperately needed, or at least to have been hard pushed to make the inevitable compromises imposed by print and publishing conventions. Unlike Blake, he couldn't become his own publisher; and like Blake, he increasingly suffered from isolation from his readership -- an isolation that played some part in his hospitalisation in High Beech, ultimately resulting in the complex compilation of Northampton MS 8 and MS 6, and then his long confinement in Northampton Asylum where his creative work is embodied in the Knight transcripts.
By and large, Leader thinks the published poems were genuinely improved by the collaboration between poet and publisher. This may be questioned, but he makes a compelling argument that we should be prepared to give real authority to the only editions of his work unambiguously endorsed by the poet himself. Though there is a modern reprint of the contents of The Rural Muse edited by R. K. R. Thornton, (16) the text is that of Clare's unedited manuscript, while the first editions of the early volumes published by Taylor, Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery and The Village Minstrel, have never been reprinted. (17) It may be that modern readers retrospectively regret some of the concessions Clare (and his editor) made to the literary and print conventions of the day, and, on aesthetic as much as ideological grounds, would prefer to read poetry that has been less thoroughly processed for the press in terms of 'normalising' spelling, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary, but Leader reminds us that we don't really have any evidence that Clare himself intended his work to be printed in untailored form or that he would have approved of Robinson-style editions.
In 1819, before he'd published anything, Clare wrote to Drury that 'if I knew such things I dissaprove of shoud appear in print after my death it woud be the greatest torture possible'. (18) He tells Taylor he wants The Village Minstrel as 'free from faults as possible', (19) damns young Brag in 'The Parish' for producing 'illspelt trash', (20) and said he wished he had held back 'The Village Minstrel' 'a little longer for revision'. (21) Furthermore, Leader notes that '[o]nly rarely does Clare protest against the excision of "dialect", and even then without heat.' He adds that '[i]t is Taylor's modern critics who generate the heat.' (22) Leader is flying in the face of modern critical orthodoxy, and in particular Clare's (often heated) vernacularist admirers (such as Tom Paulin) and critics such as James McKusick who defend Clare's grammar (see his article on 'John Clare and the Tyranny of Grammar'). (23) Leader makes a highly persuasive case for revising the received views of Taylor, who retained a high proportion of Clare's dialect words, and his editorial role as Clare's publisher.
The bulk of his chapter is a defence of Taylor, though it is in part designed to counter what Jack Stillinger, speaking of the policy of the Cornell edition of Wordsworth, called 'textual primitivism', (24) the basis of the Oxford edition of Clare under the direction of Eric Robinson. Leader gives a persuasive rebuttal of the case against Taylor (and the Tibbles in his wake). It was the prosecutory case against Taylor that helped propel modern editing of Clare, starting with Geoffrey Summerfield and Eric Robinson's editions of the Later Poems and The Shepherd's Calendar. In making his case Leader vividly recreates the editorial problems facing Taylor. He doesn't, however, confront the problems for modern editors posed by the vast bulk of the dauntingly sprawling, chaotic, prolific and largely unfinalised body of work Clare produced before he entered the Northampton Asylum. Though he attempts to rehabilitate the much-maligned Taylor, he doesn't actually offer any solution to the editorial problems posed by Clare today. Geoffrey Grigson, in 1950, said '[n]o one, so great is the quantity of his manuscripts, will ever publish a complete edition of Clare.' (25) Introducing The Later Poems in 1964, Eric Robinson and Geoffrey Summerfield spoke of 'the immense difficulties that every editor of Clare encounters: the sheer bulk of the material, the intricacies of much of the handwriting, the state of the manuscripts which are often mere scraps of paper pasted into a larger book, the apparent disorder of Clare's creative processes which produced notes, poems, letters, and anagrams all mixed together in a furious welter.' (26)
In our Introduction to John Clare in Context, Adam Phillips and I were the first (so far as I know) to raise the serious problems of applying the principle of 'textual primitivism' to Clare, and consider the drastic side-effects of being given 'raw' rather than 'reading' texts of his poems in modern editions such as the Oxford Early Poems (edited by Eric Robinson and David Powell) and the Carcanet The Midsummer Cushion and The Rural Muse (edited by Kelsey Thornton and Anne Tibble). While celebrating the recovery and transcription of countless Clare manuscripts, we argued there that one effect of the 'non-interventionist and primitivist' editorial practice of Robinson and others -- for which there is no basis that I know of in Clare's stated intentions -- was to make his work 'less readable', with the risk that it might make 'this wonderfully accessible vernacular poet less accessible and less vernacular, confirming his marginal status as poetic outsider and textual freak.' (27) Questions of local idiom (or dialect) are one thing, but what of spelling? Clare often spelled the same word different ways in the course of a poem (as anyone might in manuscript), but in the case of most poets their editors would clear this up. Likewise Percy Shelley corrected Mary Shelley's misspellings, grammatical and factual mistakes, in the text of Frankenstein, as modern editors would do for contemporary writers, by and large, yet there has not been a push to restore authentic spelling mistakes in readers' texts of Frankenstein -- or to the poetic texts of notoriously bad spellers like Keats and Yeats for that matter. Why, in this instance, should we religiously insist on retaining Clare's misspellings, such as in the title of 'The Progress of Ryhme' (for 'Progress of Rhyme'), without obvious rhyme or reason, when in almost any other writer we would silently correct it, perhaps with a footnote to that effect? Punctuation likewise is an important weapon in the poet's armoury, and Clare's is often highly expressive, and integral to his poetic thinking. Nonetheless, there are times when it is downright ambiguous or misleading, and we have no evidence that Clare was courting these effects, which may obfuscate and confuse the reader in ways Clare disliked. Should a modern editor simply reproduce these texts verbatim, making no attempt to mediate them for the kind of poetry reader Clare himself envisaged? The scrupulous reproduction of the manuscript has a pay-off in revealing to us the state of Clare's texts as he left them, but it doesn't necessarily give us a reading text or a clue to his intentions about publication. Musicologists reproduce draft scores in much the same way, but they are also charged with providing performing texts. It's not clear that most of Clare's current editors have done the same.
This would not matter if there were to be a wide range of alternative editions and styles of editing, comparable to those that exist for Wordsworth or Coleridge. There are not. It is at this point that editorial practice and legal ownership converge, and the already complex editorial issues at stake are further complicated by the question of copyright. We are all hugely indebted to the heroic labours of the Oxford editors in transcribing, sorting and publishing the unwieldy mass of manuscript material. What the Cornell edition has done for Wordsworth, the Oxford edition has done for Clare studies, making the poet's work available as never before. There is a cost, however, largely due to the peculiar legal situation as regards the ownership of the manuscripts. The general editor of the Oxford Clare, Eric Robinson, is not only the presiding editor of Clare for our time, he also claims the ownership of the copyright of all Clare's manuscripts. This means that, to an extraordinary degree, the fate of the poet's texts, as in his lifetime, is in one editor's hands; more than that, the texts are also in the hands of one 'owner', the general editor himself. Taylor, as Clare's editor and publisher, was his mediator during his lifetime; Robinson, as his editor and the claimant to his copyright ownership, has even greater exclusive power as mediator to modern readers. As readers of Clare, we can only have editorial access to his texts via Eric Robinson, and in editions authorised by him. To the other editors, as in 'The Mores', (or should we call it 'The Moors'?), the message has been loud and clear:
On paths to freedom & to childhood dear
A board sticks up to notice 'no road here'
& on the tree with ivy over hung
The hated sign by vulgar taste is hung (28)
Clare's poetry has been opened up by his modern editors -- but also enclosed under the ownership and direction of one figure, Eric Robinson, who privately controls all editorial access to the manuscripts acquired by the public libraries at Northampton and Peterborough in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We have yet to calculate the poetic, political and ideological effects of this.
Leader does not confront this contemporary dimension to the publication of Clare's texts, though it demonstrates that McGann's model of the social production of texts continues to apply. Questions of ownership and editing still dominate our reading of Clare. More crucially, Leader doesn't confront the problem of how we might edit Clare now. He makes a strong case for the historical and authorial importance of the Taylor versions. One consequence of this is the desirability of fully annotated editions of the four books published in Clare's lifetime, reproducing the original printed text with a record of the manuscript versions on which they are based, and the relevant correspondence between author and publisher. The construction of John Clare's poetic identity was not worked out in the fields or by the fireside in Helpston or Northampton alone, it was forged in the process of publication, and these volumes historically embody that. In the case of his debut on the public stage with Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery in 1820, for example, it is important for us to read the title page, Taylor's introduction, and note the order of poems on the contents pages (from the emblematically placed topographical opening piece 'Helpstone' to the equally conscious closing pastoral 'To My Oaten Reed'), to recognise the self-conscious generic division of the material into 'Poems', 'Songs and Ballads' and 'Sonnets', and to consider the effect of the Burnsian 'Epistle to a Familiar Friend' in relation to the Goldsmithian topographical elegy 'Helpstone', of the Songs and Ballads to the Sonnets of Sensibility, and so on. The new Oxford edition sets out to displace all earlier editions, with its ultimate authority always authorial manuscripts where possible, even where Clare approved other versions. As a result, though we are given volumes with the general headings of Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery and The Village Minstrel, they don't correspond with those Clare published, and give a completely different picture of his poetic self-construction.
What we really need is a thoroughly documented modern edition, with multiple or plural texts, recording all information relevant to the editorial and publication process. In Clare's case this is probably a mirage. Given the sheer quantity of the material, the option of producing multiple versions of each poem is presumably an impossible goal, though I would argue that this is ideally what is required. For poems printed in Clare's lifetime, we need to have Taylor's published version, a complete transcript of an authoritative manuscript version (where possible), and a modern reading version. Modern editors of Clare have routinely deplored the editorial intervention of Taylor, but readers and critics of Clare have been slow to face up to the theoretical and interpretative problems implicit in the editorial construction of Clare in the new Oxford edition and its spin-offs (such as the Carcanet Cottage Tales). The quasi-'raw', non-print, 'illspelt' modern Clare text conforms to nothing Clare or his contemporaries could have expected to see in print, and though it provides crucial evidence of Clare's compositional process, it doesn't necessarily amount to a reading edition. The 'textual primitivism' of Clare's editors has profoundly shaped our contemporary idea of Clare as himself a kind of primitive, rather than an acutely self-conscious literary poet.
In their edition of The Later Poems of John Clare, Eric Robinson and Geoffrey Summerfield declared their intention to present 'John Clare in his natural state and not John Clare scrubbed and spruced up for inspection by the Board of Guardians', but this idea of a poetry in its 'natural state', equating manuscript with everyday dress and print with enforced gentility, is a sentimental ideological formation just as the equation of publication with 'inspection by the Board of Guardians' sidesteps the whole question of print by appealing to a totally non-literary institution, an analogy that doesn't stand up to inspection. Likewise, in the introduction to the more recent Early Poems, Eric Robinson and David Powell assert that '[t]he most important thing to understand about Clare as a poet, despite his debts to Cowper, Thomson, Milton, and the Cavalier Poets, is that he grows out of popular culture' (p. xiv). I would argue that an uncritical (and unhistorical) sense of that 'popular' as opposed to 'literary' culture seems to underpin their edition which systematically downplays the 'literary' format of the early published texts. Yet Clare's sonnets grow out of a profound understanding of the late-eighteenth-century feminised 'sonnet of sensibility', 'The Parish' out of the satirical couplet verse of Crabbe and others, 'Child Harold' and 'Don Juan' out of Byron's new Romantic idiom, and 'The Lament of Swordy Well' out of broadside ballad and popular protest poetry. Their transcripts reveal great linguistic and poetic flexibility, of a marvellous kind, but also that Clare had a huge respect for the print conventions of previous poetry (you can feel the pressure of conventions of capitalisation and poetic punctuation implicit in the opening of 'Helpstone' or 'The Parish' or the early Songs, and simply to jettison them is to obscure recognition of Clare's complex, generically various and vocally ventriloquistic art). The way editors print Clare now tends to disguise both the 'literary' and 'oral' dimensions of his work, in fidelity to the scrambled status of what is intended as verbatim manuscript transcription. This makes his work harder going for the ordinary reader than I think Clare would ever have expected -- and gives it a strangely anachronistic, experimental air which he is unlikely to have courted. The aura of literal transcription also disguises from us the speculative and conjectural nature of some of the texts constructed in this manner -- of the order of the autobiographical writings, for example, or the sequence of 'Child Harold' and its relation to the Biblical paraphrases and related material from which it has been editorially disentangled.
Zachary Leader's important study of Romantic revision in general, and of Clare in particular, should lead us to rethink the editorial assumptions lying behind the Oxford edition and question the idea that it gives us unproblematic access to his poetry 'in its natural state', or in the form of what Motion calls 'authentic' texts. The Oxford edition greatly increases our knowledge of Clare's texts, but its own formation is not so 'pure', or unmediated, as its rather low-profile editorial apparatus and declared editorial rationale seem to imply. Questions about editing and ownership, authenticity and textuality, continue to haunt the Clarean text, and it is to be hoped that other critics will follow Leader in pursuing them in greater detail. It is time we began to imagine, that is, a Clare not necessarily constructed by the editorial principles of, and in the exclusive ownership of, Eric Robinson and the Oxford team.
[Standard John Clare Society Journal abbreviations are used.]
1. Later Poems, I, p. 19.
2. By Himself, p. 101.
3. Jerome J. McGann, The Romantic Ideology: A Critical Investigation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983).
4. Donald H. Reiman, Romantic Texts and Contexts (Columbia, Miss.: University of Missouri Press, 1987).
5. Jack Stillinger, Multiple Authorship and the Myth of Solitary Genius (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991).
6. Jack Stillinger, Coleridge and Textual Instability: The Multiple Versions of the Major Poems (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).
7. Zachary Leader, Revision and Romantic Authorship (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996).
8. Tim Chilcott, A Publisher and His Circle: The Life and Work of John Taylor, Keats's Publisher (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972).
9. In his review of John Clare in Context, TLS, 8 July 1994, p. 5.
10. Letter of Taylor to Clare, 27 September 1820, quoted in Chilcott, A Publisher and His Circle, p. 93.
11. Letters, p. 162.
12. Letters, pp. 162-63.
13. Letters, pp. 74 and 114.
14. Letters, p. 83.
15. Letters, p. 357.
16. John Clare, The Rural Muse, ed. by R. K. R. Thornton (Ashington: Mid-Northumberland Arts Group with Carcanet Press, 1982).
17. The fourth, and final, edition of Poems Descriptive was reprinted by Lark Publications in 1986; a reprint of The Village Minstrel is to appear from the same publishers shortly. [Lark Publications, The Woodland Press, Unit 6, Faraday Place, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 3RG, UK]
18. Letters, p. 14.
19. Letters, p. 152.
20. Early Poems, II, p. 727.
21. By Himself, p. 113.
22. Revision and Romantic Authorship, p. 232.
23. James McKusick, 'John Clare and the Tyranny of Grammar', Studies in Romanticism, 33 (1994), 255-77.
24. Jack Stillinger, 'Textual Primitivism and the Editing of Wordsworth', Studies in Romanticism, 28 (1989), 3-28.
25. Selected Poems of John Clare, ed. by Geoffrey Grigson (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1950), p. 11. Reprinted in Critical Heritage, p. 407.
26. The Later Poems of John Clare, ed. by Eric Robinson and Geoffrey Summerfield (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1964), p. 1.
27. Haughton, p. 20.
28. Middle Period, II, p. 349.