The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems. Volumes 1 & 2. [and] Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and...

The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems. Volumes 1 & 2. [and] Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery

CLARE, John (1793-1864)

Published by Printed for Taylor and Hessey, Fleet Street; and E. Drury, Stamford. [through 1821], London, 1820
Condition: Near Fine+ Hardcover
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Three volumes in one: First Edition of Village Minstrel (vols. 1 & 2); Second Edition of Poems. 12mo: xxviii,216; [8],211,[1]; viii,xxiv,220pp, with copper-engraved frontispiece portrait of John Clare by E. Scriven. Early half calf and marbled boards, flat spine in six compartments divided by double rules, black leather lettering piece gilt, marbled end paper, book plate of collector George Downing Hartley on front paste down. Light wear to extremities, previous owners' names on front fly leaf (dated 1948) and title page (1821); very occasional light spotting, else an excellent example, tight, clean and bright. Lowndes 466 (regarding Poems: "An interesting little volume."). Hayward, p. 236. Bibliotheca Bibliographici 1576. Clare was son of a farm laborer who came to be known for his celebratory representations of the English countryside and his lamentation of its disruption. His poetry underwent a major reevaluation in the late 20th century, and he is often now considered among the most important 19th-century poets. His "first volume of poetry, Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (1820), was the most popular of the four volumes Clare published during his lifetime, going through four editions by 1821 and selling more than 3,500 copies by 1829 . . . [The collection] contains some seventy poems, organised under three headings: poems, songs and ballads, and sonnets. As the title suggests, the poems generally describe rural life but they do so from the perspective of the rural labourer; as such, they may be seen as part of a genre of anti-pastoral verse in Britain that attempted to provide a more faithful depiction of rural life than was found in 'traditional' pastorals. . . . The two-volume collection The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems (1821) was the Northamptonshire Peasant Poet's second publication. The collection is divided into two sections: 'Poems', which makes up the first volume and part of the second, comprises seventy-one poems of various forms, opening with the long, semi-autobiographical 'The Village Minstrel'; the second section, which ends the second volume, is made up of sixty sonnets. Like their predecessors, the poems in The Village Minstrel are broadly 'descriptive of rural life and scenery'. Clare presents vignettes of rural work and leisure, describing the daily life of the village ('Rural Morning' and 'Rural Evening'), its pastimes ('Rustic Fishing'), and important weekly and annual events in the village's calendar ('Sunday' and 'May Day'). These are supplemented by close observations of plants, animals and the effects of seasonal change on the landscape in poems like 'A Copse in Winter', 'Description of a Thunder-Storm', 'To an early Cowslip', and 'The Ants'-a poetic detailing of the natural world which had already come to be seen as Clare's particular strength." (Literary Encyclopedia) N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # BB1318

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems. ...

Publisher: Printed for Taylor and Hessey, Fleet Street; and E. Drury, Stamford. [through 1821], London

Publication Date: 1820

Binding: Half-Calf

Book Condition:Near Fine+

Edition: 1st Edition

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