Poetry’s Variety: Clare and the Poetic Scene in the 1820s and 1830s

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Abstract

This chapter explores Clare’s interactions with the poetic culture and the literary marketplace from the mid-1820s up to the mid-1830s. This period is typically presented as a dead-end for the market for poetry, a time when little literature of note was published, and accordingly a time in which Clare struggled to find an audience. The chapter draws on new scholarship of this period to depict a time of literary, financial and political change that prompted a succession of creative experiments by a wide range of writers. Female poets dominated the literary market; publishers experimented with the possibilities opened up by new technologies, notably in the production of literary annuals; the periodical press expanded; more readers accessed new books than ever before; and a highly diverse group of poets developed new styles of writing. This chapter indicates how fully Clare’s work engaged with this period’s culture, emphasising Clare’s thoughtful, experimental interventions in the print marketplace. It pays particular attention to Clare’s place in the literary annuals, focusing in depth on his appearance in The Anniversary for 1829, and reappraises his work in comparison with writers such as Letitia Landon, Allan Cunningham and Mary Russell Mitford.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPalgrave Advances in John Clare Studies
EditorsSimon Kövesi, Erin Lafford
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave
Pages17-36
ISBN (Electronic)9783030433741
ISBN (Print)9783030433734
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2020

Publication series

NamePalgrave Advances
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan

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