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A Champion for the Poor

Political Verse and Prose

John Clare

Edited by Eric Robinson

A Champion For the Poor by John Clare
10% off
Categories: 19th Century, British
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (220 pages)
(Pub. Aug 2000)
£18.99 £17.09
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Every discontented man who is not poor
    declares the poor peasants' lot to be the happiest
    in the world & the hardest labour as the best
    exercise for health - yet he himself would
    sooner chuse any lot then that of a poor man &
    any labour but that of hard work.
    A Champion for the Poor brings together for the first time John Clare's longest poem, The Parish - in a new and corrected text - and his forceful satires 'The Hue & Cry' and 'The Summons'. Some previously unpublished poems are included, too. There are also essays, letters and fragments - advice to his children, reflections on Enclosure, observations of social custom and social ill - which illuminate the poems and enhance our sense of Clare and his attitudes to the political and social conditions and events of his age.

    The Introduction evokes the context of Clare's writings and the difficulties he faced as a labourer voicing the concerns of his class at a time when such matters were regarded as the exclusive province of the educated and propertied classes. Notes and a glossary of unfamiliar words are included. Readers can at last assess a neglected aspect of Clare's work.
    Table of Contents


    Introduction by Eric Robinson

    Note on the text

    Note on Cruikshank

    List of illustrations

    POEMS (titles in square brackets are provided by the editors)

    Helpstone (1809-13) (EP, I.146-63)

    Waterloo (1815) (EP, I.208-11)

    On seeing a Lost Greyhound in winter (EP, I.202)

    Elegy...In the Ruins of Pickworth Rutland (1818) (EP, I.402-4)

    [Labour and Luxury] (1818?) (EP, I.505)

    Lobin Clouts Satirical Sollilouquy on the Times (1808-19) (EP, I137-8)

    [One monday morning sour & loath] (1808-19) (EP, I.352)

    [O thrice lucky town (the more lucky poor creatu'rs)] (1808-19) (EP, I.332-3)

    [O freedom freedom sacred name] (1819-19) (EP, I.352)

    The Lamentations of Round-Oak Waters (1818) (EP,I.228-34)

    A Familiar Epistle to a Friend (1819) (EP,I.142-7)

    Helpston Green (EP,II.11-14)

    The Village Minstrel, lines 924-1281 (Oct. 1819-Jan. 1820) (EP.II.162-77)

    England (April 1820) (EP,II.69-71)

    Langley Bush (1819-20) (EP,II.250)

    The Mores (MP,II.347-50)

    The Parish (1822-28) (EP,II.697-779)

    Death (1825) (MP,III.318-22)

    Greece (1825) (MP,IV.478-81)

    The Gipseys Song (Feb.-Sept.1825) (MP,IV.52-6)

    The Poachers(MP,IV.378-9)

    Ballad: Boys bring the booty from the cave (?1826) (MP,IV.395-7)

    Robin Hood and the Gamekeepers (?1826) (MP,IV.422-30)

    [Honesty though kings revile thee] (after 1826) (MP,II.229-31)

    On seeing a skull on Cowper Green (1828) (MP,III.196-202)

    Nelson & the Nile (Aug. 1828) (MP,IV.100-4)

    The Cottager (1828-30) (MP,III.414-18)

    The Monarchy of Nature (MP,IV.288)

    Honesty (?1830) (MP,IV.216-7)

    The Summons (Aug.-Sept. 1829) ((MP,IV.482-93)

    Triumphs of Time (Aug. 1829) (MP,IV.494-505)

    Just like the lion in alarms (early 1830) (MP,II.339-41)

    Och by jasus hes a irish lad (early 1830) (MP,II.156-7)

    1830 (March 1830) (MP,IV.506-7)

    [George 4th Death] (1830) (MP,II.330-1)

    The Blues & the Sailors (July 1830) (MP,II.337-9)

    Familiar Epistle to a Friend (Dec. 1830) (MP,IV.508-17)

    The Hue & Cry (Dec. 1830-Jan. 1831) (MP,IV.518-43)

    The Fallen Elm (Feb. 1831) (MP,III.440-3)

    The reformers hymm (EP,II.593-6)

    [Up honesty a vote of thanks] (1830-) (Pet. MS A59, pp13-16)

    [Thou poverty when past thy help] (1830-) (Pet. MS A59, p.16)

    [Good morning to ye honest swain] (1830-) (Pet. MS A59, pp17-23)

    [King William ye'r an honest man] (1830-) (Pet. MS A59, pp.23,27,47,48,56,49)

    [The Lament of Swordy Well] (1830-) (Pet. MS A59,pp.24-8)

    [Thou king of half a score dominions] (1830-) (Pet. MS A59,pp.56-7)

    [Address to an old Halfpenny] (MP.152-5)

    [Bless thy old fashioned copper face] (MP,II.328-30)

    Don Juan (1841) (LP,I.89-101)

    London versus Epping Forest (1840-41) (LP,I.28)

    [Land of perpetual summer Italy] (1845) (LP,I.163)

    To Liberty (9 July 1844) (LP,I.274-5)

    Love of Liberty (14 Feb, 1847) (LP,I.490-1)

    The Thistle (13 Feb. 1847) (LP,I.492-3)

    The Songs of our Land (LP,II.1000-1)

    Heres a health to Scotland (LP,II.1038-9)

    Notes to the Poems


    Apology for the Poor

    Essay on Political Religion

    The Bone & Cleaver Club

    [Advice to his children]

    Prose from Pet. MS A45

    Miscellaneous notes and fragments

    Notes to the Prose


    Notes to the Letters





    John Clare
    John Clare (1793-1864): Born the son of a thresher at Helpston, Northamptonshire, John Clare is a rural poet and story teller. He is a poet of spiritual originality, as compelling at his best as Crabbe and Wordsworth as a story teller in verse. He was an assiduous practitioner of the sonnet ... read more
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