Academic journal article John Clare Society Journal

Editorial

Academic journal article John Clare Society Journal

Editorial

Article excerpt

David Powell died in 2012. His editing and pioneering scholarship secured the foundations of textual knowledge in Clare studies for all who follow. As editor of many ground-breaking Clare editions, as a founding member of the Society, and as editor of the most successful book ever published by this Society, The Wood is Sweet, David's legacy to the world of Clare is popularly public as well as seriously scholastic.

This issue engages with a subject surely close to David Powell's heart: the presentation of peasant - or 'labouring-class' - poetry. Gerard Carruthers and Pauline Mackay redraw our understanding of the initial presentation of Robert Burns. Scott McEathron reconsiders the visual representation of Clare in an account of the history of the William Hilton portrait. Tim Fulford analyses an asylum-period notebook, and considers the dialogic complexities of the real, handwritten contexts in which Clare's texts present themselves. And an interview with poet David Morley explores his latest collection, which presents Clare in conversational sonnets with the Gypsy Wisdom Smith.

The review of John Goodridge's book was commissioned and edited independently by our former Reviews Editor Robert Heyes; all the other reviews were organised by the incoming Reviews Editor, John Goodridge.

I thank the Journal's resident artist, Brian Shields, for another stirring cover image - entitled MURMUR (of Mary): 'the painting depicts an old Clare under a murmuration of starlings, the birds of which form the initial 'M' - a message to or possibly from Mary his great "lost" love'. …

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