John Clare: The Critical Heritage

By Mark Storey | Go to book overview

Note on the Text

The documents are of two sorts: manuscript material—mainly letters to and from Clare—and printed comments, reviews, notices, essays, and articles. Manuscript material has been transcribed as accurately as possible, and no attempt has been made to regularize spelling, punctuation, or capitalization. Editorial additions are within square brackets, except for the completion of words and phrases (lost when the paper has been torn), where the convention <> has been used. As virtually all the manuscript documents included are extracts from letters, it was not necessary to indicate, separately for each item, that it was an extract, and only omissions within the extracts are indicated. Where dates of letters differ from those given in Letters of John Clare, ed. J. W. and Anne Tibble, 1951, reference may be made to my ‘Letters of John Clare, 1821: Revised Datings’, Notes and Queries, February 1969, ccxiv, 58-64. For printed material, the original texts have been followed, but certain punctuation and spelling have been regularized. Biographical details, so common a feature of many reviews, have been omitted, except in a few interesting cases. The innumerable quotations from the poems have usually been omitted, with a brief indication of the poems or lines involved; references are to The Poems of John Clare, ed. J. W. Tibble, 1935. But when a quotation from a poem is included, the text has been left as it appeared in that particular document: it will not necessarily be the text to be found in The Poems of John Clare, or other more recent editions, where Clare’s manuscripts have been followed more scrupulously than they were by his own publishers.

Editorial footnotes, which have been kept to a minimum, are numbered, while original footnotes are indicated by asterisks (⋆), daggers (†), etc.

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