John Clare: The Critical Heritage

By Mark Storey | Go to book overview

32.

Eliza Emmerson on reactions in Bristol

1820

Eliza Emmerson to Clare, 25 November 1820, Eg. 2245, fol. 241.

The Bristol people, are very difficult to please in matters of Literature, particularly poetry. —They are lovers of the earlier poets in the time of ‘Elizabeth’—some few I met with who could only admire ‘Burns’—and it was only with warm argument, and by daring comparison, that, they would believe, that you had not imitated ‘Burns’ too closely to be called an original poet yourself—I however, aided by the more powerful arguments of Mr. Emmerson, who was equally warm in my poets cause—brought our friends to allow you many claims as a poet, both for originality and beauty—and above all for simplicity, and tenderness of feeling. —They all lamented that yr publishers, introduced in your Volume—‘Mary’, ‘Dollys Mistake’ ‘Lubin’ and ‘the Country Girl’—considering as spots, to what could otherwise be pure.

-109-

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