John Clare: The Critical Heritage

By Mark Storey | Go to book overview

of—and mean while Bloomfield died. Hush then about Burns. Pretend to admire what you cannot read—leave the Scotch to their own reflections on the fate of their Ploughman—and explain to us at your leisure in what lay the grace of English gratitude to your Farmer’s Boy.


97.

Two readers on The Rural Muse

1835

Eliza Emmerson to Clare, 26 July 1835, Eg. 2249, foll. 292v-3.

Mrs Emmerson had presented a copy to Derwent Coleridge (see No. 87), and Alaric Watts discussed the merits of the new volume with her. Watts (1797-1864) was a poet of sorts, a contributor to the Literary Gazette, and from 1824 editor of the Literary Souvenir, one of the most popular of the annuals.

Mr Coleridge considers this volume to be a very great advancement to your literary fame, he particularly noticed your improved style and increased power of language—with many other kind & flattering remarks, he concluded by saying If this little volume of Clare’s had come out twenty years ago, it would have made a great sensation in the poetic world—and it is certain to greatly increase his reputation as a Poet now & hereafter!’

[Alaric Watts told her] it was one of the sweetest and best little books of poetry he had seen for many years.

-238-

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