Editorial

By Kövesi, Simon | John Clare Society Journal, July 2015 | Go to article overview

Editorial


Kövesi, Simon, John Clare Society Journal


This year's journal is divided into parts: a Festschrift collection, followed hy Helen Pownall's analysis of Clare's fen poems, and then three papers about Clare and the American poet and natural historian Henry David Thoreau (1817-62). Pownall's essay and the Thoreau section were rewritten from papers first delivered at the 'John Clare in Space' conference in Oxford in May 2014, which marked the sesquicentennial anniversary of the poet's death. The Thoreau essays were guest-edited for the journal by Canadian scholar Dr Markus Poetzsch-for whose meticulous efforts I am immensely grateful. Markus suggested we include the work of the Austrian artist and engraver Jakob Demus, whose wren's nests appear on the front cover and p. 74. My thanks to Jakob for generously allowing us to reproduce his art here.

Other images peppered throughout this issue (pp. 22, 62 and 93) are pinhole camera stills taken by Anonymous Bosch of the cast of the film about Clare, By Our Selves (see also the inside front cover). In last year's issue, artist and film-maker Andrew Kötting discussed his project and appealed for donations to enable the film's completion. Happily, the film will be released by Soda Pictures in October this year, along with accompanying 'bookwork' published this summer. Andrew, Iain Sinclair and the By Our Selves team have asked me to pass on their warm thanks to the Society membership for its generous support.

The mini-Festschrift was commissioned in honour of Professor John Goodridge. This autumn John steps down from his longstanding post at Nottingham Trent University. Four major scholars of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature-Nick Groom, Bridget Keegan, Kelsey Thornton and Roger Sales-have written pieces inspired by the scholarship, career, interests and unique personality, of Professor Goodridge.

At Nottingham Trent University, John fostered so many projects, and stimulated and led so much both in his institution and far beyond its campuses that it is impossible to summarise them here. As John's first PhD student, I am in the privileged position of having worked under his guidance since 1995-guidance that continues to this day, I am proud to say. …

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