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CLARE, John.

The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems.

London, Printed for Taylor and Hessey & E. Drury, 1821 Stock Code: 126172
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First edition of Clare's second book of poetry, with no frontispiece to the second volume as required for the first issue. A farm labourer's son, John Clare (1793-1864) had published his first work, Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery, the previous year. It became something of a publishing sensation, with the 1,000 copies of the first edition selling out in two months. Clare was celebrated as being tantamount to an English Robert Burns, and his poetic talents, seemingly springing from nowhere, caught the attention of a reading public fascinated by the idea of "inspiration" and its sources in Nature. The present work met with further success, with public interest in the poet indulged with a biographical sketch of the author, and a largely autobiographical titular poem. With the bookplates of Albert Louis Cotton, author of the 1904 novel The Company of Death, and an associate of Julia Margaret Cameron.

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2 volumes, duodecimo (165 x 97 mm). Later 19th-century green half morocco by Birdsall and Son of Northampton, red and orange morocco labels to spines, gilt flower motifs to compartments, marbled sides, endpapers and edges.


Half-titles in each volume, and portrait frontispiece to vol. I.


Contemporary ownership signature and partially erased pencilled notes to half-title of vol. I. Bound with half-titles but without the terminal advertisements. Joints and extremities expertly repaired, some light foxing to contents. A very good copy.


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