John Clare: The Rural Muse (2832 words)


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The Rural Muse (1835) was the final book of poems by John Clare to appear in his lifetime. Clare’s former editor and publisher, John Taylor, told Clare that “Everybody says it is the best Volume you have yet published & I am sure it is” (Storey 225). It is difficult to disagree with this judgement, even as it remains the case that The Rural Muse was essentially a compromise publication after complications with Clare’s original, larger, and more unconventionally titled project, “The Midsummer Cushion”. Various factors played a part in thwarting Clare’s realization of the full scope of his ambitions for a new work at this time, including ill health, the sheer number of poems he had available, and the fact that T…

Citation: White, Adam. "The Rural Muse". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 March 2013 [, accessed 24 June 2021.]

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