Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Voicing loss versions of pastoral in the poetry of John Clare, 1817-1832
Author: Colclough, Stephen Michael
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 1996
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis takes a contextual approach to the poetry of John Clare from his earliest attempts at publication in 1817 until his completion of The Midsummer Cushion in 1832. This reading discovers a complex, multi-voiced Clare that is opposed to the essential Clare found in the majority of studies. It widens our knowledge of Clare by investigating texts that are usually considered marginal to the canon. Chapter One examines the early manuscripts, which reveal a complex amalgam of voices. It considers the voice of alienated labour in detail. The study of 'Helpstone' reveals Clare's ability to use this voice in his published texts, and the centrality of loss and destruction to his work. Chapter Two considers the different voices of authorship created as Clare establishes himself as a published author. It examines the carnival scenes of 'The Village Minstrel', demonstrating that the division between author and community is never secure. It notes that the voice of loss in the poem is used to attack enclosure, but is ideologically different from that found in other pastoral texts. Chapter Three discusses the enclosure elegies and The Shepherd's Calendar in the context of Clare's support for open field, re-opening the debate over the historical effects of enclosure and demonstrating that he produces differing voices of protest and loss in different contexts. Chapter Four considers the different voices and versions of pastoral in The Midsummer Cushion, and concludes that control of the production of the volume allows the combination of a playful approach to pastoral with the creation of poems which question the content of the tradition. Conclusion: Clare's mode of access to the literary world is pastoral and these texts return to the destruction of the idyll so that he can voice a sense of loss that he shared with a class.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available