The Ballad of John Clare

Overview

The first novel from, the renowned storyteller Hugh Lupton opens with a scene that could be straight out of Thomas Hardy… A helpless observer of the damage that enclosure is doing to his beloved landscape and the people who live there, a young man torn between romantic love for his muse, Mary Joyce, and the consequences of a moment's folly with a woman named Betsy Jackson, Clare comes to see that ' the bright world has begun, one by one, to break its promises.' Yet, while the immediate causes of his grief and ...
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The Ballad of John Clare

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Overview

The first novel from, the renowned storyteller Hugh Lupton opens with a scene that could be straight out of Thomas Hardy… A helpless observer of the damage that enclosure is doing to his beloved landscape and the people who live there, a young man torn between romantic love for his muse, Mary Joyce, and the consequences of a moment's folly with a woman named Betsy Jackson, Clare comes to see that ' the bright world has begun, one by one, to break its promises.' Yet, while the immediate causes of his grief and disillusionment are personal, they are always intricately linked to what is happening to the land - and it is to Lupton's great credit that, in this engaging and lyrical novel, he brings this relationship between emotional and psychological life and the environment into play at every turn.
This vision transforms a bittersweet love story that takes place 'seven generations ago' into a study of the politics of land use, revealing the true nature of British agriculture as systematic exploitation of land and people whose tragic consequences Lupton notes in an afterward, 'we are reaping the full harvest of today. "
John Burnside in The Times

In this beautifully crafted book, Lupton has focused on one pivotal year of Clare's life; one that foretells the misery and mental problems that would beset him in later years.
But, this is not a book about just one man; it is about a society undergoing colossal upheavals from which the English countryside and its people have never recovered, when the Enclosures Act brings with it riches for some but abject poverty for many.
Lupton has brought to bear his vast understanding of English folklore and culture, and produced an exceptional evocation of an England lost."
Kathy Stevenson in The Daily Mail

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The poet courts his childhood sweetheart, labors in the fields, has his first sexual encounter and plays the fiddle with the village band in prose that is rich, appealing and perfectly pitched." -- Natalie Young in The Best Debut Novels of 2010 in The Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781907650000
  • Publisher: Dedalus Press, The
  • Publication date: 3/28/2012
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

For thirty years Hugh Lupton has been a central figure in the British storytelling revival.
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