About This Edition
Admired by Wordsworth and Southey, called by Clare 'the greatest Pastoral Poet England ever gave birth too’, Robert Bloomfield was one of the bestselling poets of the nineteenth century. A labouring-class writer famed for his rural verse, Bloomfield was not only a major influence on Clare but also a children’s author, playwright, tourist writer, and literary critic. The Collected Writings of Robert Bloomfield is the first ever scholarly edition of his entire oeuvre. The editors have collated all the lifetime editions of his publications, making it possible as never before to study the range of his work and the many revisions it underwent. The poems’ textual histories are displayed in variants, editorial footnotes and explanatory introductions. The literary and biographical contexts are discussed, as are the works' critical receptions and publication histories. The effect on his publications of Bloomfield’s vexed position, caught between the traditional expectations of a patron and the demands of a commercial bookseller is detailed. As a result, it is now possible to see Bloomfield both as a major nature poet and as a dramatic illustration of the new pressures on the author caused by the expansion of print culture in the Romantic era. The Collected Writings takes its place alongside the other Bloomfield resources on Romantic Circles—the Electronic Editions of his Letters and of his poem/tour journal/sketchbook The Banks of Wye—and the essay collection ‘The inestimable blessing of letters’.
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