REVIEWS


We feel so honoured to have received these words of praise for our books - The Lovers Meeting and The Poet in Love - from Ronald Blythe and Professor Eric Robinson.

Here is Ronnie Blythe on the book, "I read, and re-read The Poet in Love... it is a delight; beautifully presented and even revolutionary in its demand that we should look at Clare 'passionately and practically'. You have re-instated Patty... and you have dethroned Mary Joyce. The book makes us look at Clare in a fresh way, and this is no easy matter considering the stream of Clare criticism. Anne Lee's illustrations are fascinating - a kind of poetry in themselves."
"Your limited editions of both The Lovers Meeting and The Poet in Love are stunning. So beautiful, such treasures for my John Clare bookcase. Perhaps they should lie on a table where everyone can see them, pick them up and delight in your artistry. The end-papers themselves are a treat. And your decision to publish Clare as he spelt adds a poetic dimension to these publications. They really are very beautiful.

From Eric Robinson : "No one can read this book (The Poet in Love) without learning much of Clare's courtship of Patty during these formative years. It is a very strange story, but it reveals much of the essential character of a poet who had at last been recognised as a very great writer.  Roger Rowe and Anne Lee have made an important contribution to Clare studies. And I am pleased to know that more is yet to come from their joint efforts."

Other comments:
From ‪Anthony Lewis : "My copy of the The Lovers Meeting is a delight to have and to hold, it rests on my table centre of room, and sooner or later without any prompting from me it is picked up by visitors, eventually they say where did you get this from... then I explain... I always like to evangelise and share about John Clare at any opportunity when on walkabout... I am looking forward to receiving in due course the 2nd Volume... thanks to all those involved for bringing these well crafted books out."

From ‪Pat Blalock (on The Lovers Meeting) : "I've read the poem three times now & love it more each time. Clare expresses so beautifully the feelings of urgency that the young feel about love & sex... & I also love the way Clare has included the feelings of the young woman & her fears & her hope of marriage, but also, & shockingly for the time, her enjoyment of 'shame in secret'. Anne Lee's photographs are perfect for the text & the quality of the book itself is a joy. I'm very pleased to have the book & will return to it again & again.  You have truly liberated this poem. Thank you!
"

From ‪Tony Lanfranchi : "Have just received my copy. Well what can I say to you and Anne but thank you, thank you thank you!! Absolutely stunning!! I feel very privileged to own a limited edition!! Thank you Thank you very much indeed for the painstaking work that has clearly gone into this totally unique product! Looking forward to the next one already!"
 




From Isobel AlexanderI have a copy of the leather version of the Lover's Meeting, with the chemise cover as per the photo here.  The poem is a cracking read.  I'm still fairly new to John Clare in comparison with reading the work of other Romantic poets, and have learned from my short time in this group that there is a lot of Clare poetry I don't have access to.  So I'm thrilled to have this special edition of a poem I had not read before.


The extra special thing about this book is it's presentation.  I have been a member of the Folio Society for over 10 years.  They produce 'Beautiful Books' as a recent exhibition called them.  It is heartening to see books still being produced in a traditional way.  This is what I have in The Lover's Meeting.
  The materials selected for the cover, the endpapers, the leather spine with gold lettering, then the pages themselves with a stylish font, all combine to make this particular beautiful book.  
The photographs which enhance each facing page of type appear almost 3 dimensional, as if they have been placed on top of the paper.  The chemise cover is a clever and appropriate finishing touch.  Very simply, I love this book and will treasure it, and remember how as it came into being, I came to know the people who created it.

From Barry Sheerman MP : Many "John Clare love poems were presumed too "steamy" to be published in his lifetime -- now newly rediscovered & soon to be published. I’m privileged to have a copy of The Lovers Meeting a beautiful limited edition copy of a previously unpublished John Clare love poem. Anyone who is not getting a limited edition copy of The Lovers Meeting ... is being seriously neglected"

From ‪John Lincoln : "Just got back from my meeting at the John Clare cottage, where I picked up my copy of the handmade book - The Lovers Meeting. An excellent production and it was good to meet up with Roger and Anne again."

From a long review by Jacqueline Cosby (whole review is available if anyone would like sight) : "By promoting Clare’s voice, Roger Rowe and Ann Lee not only validate Aristotle’s concept of the ‘pleasure’ of ‘man and nature’, but together, they demonstrate (through John Clare’s work) that there is no ‘object standing between the Poet and the image of things.’ It is the image contained within Clare’s work that is the truth, whether literary or visually. No-one can truly censor it. It is a part of humanity. The Lovers Meeting marks a simple truth of the natural force of human desire. It cannot be quashed."

From ‪Pat Blalock : "Have spent the last couple of days reading the poems in The Poet In Love. Each one is a gem and I love the way Clare uses the landscape and the natural world to describe Patty and the intimacy between them. In fact each time you re-read a poem you find more and more revealing itself and more of Clare revealing himself. Wonderful of Roger Rowe and Anne Lee to have unearthed these poems. I feel as if you have opened the locked door for John Clare."

From ‪Tony Lanfranchi : "Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Anne and Roger. My copy of The Poet In Love was waiting for me when I got home from work about an hour ago!! Stunning work indeed... "Thy breasts so white thy cheeks so red, O sweet the morning wakes in thee"... fantastic!!!"


From David Morley : "So glad I bagged a copy!"
           

From ‪James Murray-White : My copy sitting beautifully on my desk, awaiting my attentions, but a delight to have it here. Offer still stands to make a short film about the entire trilogy...

From Frances Kiernan : "Now a happy owner of The Poet in Love - beautiful book from Roger Rowe and Anne Lee. Great to meet you both on Saturday. I enjoyed the day tremendously."

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