The Lovers Meeting


OUR FIRST VOLUME

"The Lovers Meeting"

Clare's version of the Fifth Elegy of the First Book of Ovid

Our hand-made book was originally launched at John Clare Cottage, Helpston on Saturday, 9th November 2013 and just two of that small edition are  still available for sale.

However, following a meeting with Patrick Roe of The Fine Book Bindery just two days before the launch of that edition,  it was agreed that he will produce the book for us, still in an edition limited to 300 copies.  Of these, 100 will be quarter leather bound and 200 cloth bound, the content of the books being identical in all other respects.

Whilst we would have been able to continue to produce the books ourselves, being offered this opportunity to have our book printed and hand bound by a leading Fine Press maker of limited edition books is too important for us to ignore.  The level of quality in this artisan field of letterpress printed and hand bound books will be higher than we can possibly produce, yet we will still retain control of the book’s design and content.




Photos taken in the Cottage cafe on launch day, Friday 7th February 2014

So... the book has been produced in two versions, with a cloth binding for £30 or quarter leather binding, presented in a chemise case for £50 .  The first is in an edition of 200 and the second in an edition of 100.  All monies raised from the books will in its entirety go to the Helpston Hub, the John Clare Cottage Trust's proposed development of the Exeter Arms for community use.




---oOo---

Hot was the noon in summers sultry hour
The sun then raging with meridian power
When I more burning with the scorching heat
Of hot desire—lay hid in close retreat
Beneath the covert of a secret shade
Flush'd “with expectance of the lovley maid”
Sweet was the spot no one throughout the grove
Was better suited to the sports of Love




There is little doubt in our minds that Clare’s poetic vision was somewhat more carnal, fleshy, voluptuous than his advisers thought fitting, and of course, as a mere peasant what did he know about such sensibilities?

As Professor Robinson says in his introduction to Early Poems of John Clare (OUP) : “To survey the whole range of his poetry about Woman is to encounter a many-faceted, exhilarating, and erotic sensibility.”  This Clare certainly explored in his reworking of the Fifth Elegy of the First Book of Ovid, dating from 16 - 15 B.C. 

---oOo---
  
'The Lovers Meeting' as published by John Clare Cottage Press