Memoirs of Uncle Barnaby

Very few seem to realise that John Clare wrote in the novel form, part of which he gave the title, “Memoirs of Uncle Barnaby”.  This is the first time that any attempt has been made to bring all the fragments of the novel together.  In an effort to create some continuity, we have occasionally split up a continuous passage in Clare's manuscripts into a small number of parts and re-ordered them.  We confess that the result is speculative.

One thing that may surprise readers of Clare is how much there is that contribute to these preliminary sketches for a novel and the number of links that can be made between the fragments.  The larger part of the material is concerned with the religion of a village, most likely the village of Helpston.  Other themes woven into the narrative are pretension and social competition, the relationships between professional men, such as clergy and teachers, and a hilarious series of letters between Mrs. Hubbelgubble and Mrs. Lettys.

The novel takes us deep into Clare’s world, and makes excellent and amusing reading.

Memoirs of Uncle Barnaby - Clare's lost novel -  is now avalable from me at £12.50 + £1.50 postage and packing (UK). Not sure how much the postage would be to other parts of the world, but I'm sure I can let you know.  It is also available from ...