Memoirs of Uncle Barnaby

1st March 2017

My new Clare paperback "Memoirs of Uncle Barnaby" - Clare's lost novel -  is now are avalable from me at £12.50 + £1.80 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 be available from ...

From the back-cover:

"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."



I have so enjoyed this book! Clare's descriptions of the environment and the characters are so real I felt transported back in time. It's a wonderful read and Roger has done a brilliant job by finding it, actually rescuing it, from the archives. One of those books that I deliberately read slowly, not wanting to finish it too quickly. For Clare fans this is a real treat but also a great read for those interested in rural history as Clare gives us such a taste of life in a small community in the first half of the 19th century. Thank you Roger & well done!  (Pat Blalock)