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Robert Bloomfield 1766-1823. A Selection from his Poems

Robert Bloomfield (1766-1823) was an English working class poet whose most famous poems, The Farmer's Boy, were published in 1800. Only three copies of Carr's edition are known in libraries: one in the British Library, probably sent by Carr himself, as it has the price written by hand on the front paste-down in red ball point pen; a copy in Northamptonshire Central Library; and a copy in Falkirk Community Trust Library.




P-RB1: First and only impression


Publisher: The Northants Campaigner, 27 Mill Dale Road, Kettering

Year: 1966

ISBN: None

Size: 188 x 115 mm

Pagination: 24 pp, one blank

Staples: none, sewn

Binding: Brown printed boards with name and dates at top in black upper case letters; a small design, 4 cm square, in black; title in black below.

Paper: white

Edited by: J.L. Carr

Foreword by: Edmund Blunden

Cover artist: (J L Carr)

Illustrations: a pen and ink drawing on page 4 of Robert Bloomfield, probably by Carr

Number in series: none given

Colophon: on last page a sun face and PUBLISHED BY THE NORTHANTS CAMPAIGNER" in a circle and, within, in smaller caps AT 27 MILL DALE ROAD Kettering 4995

Telephone number: 4995

Printing history: none stated

Number of other titles listed: none

Price: written inside front cover in Carr's handwriting PRICE 5/6d

Printed by: V.B. Pike, Kettering

Content: Contents; A portrait of Robert Bloomfield; A brief biography; Foreword by Edmund Blunden; To Robert Bloomfield by John Clare; 13 poems from The Farmer's Boy (Early Morning; Mucking the land; Plough and harrow; Crows; Swine; A Tempest; A Bird Boy; Shepherd at Night; The gander; Suffolk Cheese; Winter Fodder; The Post Horse; The Rich and the Poor) plus three others (A letter to Mr Wood; A dying child; His Mother's Spindle).

Notes: The copy in the British Library is dated 12 Sep 66. The Library lists as Other names in their entry, John Laurence Carr, who was a historian of France, so a mistaken identity.

Image of book

Front cover


Image of book

Image of the colophon



The Foreword by Edmund Blunden is a facsimile of his handwriting, dated August 1966. Carr had written to Blunden asking for some verses from a poem named Forefathers and presumably, when in correspondence, also asked him to provide a Foreword to this book of poetry.

The price of 5 shillings and 6 pence in 1966 is equivalent to about £5 in 2018. This is much more expensive than the small books that Carr published, which were initially priced at 6 pence each, which is equivalent to about 46 pence in 2018. This is a nicely produced book with thick covers, but I suspect that trying to sell it at that price made Carr think again about how to publish poetry and that, other than the volume of Joseph Goodson's poems, the format he used for the poems of John Clare in 1964 was the best.