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John Clare

Carr reported that this was the first book of poetry that he published. John Clare (1793-1864), who was the son of a farm labourer, wrote poems about the countryside and its wildlife. He was born in Helpston, Northamptonshire, Carr's adopted county.

This title was issued to mark the centenary of John Clare's death in 1864. The date the ISBN was registered is December 1964. Carr also claimed that he published the book because Clare's grandson was a milkman for the Co-op who lived on the same road in Kettering as Carr. He published the first edition of this title for the Northants County Association of the National Union of Teachers. According to the History of the QTP (1987) he published nine editions or impressions of Clare's poetry, of which seven have been seen. I reorganised them in October 2020 when I found a new impression, but their order has been guessed so may change again if and when the missing impressions are seen, assuming that they are different in some way and give me some clues as to when they were published.


(Last updated on 13/1/2021)



SBP-CLA1: First edition


Title: none

Publisher: Northants County Association of the N.U.T. by J. Carr, 27 Mill Dale Road, Kettering (see rear cover, left)

Year: (December 1964)

ISBN: 0900847867

Size: 122 x 95 mm

Pages: 12

Staples: one

Binding: white glossy printed card covers

Paper: pale grey laid

Editor: (J.L. Carr)

Cover artist: unknown

Internal illustrations: none

Number in series: none given

Colophon: none

Telephone number: none

Printing history: none stated

Number of other titles listed: none

Printed by: V.B. Pike, Canon Street, Kettering

Content: Title page. Poems: The ladybird; The crow; The wryneck; A lark's nest; The mole-catcher; The badger's death; Childhood; The marten; Turkeys; Sheep in winter; Water-lilies; A yellow-hammer's eggs; Farewell; The poet's death; I long for scenes... (hand written by Carr inside the rear cover with a line drawing, see left).

Image of book

Rear and front covers (click to enlarge)


Image of book

Inside rear cover (click to enlarge)



Notes: The title on the first page is John Clare, Northamptonshire poet, 1793 - 1864. The name of the printer is written on the rear cover. It has only 12 pages, not the usual 16. Inside the rear cover is a drawing by Carr and a verse by Clare (see above, left).

The initial price was 6d (Carr, 1973). This is the only known title by Carr that was published by the Northants Association of the National Union of Teachers. Two other titles are known to have been published by the Northants Campaigner, which was also the name of the Teachers' magazine that Carr edited. They contain the poems of Robert Bloomfield and Joseph Goodson. Thereafter all titles were published by J.L. Carr himself from his house in Mill Dale Road in Kettering.




SBP-CLA2: Second impression


Title: John Clare

Publisher: J. Carr, 27 Mill Dale Road, Kettering (see image, left)

Year:

ISBN:

Size: 128 x 97 mm

Pages: 12

Staples: one

Binding: white glossy printed card covers

Paper: pale grey laid and glossy white paper centrefold

Editor: (J.L. Carr)

Cover artist: unknown

Internal illustrations: none

Number in series: none given

Colophon: none

Telephone number: none

Printing history: none stated

Number of other titles listed: none

Printed by: V.B. Pike, Canon Street, Kettering

Content: Title page. Poems: The ladybird; The crow; The wryneck; A lark's nest; The mole-catcher; The badger's death; Childhood; The marten; Turkeys; Sheep in winter; Water-lilies; A yellow-hammer's eggs; Farewell; The poet's death; I long for scenes... (written by Carr by hand inside the rear cover).

Image of covers

Rear and front covers (click to enlarge)


Image of Inside rear cover (click to enlarge)

Inside rear cover (click to enlarge)


Notes: The title on the first page is John Clare, Northamptonshire poet, 1793 - 1864. The name of the publisher and the printer is written on the rear cover. It has 20 pages, not the usual 16. Inside the rear cover is a drawing by Carr and a verse by Clare.

This edition is thought to be the second as it is published by Carr himself, from his address. It is unusual in that it is 20 pages: 16 pages of poetry printed on grey paper plus a facsimile of a letter signed by John Clare as a centrefold, printed only on one side. The name 'JOHN CLARE' has been added to the cover, printed in brown, so the cover is two colours. This is a much more costly production than the first edition. No other title has been found with a centrefold insert printed on different paper. Kettering Public Library has copies of this and the first edition.




SBP-CLA3: Third impression


Title: John Clare

Publisher: J.L.Carr Publisher, 27 Milldale Road, Kettering

Year: (1968?)

ISBN: none

Size: 123 x xx 96

Pages: 16

Staples: one

Binding: white printed glossy card covers

Paper: white

Editor: (J.L. Carr)

Cover artist: none stated

Internal illustrations: none

Number in series: none stated

Colophon: sun face 1964 with name above and address below

Telephone number: 4995

Printing history: none given

Number of other titles listed: none

Printed by: David Green, Trafalgar Road, Kettering

Content: Title page with quotation from a letter to his editor. Poems: When midnight comes and host of dogs and men...; The shepherd on his journey heard when nigh...; The hedgehog hides beneath the rotten hedge...; The mole-catcher; The marten; The crow; Sheep in winter; Water-lilies; Emmonsails heath in winter; First sight of spring; The ladybird; I am- yet what I am, none cares or knows...; There is nothing but poetry...

Image of book

Rear and front covers (click to enlarge)


Image of book

Inside rear cover (click to enlarge)




Notes: This is one of two small books known to have been printed by David Green, who is thought to precede Harry Richardson as a printer of Carr's small books. The other is the second impression of the poems of Tennyson. Carr added Clare's name to the white band at the top, rather than at the bottom.




SBP-CLA4: Fourth impression


Title: John Clare

Publisher: J.L.Carr Publisher, 27 Milldale Road, Kettering

Year: (197?)

ISBN: 0900847867

Size: 124 x 95 mm

Pages: 16

Staples: 1

Binding: white glossy card

Paper: white

Editor: (J.L. Carr)

Cover artist: none

Internal illustrations: none

Number in series: none given

Colophon: sun face 1964 with address

Telephone number: 4995

Printing history: none stated

Number of other titles listed: none

Printed by: Harry Richardson (Printers) Limited, Water Street, Kettering

Content: Title page with quotation from a letter to his editor. Poems: When midnight comes and host of dogs and men...; The shepherd on his journey heard when nigh...; The hedgehog hides beneath the rotten hedge...; The mole-catcher; The marten; The crow; Sheep in winter; Water-lilies; Emmonsails heath in winter; First sight of spring; The ladybird; I am- yet what I am, none cares or knows...; There is nothing but poetry..

Image of book

Rear and front covers (click to enlarge)


Image of book

Inside rear cover (click to enlarge)




Notes: I think that Harry Richardson was used as a printer after David Green, so this is presumed to be the fourth impression. It is presumed to precede the next impression, also printed by Harry Richardson, because it lists no other titles.




SBP-CLA5: Fifth impression


Title: John Clare

Publisher: J.L.Carr Publisher, 27 Milldale Road, Kettering

Year: (1972?)

ISBN: none

Size: 124 x 95 mm

Pages: 16

Staples: one

Binding: white glossy printed card covers

Paper: white

Editor: (J.L. Carr)

Cover artist: unknown

Internal illustrations: none

Number in series: none given

Colophon: sun face 1964 with name to top and address below

Telephone number: 4995

Printing history: none stated

Number of other titles listed: 15 (including Charles Wesley)

Printed by: Harry Richardson (Printers) Limited, Water Street, Kettering

Content: Quotation from Henry Thoreau. Poems: January; February; March; April; May; June; July; August; September; October; November; December; Water lillies; The ladybird; I am- yet what I am, none cares or knows.

Image of book

Rear and front covers (click to enlarge)


Image of book

Inside rear cover (click to enlarge)


Notes: The title inside the front cover is John Clare, Northamptonshire poet, 1793 - 1864. The colophon and printer are shown inside the rear cover.

Carr revised the text for this impression and replaced many of the poems. As 15 titles are listed (including Charles Wesley, never published), this is presumed to be the fifth impression.




SBP-CLA6: Sixth impression?


Title: John Clare

Publisher: J.L.Carr Publisher, 27 Milldale Road, Kettering

Year: (197?)

ISBN: 0900847867

Size: xxx x xx mm

Pages: 16

Staples:

Binding:

Paper:

Editor: (J.L. Carr)

Cover artist:

Internal illustrations:

Number in series:

Colophon:

Telephone number:

Printing history:

Number of other titles listed:

Printed by:

Content:

Notes: There is assumed to be a sixth impression as the 5th lists only 15 titles while the next impression lists 49 titles, which is quite a jump. Clare was one of Carr's most popular poets, so I suspect that there is an impression between these two, but I could be wrong.

Image of book

Rear and front covers (click to enlarge)


Image of book

Inside rear cover (click to enlarge)




SBP-CLA7: Seventh impression


Title: John Clare

Publisher: J.L.Carr Publisher, 27 Mill Dale Road, Kettering

Year: (1974)

ISBN: 0900847867

Size: 130 x 95 mm

Pages: 16

Staples: one

Binding: white dull printed card covers

Paper: white

Editor: (J.L. Carr)

Cover artist: unknown

Internal illustrations: none

Number in series: none given

Colophon: sun face 1964 with address below

Telephone number: none

Printing history: none stated

Number of other titles listed: 39 printed and 10 added by hand

Printed by: not stated

Content: Quotation from Henry Thoreau. Poems: January; February; March; April; May; June; July; August; September; October; November; December; Water lillies; The ladybird; I am- yet what I am, none cares or knows.

Image of book

Rear and front covers (click to enlarge)


Image of book

Inside rear cover (click to enlarge)


Notes: The title inside the front cover is John Clare, Northamptonshire poet, 1793 - 1864.




SBP-CLA8: Eighth impression


Title: John Clare

Publisher: J.L.Carr Publisher, 27 Mill Dale Road, Kettering

Year: (198?)

ISBN: 0900847867

Size: 129 x 94 mm

Pages: 16

Staples: two

Binding: white glossy card covers

Paper: cream

Editor: (J.L. Carr)

Cover artist: not stated

Internal illustrations: 16 engravings

Illustrator: Thomas Bewick

Number in series: 1

Colophon: sun face 1964

Telephone number: (0536) 514995

Printing history: not stated

Number of other titles listed: none

Printed by: not stated

Content: Title and number in series. Poems: The ladybird; First sight of spring; The hedgegog hides beneath the rotten hedge; The shepherd on his journey heard when nigh; The mole-catcher; The crow; The marten: When midnight comes a host of dogs and men; Water-lilies; On Sunday morning freed from hard employ; Sheep in winter; The crib stock fothered - horses suppered up; Emmonsails heath in winter; I am - yet what I am, none cares or knows; text by Clare.

Image of book

Rear and front covers (click to enlarge)


Image of book

Inside front cover (click to enlarge)





Notes: This is arbitrarily taken to be the eighth impression, but it could be the ninth, I don't know. I haven't seen all nine impressions. Carr also revised the content again for this impression, but used the same cover design, so it might be called a new edition. It is the first impression to contain illustrations, 16 engravings by Thomas Bewick.

Carr stated inside the front (not rear) cover of this impression: This is no. 1 in the series. The number has been added by hand in a space in the type face (see image above). This probably enabled the printer to use the same block of text in several small books.

Some secondhand book dealers ask a lot for this impression, presumably because they think it's the first edition. In fact John Clare is one of the most common of Carr's small books because there were at least nine impressions, so more than 25,000 copies have been sold. It is also still in print (July 2019) with the Quince Tree Press. The true first edition, published in 1964 for the Northants County Association of the N.U.T. by J. Carr, is scarce.




SBP-CLA9: Ninth impression?


Title: John Clare

Publisher: J.L.Carr Publisher, 27 Milldale Road, Kettering

Year: (197?)

ISBN: 0900847867

Size: xxx x xx mm

Pages: 16

Staples:

Binding:

Paper:

Editor: (J.L. Carr)

Cover artist:

Internal illustrations:

Number in series:

Colophon:

Telephone number:

Printing history:

Number of other titles listed:

Printed by:

Content:

Notes: There is assumed to be a ninth impression, but it might have been published before the impression immediately above, which may be the 9th.

Image of book

Rear and front covers (click to enlarge)


Image of book

Inside rear cover (click to enlarge)