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John Clare: Voice of Freedom

93 pages1 hour


Providing a firsthand account of the land enclosure movement of the 19th century from a major English poet, this extensively researched study gives modern readers an appreciation of the divisive effects of such policies. Structured chronologically, this exploration of John Clare’s life highlights the socioeconomic and environmental aspects of his observations and includes his reports on an insidious revolution taking place in England, where a Parliament dominated by landowners authorized the enclosure of large tracts of land by private acts. Claiming that an impoverished rural population was consequently driven into urban slumsproviding cheap labor at the dawn of the Industrial Revolutionthe study argues that this is the cause of many poverty issues that modern governments struggle with to this day. Clare’s poetry and writing reveals something of the pre-enclosure way of life and also presents his appreciation of what was happening and his anger at its injustice.

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