BLUNDEN, Edmund Charles, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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BLUNDEN, Edmund Charles (1896-1974). Poet, critic and biographer.
Seventeen pages of autograph critical notes for 'John Clare / a Life' by J.W. and Anne Tibble, with seven Autograph Letters Signed (some signed with initials). Highly revealing of Blunden's knowledge of John Clare, whose poems he had co-edited in 1920. A few stains and paper-clip marks, but generally in good and legible condition.

Included is a the Tibbles's own copy of the biography (first edition, Cobden-Sanderson, 1932) in which the acknowledgements commence with the statement that 'We are deeply in debt to Mr. Edmund Blunden ... His private enthusiasm his zeal in collecting and his generosity in giving away information, his patient devotion of time to answering our many requests and to reading and re-reading the manuscript of this Life, we record here with a sense of lasting obligation.' That this encomium is amply justified may be judged by the seventeen pages of Blunden's critical notes, each written in his small and neat calligraphy on one side of a small page. The correspondence begins with a letter (to Anne Tibble) in August 1931 and continues until 1934.

In addition there are two Autograph Letters Signed from Lascelles Abercrombie (to John William Tibble), 3 pages 8vo, 'Christmas Day', ?1933, and 3 January 1934, offering to help with the edition of Clare's poems (which appeared in 2 volumes in 1935).

In 1931 Blunden sends notes on Henry Behnes and refers to Lamb's earliest allusion to Clare which 'appears to be in a note to B.W. Procter, (May 10, 1821)', tells J.W. Tibble that he had bought The Literature of Labour by E[dwin] Paxton Hood, 1851, from which he quotes at length a memoir of Clare, and again talks of Clare and Lamb, following with three letters after the publication of the Life:

'... The book was Expensive. It is an admirable book, & you won't have minded the silly impertinences of some reviewers who perhaps aimed less at Clare than his present-day advocates. ... I am, so far as concerns me, intent on seeing a collective-selective Clare on the shelves within a few years, & you have the whole equipment. ...'
[17 September 1932]
one fine ballad by Clare from the Tayloriana recently lent me ...'
[4 January 1934]

The critical notes for the Life show both Blunden's meticulous reading of the manuscript and his considerable knowledge of the life and work of the poet. Each note is keyed to the page (of the manuscript) and many have been ticked, presumably by the Tibbles to indicate that the message has been taken on board and perhaps acted upon.
[No: 26008]

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