Romani Studies

The tie that binds: Gypsies, John Clare and English folk culture

Romani Studies (2008), 18, (1), 1–38.

Abstract

No poet in the English language has written so prolifically or so insightfully about Gypsies as John Clare (1793–1864). This article examines the transformation of perceptions and attitudes toward Gypsies in English literature of the Romantic period, serving to elucidate the originality of portrayals of Gypsies in the poetry and prose of John Clare, the 'peasant poet' from Northamptonshire. It proposes that Clare's connection with oral culture and folk tradition informed his unique vision and allowed the poet to recognise his Gypsy acquaintances as tradition bearers.

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Author details

Douaud, Kristine