Wednesday, 7 May 2014
Romantic Circles is pleased to announce the latest update to The Letters of Robert Bloomfield and his Circle. Tim Fulford and his co-editors have added annotated texts of newly-discovered letters by Robert and his brothers George and Nathaniel. Fragments of a MS poem by George are also presented. Altogether, the new texts illuminate the rapidly-changing print culture of the early nineteenth century. They show the relationship between labouring-class writers and their gentlemen patrons to have been more complex than previously thought; they reveal the power of the reviewing journals; they exhibit the political divisions within the rural working class, even in times of scarcity and protest. And they provide fascinating contemporary portraits of figures including Cobbett, Fox, and the Duchess of Devonshire. Among the works discussed are Robert's third collection Wild Flowers and Nathaniel's Essay on War. (See new letters 80a, 180a, 205a, 302a, 339a, 349a, 360a, 412, and, in the Contextual Materials section, George's fragment "Crude Thoughts").