We were delighted to receive recently an email and a letter from Dr Bob Heyes of Kent, a scholar of the poet John Clare, who very kindly sent us a photocopy of a page of the glossary of William Mavor’s 1812 edition of Tusser’s Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry. Bob had owned this book, sold it to a bookdealer and (in true Clark style) went back to the bookseller once he realised that Clark had owned it and took a copy of the annotated glossary at the back of the book. He then compared the handwriting with that of the letters that Clark wrote to Clare and Clare’s wife Martha, now held at the British Library.
Bob was also able to confirm for us that John Clare, who was by far Clark’s favourite poet (he was very anxious to get his hands on Moments of Forgetfulness), owned Epsom Races (1836), a punning poem written by Clark and printed on his portable printing press at Great Totham, Essex. Our correspondent tells us that this volume, preserved at Northampton Central Library, may have a presentation inscription of some sort, because it is described in the catalogue of the John Clare Collection as “Presented by the author”.