TQM- Notes 3 – pp 135 to end

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Maudsley engine –

Maudsley table engine

Rawnsley and the wood-carving machine (p. 140-141):

“In a letter to his friend Rawnsley in 1842 Tennyson wrote: “How the wood-scheme goes on, you ask. The concern, I believe, is going on very well; there are as many orders as can be executed by our old presses; we have been modelling presses all this time. We have dropt the name ‘Pyroglyph’ as too full of meaning… and call ourselves ‘The Patent Decorative Carving and Sculpture Company!’

“The wood-scheme here mentioned originated in a Dr. Allen, who lived near Beech Hill, and had conceived the idea of wood-carving by machinery. He was apter in enthusiasm than in foresight, and had persuaded the poet to invest in the undertaking all his personal capital. Tennyson’s interest in the scheme was not merely financial. It was the combination of art, machinery and philanthropy which proved irresistible to him;”
check out http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/on-line/energyhall/page128.asp  

Simple C major Clementi sonata (p. 145) at:

p. 150 –  Tennyson invests in Allen’s scheme –
“A Blueprint of His Dissent: Madness and Method in Tennyson’s Poetry” by Roger S. Platizky details Tennyson’s involvement in the project.


p. 157 –  “Arthur and Emily getting married”  –

Emily Tennyson - Alfred's wife

Alfred Lord Tennyson eventually married Emily Sellwood, a talented woman he had known since childhood.


“The Carlyle’s”  p. 160 – Thomas Carlyle was a friend and they corresponded about various things.

Leopard’s Hill Lodge” -p. 161 –  one of the units at Beech Hill House –  where Clare resided.

“orrery” – p. 166 –  “An orrery is a mechanical device that illustrates the relative positions and motions of the planets and moons in the Solar System in a heliocentric model. Though the Greeks had working planetaria, the first orrery that was a planetarium of the modern era was produced in 1704, and one was presented to the Earl of Orrery — whence the name came. They are typically driven by a clockwork mechanism with a globe representing the Sun at the centre, and with a planet at the end of each of the arms.”

orrery - a 19th century planet model


“There’s a Doctor Bottle imp who deals in urine…”  p. 173

From Don Juan: a poem written by Clare during this time. It’s included in “The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: The Age of Romanticism, Volume 4” – http://tinyurl.com/76vvoa5  (GoogleBooks) also:


John Taylor”  p. 174 –   publishing friend of Clare’s who advised family to send him to Allen’s asylum. – the owner of the young Clare’s local bookstore was a cousin to Taylor.

p. 175 – “He’s rewriting one of Byron’s poems.”

During his first few asylum years in Essex (1837–1841), Clare re-wrote famous poems and sonnets by Lord Byron. His own version of Child Harold became a lament for past lost love, and Don Juan, A Poem became an acerbic, misogynistic, sexualised rant redolent of an aging Regency dandy. Clare also took credit for Shakespeare‘s plays, claiming to be the Renaissance genius himself. “I’m John Clare now,” the poet claimed to a newspaper editor, “I was Byron and Shakespeare formerly.”


“Come, gentle Spring!  Ethereal Mildness!  Come.”  p. 189,  is from  James Thomson‘s

James Thomson - author of "Seasons""Seasons," a book Clare had purchased before writing his own. It was a huge inspiration. - Also - I see it's influence in the chapters and structure of "The Quickening Maze."

“Seasons,”  a book Clare had purchased before writing his own.  It was a huge inspiration.   – Also –  I see it’s  influence in the chapters and structure of “The Quickening Maze.”

“holly bush shone with berries”  – p.195
Autumn is the prime time for holly berries in Epping Forest.


“The bishop”  (p. 211) might refer to the Bishop of Chester (p. 216)  who was Charles Blomfield at the time – (1828-1856) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Blomfield  .  Hard to find anything in relation to Matthew Allen,  though – not mentioned in the Bishop’s memoirs.

Tennyson's home on the isle of Wight

Tennyson's home on the isle of Wight

Tennyson’s future (p. 216) – unknown,  but Queen Victoria will pronounce In Memoriam,  the poem he is writing at Epping Forest,  to be the poem that touches her grief when Prince Albert dies.  He is made Poet Laureate, meets the Queen, and with his family, moves to a home on the Isle of Wight.


“Gules” (p. 217) – a heraldic blood red – red fur worn around the neck,from gole  throat, from Latin gula gullet.  The Tennyson family crest had a lot of red in it.  Between 1856 and 1885 Tennyson wrote the poem “Idylls of the King” about King Arthur dedicated to Prince Albert.  Tennyson’s descriptions of nature are derived from observations of his own surroundings, collected over the course of many years.


pg. 218 –  Had he lived, Arthur Hallam would likely have married Alfred’s sister, Emilia Tennyson.  She later  married a British naval officer.

The Viscount (pg. 224) Seymour (or whomever this is) is probably fictitious although there were several with that name at different times -also there were name changes,  Somerset, etc.



Lord Radstock ( p. 231) an Admiral in the Brit Navy – a patron of Clare’s,  died in 1825. Clare wrote him a poem in ?

Chester railway station - opened 1848

The first York railway station was a temporary wooden building on Queen Street outside the walls of the city, opened in 1839 by the York and North Midland Railway. It was succeeded in 1841, inside the walls, by what is now York old railway station.

(p. 239) Tennyson said his family invested 8,000£:

In 2010, £8000 0s 0d from 1841 is worth:
£567,000.00 using the retail price index
£5,460,000.00 using average earnings

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe :
“Evil I am without defense…”

(p245) “It was common land a few months back…”
“Common land is a piece of land in private ownership, where other people have certain traditional rights to use it in specified ways, such as being allowed to graze their livestock or gather firewood.”
“Clare grew up during a period of massive changes in both town and countryside as the Industrial Revolution swept Europe.   Many former agricultural workers, including children, moved away from the countryside to over-crowded cities, following factory work.   The Agricultural Revolution saw pastures ploughed up, trees and hedges uprooted, the fens drained and the common land enclosed.   This destruction of a centuries-old way of life distressed Clare deeply.   His political and social views were predominantly conservative (“I am as far as my politics reaches ‘King and Country’—no Innovations in Religion and Government say I.”).   He refused even to complain about the subordinate position to which English society relegated him, swearing that “with the old dish that was served to my forefathers I am content.”[7]

(pg 253) –  Northampton Lunatic Asylum –  founded by public subscription, opened to

Northampton Lunatic Asylum - 1849

“private and pauper lunatics” on 1 August 1838. The hospital was built on land once owned by the Cluniac Priory of St Andrew’s.

John Clare, the “Northamptonshire peasant poet” spent his last 23 years in the Hospital and was given freedom to wander round the town and local area. The John Clare unit of the hospital is named after him.

(pg 252+) “towards home”
“On 20th July 1841, after four years residence at Matthew Allen’s High Beach Private Asylum near Loughton, in Epping ForestJohn Clare, England’s greatest peasant poet,  absconded and began walking back to his home in Northboroughin North Cambridgeshire, along the route of the Great North Road. He walked over 80 miles in four days, on foot, alone, penniless, sleeping rough and eating grass. This is his extraordinary account of that nightmarish journey:”

“The Plough”  – per Clare’s journal entries later.
I can’t find this anywhere else and the blog has no source notes –  Fouls may have simply used The Plough as an allusion to many poems with plow in them.

“Highland Mary”  (pg 256)  An old Scottish folk tune adapted by Robert Burns.  The yearning for a deceased lover (Mary) resemble the relationship John Clare had with his childhood Mary. http://www.robertburns.org/encyclopedia/CampbellHighlandMary176315186.180.shtml

MORE… (!)

“Man Out of Time: John Clare was once as famous a poet as John Keats. What happened?”
By Christopher Caldwell – at Slate / Oct. 2003


Clare Cottage:  The John Clare Trust purchased John Clare Cottage in 2005, preserving it for future generations. The Cottage has been restored, using traditional building methods, to create a centre where people can learn about John Clare, his works, how rural people lived in the early 19th century and also gain an understanding of the environment.


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