John Clare Journal (1824-25)

All of Clare's 1824/5 Journal has now been posted on this site. I will be leaving it for research purposes for the forseeable future. Comments on individual entries are, of course, still very welcome.  I will seek to answer questions within a day or so.

30th April 1825

Recievd another letter from the editor of Bloomfields Correspondence requesting me to alter a line in my sonnet on Bloomfield 'Thy injured muse & memory need no sigh' & asking permission to publish only 2 of them which I shall not agree with either way Editors are troubled with nice amendings & if Doctors were as fond of amputation as they are of altering & correcting the world woud have nothing but cripples.

29th April 1825

The hedge-Sparrow in the Box tree has been about 12 days building her nest the Robin in the wall about 14 & the Jenny-wren near 3 weeks heard all through last night the sort of watch-ticking noise calld a death-watch I observed there was 1 on each side the chamber & as soon as one finished ticking the other began I think it is a call that the male & female use in the time of cohabiting a Jenny wrens nest with the outside just built I mean to see how long she is about the lining

28th April 1825

Hedge-Sparrow finished her nest in Billing's Box-tree & laid l egg — Walnutt showing leaf — Sycamore & Horse-chestnutt nearly coverd I observed a snail on his journey at full speed & I marked by my watch that he went 13 inches in 3 minutes which was the utmost he coud do without stopping to wind or rest It was the large garden snail

27th April 1825

Heard the Cuckoo for the first time this Season — it was said to be heard a week back by a Shepherd — Saw the large Grey Wagtail. I think it a bird of passage as I have never seen it in winter — some young Plants of Ash & Maple showing leaf — Saw a bird with a dark line over each ear I think it one ot the fly catchers

26th April 1825

This used to be 'Breakday' when the fen commons used to be broke as it was calld by turning in the stock it used to be a day of busy note with the villages but Enclosure has spoiled all

25th April 1825

Heard a terrible kick-up with the Rats in the ceiling last night & might have made up a tollerable faith to believe them ghosts — A thunderstorm several claps very loud in the distance came from South West