Expensive books about poor people

It’s ironic that, given poet John Clare’s uncannily relatable biographical detail of nearly bankrupting (further) his family’s (mis)fortune because of his habit of buying books he could scarce afford [ecocritic Jonathan Bate writes that these “book-buying binges” (so: simultaneously dubious in quantity and quality) were the product of the “mania” side of Clare’s probable bipolar affliction (John Clare, 414)] his posthumous editors, Eric Robinson and David Powell, have nevertheless gone and bestowed the same fate on all inclined to study the poor bastard! Here’s but a sample of these suspiciously priced OUP unicorns:


I write this between pants of relief after finding simply one of these now decades-old volumes at a mere two figures (way to go https://thetracktor.com!). Just in the nick, as well: I’m slated to present work on the Northamtonshire Poet at this year’s MMLA conference in St. Louis (site: here) and should perhaps plan to know just what it is I’m talking about. I am excited for the gathering, and all the more so since, un-overpriced Clare volume under-arm, I will be joining one of the panels sponsored by ALSE, the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment.

For more questions on the ethics of overpricing artifacts of impoverishment, perhaps Christie’s and Sotheby’s can be contacted.