Clarke, Charles Cowden

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Clarke, Charles Cowden,

1787–1877, English lecturer and author. He was a close friend of Keats, who was a pupil of Clarke's father. Clarke's lectures on Shakespeare were published as Shakespeare Characters (1863). He and his wife, Mary Victoria (Novello) Cowden Clarke, 1809–98, wrote Recollections of Writers (1878), and she compiled The Complete Concordance to Shakespeare (1844–45).


See study by R. D. Altick (1948, repr. 1973).

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Roe's book is divided into six major sections, the first of which ("Early Years, 1795-1814") conjures the memory of a boy who, despite losing his father in a suspicious riding accident as well as being "abandoned by his mother" and thus "primed with insecurities," decided to overcome these and myriad other early adversities once he had settled into Clarke's Academy, where he "read steadily along the library shelves as if pacing himself to go the distance" and where he flourished as a result of his close friendship with Charles Cowden Clarke (25, 37).
It had belonged to Keats' friend Charles Cowden Clarke, who cut the poem into 13 pieces and distributed them to friends.

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