Edge of the Orison: In the Traces of John Clare's 'Journey Out of Essex'

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Penguin Books Limited, Oct 26, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages
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In Edge of the Orison the visionary Iain Sinclair walks in the steps of poet John Clare

In 1841 the poet John Clare fled an asylum in Epping Forest and walked eighty miles to his home in Northborough. He was searching for his lost love, Mary Joyce - a woman three years dead ...

In 2000 Iain Sinclair set out to recreate Clare's walk away from madness. He wanted to understand his bond with the poet and escape the gravity of his London obsessions. Accompanied on this journey by his wife Anna (who shares a connection with Clare), the artist Brian Catling and magus Alan Moore - as well as a host of literary ghosts, both visionary and romantic - Sinclair's quest for Clare becomes an investigation into madness, sanity and the nature of the poet's muse.

'Brilliant . . . amusing, alarming and poignant. An elegy for an already lost English landscape. Magnificent and urgent'Robert Macfarlane, Times Literary Supplement

'A sensitive,beautifully rendered portrait . . . a feast, a riddle, a slowly unravelling conundrum . . . a love-letter to British Romanticism'Independent

'Sinclair walks every inch of his wonderful novels and psychogeographies, pacing out huge word-courses like an architect laying out a city on an empty plain'J. G. Ballard, Observer


Iain Sinclair is the author of Downriver (winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Encore Award); Landor's Tower; White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings; Lights Out for the Territory; Lud Heat; Rodinsky's Room (with Rachel Lichtenstein); Radon Daughters; London Orbital, Dining on Stones, Hackney, that Rose-Red Empire and Ghost Milk. He is also the editor of London: City of Disappearances.

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User Review  - Steve38 - LibraryThing

An excellent piece of writing with echoes of both Jack Kerouac and Lawrence Sterne. Mr Sinclair sets off to discover more about the poet John Clare by following, very vaguely, the route he took when ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Iain Sinclair was born in Cardiff in 1943. He is the author of numerous works of fiction, poetry non-fiction, including Lud Heat; White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings; Downriver; Radon Daughters; Lights Out for the Territory; Rodinsky's Room, with Rachel Lichtenstein; Landor's Tower; London Orbital; Dining On Stones; Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire and Ghost Milk; American Smoke and London Overground. Downriver won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Encore Award. He lives in Hackney, east London.

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