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Member: jfclark

CollectionsYour library (6,483), Currently reading (9), All collections (6,483)


TagsPoetry (557), 17th century (432), Drama (408), ABC (402), Early fantasy (395), Arthurian (373), Fantasy (350), 20th century (329), Medieval Literature (312), French (303) — see all tags

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About meCollege, which ought to have led me to become an English lit scholar, instead took me to law school, where I learned just enough real law to become a humdrum "in-house" corporate lawyer. One great blessing of this unplanned vocation has been to enable me to buy and read all (or nearly all) the books I want, which is probably the next best thing to literary scholarship, with none of the publish-or-perish nonsense. I'm also married with two young daughters.

About my libraryInterests evolve, of course, but presently I'm most interested in English literature from the 12th through the 18th centuries, with growing specialized collections in Middle English, Arthurian romance, Elizabethan-Jacobean drama, Boswell/Johnson-iana and "early" (Tolkien and earlier) fantasy literature (including Lost Race books and pulps). I have numerous other mini-collections, including 19th & 20th century ghost stories and psychic detective stories, World War I, paleography and manuscript art, and medieval French literature. Within these areas I'm drawn both to academic/critical editions and to "firsts."

Groups18th Century British Literature, Adventure Classics, Ancient and Medieval Manuscripts, Anglophiles, Antiquarian Books, Arthurian Legends, Baker Street and Beyond, Birds, Birding & Books, Christianity, Council of Elrondshow all groups

Favorite authorsLancelot Andrewes, C.E.W. Bean, Max Beerbohm, Algernon Blackwood, Kyril Bonfiglioli, James Boswell, Ernest Bramah, Sir Thomas Browne, Robert Browning, John Buchan, John Bunyan, Robert Burton, James Branch Cabell, Thomas Carlyle, Leslie Charteris, G. K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie, Winston S. Churchill, Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, Edmund Crispin, John Crowley, Avram Davidson, Charles Dickens, John Donne, Norman Douglas, Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexandre Dumas, Lord Dunsany, Lawrence Durrell, Umberto Eco, E. R. Eddison, Steven Erikson, J. Meade Falkner, Patrick Leigh Fermor, C. S. Forester, J. W. Fortescue, Robert Greene, H. Rider Haggard, William Hope Hodgson, Robert E. Howard, Samuel Johnson, Rudyard Kipling, R. A. Lafferty, C. S. Lewis, H. P. Lovecraft, John Lukacs, Arthur Machen, Herman Melville, A. A. Milne, John Milton, Vladimir Nabokov, Patrick O'Brian, Mervyn Peake, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Frederick Rolfe, William Shakespeare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, Jeremy Taylor, J. R. R. Tolkien, Mark Twain, Jack Vance, Evelyn Waugh, Edward Whittemore, Charles Williams, P. G. Wodehouse, Gene Wolfe, Dornford Yates (Shared favorites)

Real nameJames Clark

LocationHaverhill, Massachusetts

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/jfclark (profile)
/catalog/jfclark (library)

Member sinceApr 20, 2006

Currently readingSaint-Simon : Mémoires, tome I 1691-1701 by Saint-Simon
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir Orfeo by J.R.R. Tolkien
Idylls of King and Selected Poems by Alfred Tennyson
Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (Oxford World's Classics) by John Cleland
Le Morte d'Arthur (Modern Library Classics) by Thomas Sir Malory
show all (9)

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Actually, I wasn't aware of that citation, so thanks for pointing it out! I have the New Mermaids edition of Arden of Faversham edited by Martin White, but not the new revised version from 2007. (Mine was published in 1990.) I actually saw that newest edition this summer in Prague at the World Shakespeare Congress, but didn't buy it or really even look at it, because I didn't realize it had a new intro. I see that Amazon lists Martin White as the editor, but also mentions Tom Lockwood. I'll have to keep my eye out for that.
>I note that our "books shared" number is approaching 2000. My wife, who already is convinced that I'm insane, would no doubt be dismayed to think that there is another lunatic out there like me.

>I should also note that I finally picked up the Storisende set that had been lying unwanted on my local bookseller's shelf for years. Am quite happy with it. Next Cabell to read: Gallantry.

Hi James – good to hear from you. Glad to hear that another Storisende set has been adopted. Juicy details please – does it have the slipcases? What set number? Gallantry, huh? an underrated volume in my opinion. Probably you know that in reading it in the Storisende edtion, you're getting the fourth incarnation of that material. First they were all magazine stories; then they were significantly revised to form the 1907 Gallantry volume; then Gallantry was revised to bring it more in line with his maturer style in 1921 (I think); and finally it was again significatly revised for the 1928 Storisende volume. In the orginal version of In the Secoind April that brigand the hero kills in the duel in the field was just a local outlaw; by the time of the Storisende, the outlaw has become the illegitimate sone of Florian and his half-sister, from The High Place. I notice from eyesdropping on your comments on Dave Kathman's page that you're on a ramapage through Renaissance and Restoration drama -- so you've no doubt noticed the closeness in tone and style of many of the Gallantry episodes to Restoration comedy, a favorite genre of Cabell's. Thr story called A Casual Hoineymoon makes me laugh out loud every time I read it, and reads like an out-take from Etherege or Wycherly.

I was excited to hear of your play-reading project, in part because I want to solicit your opinion. When I began dabbling in attribution studies in the 1980s I read virtually every professional play between about 1580 and about 1620 (and a number thru 1640) which led me to form some opinions about various anonymous plays. How's your ear for style? Now that you've read a bunch of plays by Dekker and by Heywood, wuld you be able to tell them apart if you were handed a play with the t.p. torn off? Have you read anything by William Haughtin? (Englishmen for my Money; Grim Collier of Croydon; Patient Grisell with Dekker & Chettle)? Have you read the anonymous plays Merry Devil of Edmonton, A Warning for Faire Women or Captain Thomas Stukely? No pressure (ha ha ha!), just wondering...

Well, lunch is over, so back to work!
Yeah, I got "In Defiance of Time" for half price in April at the Shakespeare Association of America meeting. Academic conferences like that are where I get a lot of my academic books, because it's often possible to get great deals. It looks pretty interesting, but of course I haven't had time to read it yet (see below about lack of time).
Oh, and I'm also a little jealous that you have time to read all that drama. I saw where you got the Congreve, and I see you just added the 1934 Marston today. I have a lot of that stuff, much of which I read or at least skimmed years ago, but I have too much else going on to really dive into it any more.
Wow, I'm jealous. I originally got to Weever through the Shakespeare connection, which is why I was asked to do the DNB article on him (one of 37 I did), but I've always had an interest in early modern antiquarians. See my "antiquarians" tag, though it's all modern stuff. I'm also into medieval chroniclers, monks, and monasteries, partly for similar reasons.
Did you actually get a first edition of John Weever's Ancient Funerall Monuments? Or is it a reprint or an electronic version or something? I wrote the Oxford DNB article on Weever.
Did the set cost an arm and leg? Maybe I'll keep an eye out for one. 1927, right? There's been a personal moratorium on buying, ever since I moved myself and my library into a new apartment. I am rather fond of what I have and still take keen pleasure in browsing the shelves, but I think I'll cool my heels as best I can for the moment.

Yes, Montague Summers, the vampire hunter and pedant of the occult. How is he on Shadwell?
I just have to comment on your library again, what selection! I'd love to flip through your 5 volume Thomas Shadwell.
Actually, I see it here (volume XII):

And, now at the open library:ôme

Looks as though it's not a literal translation. Too bad.
Hi James,

I see you have the pleiades edition of Brantome. Very jealous. I hope you might help answer a question for me about Brantome. Did he write something specifically titled 'Duelling Stories of the Sixteenth Century' or was this material simply culled from his writings?


*I have the Tallemant too. Are you ordering directly from
Yes - the Renaissance was the truly sumptuous decadence! I have been hoarding compulsively from all angles. Currently fixated on Venice and Byzantium. After that has passed, I will see if you have added anything I can poach on the Grail legends.
Oops, sorry, that should be
I've used the 1905 Purchas in the past for its version of the 1610-11 Bermuda expedition, which is well-known in Shakespeare studies for being one of the sources for The Tempest, and which I cited in my article "Dating the Tempest" ( I remember there being a lot of interesting stuff in there. I might be tempted if I saw it online, though I have no idea where I would put 20 volumes since I already have books stacked up everywhere.
I'm jealous of your 20-volume Purchas His Pilgrimes! Where did you get that?
Yes, all is well, aside from not enough time to read... I've been flitting back and forth between early modern, Tolkien, WWII, Arthurian, Cabell; and not devoting enough time to anyone of them. Have you seen Arda Reconstructed by Kane? Analyses the published Silmarillion vs the potential SIlmarillion-- very intersting, if a bit too hard on Christopher Tolkien.

The Cabell list is already up. I had to name it something and I got a number of intersting suggestions, all different, but ended oging with something that appealed to me. If everyone hates it we can always change it. Here's the link:
I have uploaded a cover for The Mons Star: The British Expeditionary Force, 5th Aug.–22nd Nov. 1914 by David Ascoli. This is from the 1981 Harrap hardcover edition.
I have uploaded a cover for The German Naval Mutinies of World War I by Daniel Horn.
Hi, I just joined this site. I noticed that you're into Memoir Books. Have you read Home After Dark? Here's a link:
I read LoTR 4 times between the ages of 15 and 25 [I was born in 1953] and then several times since [including unabridged audio-- I love Rob Inglis’s reading]. The new two-volume Hobbit is what got me started on my recent kick. I hadn’t had too much truck with Tolkien ‘scholarship’ per se until recently, although Verlyn Flieger is an acquaintance—she teaches at my alma mater UMCP and shopped at my [late great] bookstore. Unless you count the material in HoME, that is—I read a lot of that about 10 yrs ago and started it up again in the last year or two. I also just read Hammond & Scull’s Reader’s Guide to LoTR, and got Verlyn’s new edition of Smith of Wooton Major; then I realized I had never read many of the books to which I saw constant reference made. So I started accumulating some JRRT scholarship, and have recently read both of Shippey’s books, the Carpenter bio, Flieger’s 3rd book, Brian Rosebury’s book, about half a dozen academic collections of articles and all 5 Tolkien Studies Right now I’m reading the Tom Shippey edited collection on Grimm’s Deutsche Mythology called The Shadow Walkers which deals with dwarves, elves, trolls, giants, dragons, etc from a Germanic mythology pov. And Ive recently read and listened to Children of Hurin of course. I wonder how Tolkien’s larger mythology might be perceived by the public at large and by critics if Children of Hurin had been published in 1979 [was it?] instead of The Silmarillion…
This may seem silly but I had to send you a little message. I was entering some of my books into my library when I discovered an interesting fact. You and I are the only two people with the book "The Eighteenth Century" edited by Blickensderfer in our libraries. I don't remember how long ago I bought it. It has been languishing on a burried shelf for years. Hopefully I can give it a look again soon.

It's a pleasure to meet you, too! Crypto-Willobie (aka Bill Lloyd) and I have actually known each other for years, long before I knew about LibraryThing -- in fact, I was the one who told him about LT. We have very similar interests, though his library is much better than mine. And, of course, you have at least some similar interests to both of us. I see that we're the only three people who have Black's new edition of the Marprelate Tracts, and I'm guessing there are probably other things like that.

Putnam, eh? The only fund of theirs that I cover as an analyst is the Utilities Growth & Income fund. I cover a lot of different funds, mostly domestic equity but with a fair number of bond funds mixed in. Oppenheimer and Neuberger Berman are a couple of the families I'm in charge of. I also cover socially responsible funds, especially religious ones, and miscellaneous other stuff.

As for "provincial" or "touring" tastes as explanations for some of the oddities of the bad quartos -- I am indeed familiar with that theory, though it's pretty out of favor now. Over the last few decades, a lot more has been discovered about touring practices, much of it by people associated with the Records of Early English Drama (REED) project, and they've found that touring was not a slapdash, last-ditch process in which a reduced company performed for unsophisticated country audiences, as people a century ago assumed; it was actually a highly organized activity that usually involved a full company and could be very profitable, and audiences in the provinces expected (and usually got) the same plays that were done in London. There's been a lot of great stuff done recently on touring players, and I'm sure there will be more to come.

Anyway, thanks for the note, and I'm sure we'll be in touch, perusing each other's online libraries with envy!

ooh-- i see you've got the 15 vol complete robert greene -- i'm greene with envy! i have a fair amount of it xeroxed to mark up for counting liguistic features, but ive never seen one for sale at human prices...

It is indeed great.
Yes my LT handle does allude, for no very significant reason, to Willobie his Avisa. A number of years ago I wanted to send a suggestion to a Shakespeare scholar without stating who I was, and this was the 'secret identity' I came up with. The uncertain identities of the characters in WHA and the fact that it vaguely resembles my own name [WILLiam LLOyd, BIll] amused me more than it ought. I've dug it up a few times over the years, and it seemed right for LT.

I love Nashe; and I see you've got Joe Black's new Marprelate volume. He advised me on an unpublished paper I was working on [re-]arguing that Nashe wrote the anti-Martinist An Almond for a Parratt, after someone who should know better stated in print but without argument that it was almost certainly by Lyly.

I must confess that although I have a lot of Cabell I haven't ready any for quite a few years, though I always mean t get back to him. I tell people that I'll have to retire tomorrow and then live forever just to make a dent in my reading list. I suspect you know what I mean.

You are one of the few 21st Century readers to show up on Charles Lamb's list of shared books.
I am admiring your Blake's Book of Job.
Thanks for joining the Politcal Conservatives group. Welcome!
Yes, A Worlde of Wordes is a lotte of funne! I have been tempted to pick up the Olms reprint of Randle Cotgrave’s 1611 Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues too. (There’s an online version of it here.)
I'm in the middle of "Carnacki- Ghost Finder". "Ghost Pirates"
is on the way. My stockpile is growing and reassuring. ;-)
Lately finishing off W.H.Hodgson. Another unique, interesting,
gothic writer. Hogg and Machen are old favorites.
Just ordered "Strayers from Sheol" by Wakefield. Looking forward
to getting "into" it. "Imagine a Man in a Box" is a favorite. One of the
most unique books I've read. Kind of unclassifiable.
Check out this BookStore Opportuinty with Chrisitan Leaders.
Help Charity, Give to your church, have
extra income to live the way God intended!
Call me anytime!
~ Brad (Sorry to bother you if your not interested)
My dissertation was about 16th/17th century English preaching manuals as statements of religious language theory. So most of the chapters looked at artes praedicandi rather than sermons per se. Of course, Donne didn't write an ars praedicandi, so we have to piece together the various comments he made throughout his sermons and infer what we can from his methods. Several scholars have tried. I'm not sure how successful I was. I have greater confidence in my more recent work, which is about the logic of parables in Donne's sermons.

I see from your blurb that you are a nonprofessional literary scholar (or, as I describe myself, a "plan B academic"). Do you do any writing?
Thanks for stopping by. I'm always happy to run into other Donne enthusiasts here. Donne is one of my passions. A large portion of my dissertion dealt with his sermons. Although I'm not a professional academic, I remain active in the John Donne Society and publish in John Donne Journal. This year I'm moving off the sermons (for now) and working on the Holy Sonnets. Since the Variorum edition came out and settled the question of sequence (showing that Donne intended two distinct sequences of twelve sonnets each), the field is wide open to fresh interpretation.

As for Vol. 5, I can only advise you to keep checking abebooks, alibris, and the rest (which I'm sure you're already doing). Once in a while something turns up. Vol. 5 contains undated sermons, including several sermons preached at christenings and churching ceremonies and a series on Psalm 6.

So how did you get interested in Donne?
Greetings from a fellow Haverhill resident.... Quite a long list you got there!
Dear jfclark:

We have twenty-three books in common. The book in your collection that caught my attention was John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress". God used that book to draw me to Jesus Christ. The same relative who gave me "Pictorial Pilgrim's Progress" at age eight, also gave me "The Silver Chair" when I was nine. I became interested in Marco Polo in 1962 when I saw my first color movie at a drive-in theater in eastern Oregon. Marco Polo starred Rory Calhoun, and although it wasn't historically accurate, it sparked my interest in all things Chinese, eventually leading to ancient Chinese bronzes and bronzeware characters. The OE epic poem, Beowulf, also fascinates me. My weakness is science fiction from Asimov, Lawhead, Lewis, Verne, Wells, and Wylie & Balmer. Please feel free to stop by for a visit. God bless. yangguy
I just wanted to pop in and say hello. You seem to be the only one (except me) who has a copy of A.C. Doyles "The Parasite". It would be interesting to hear your opinion about it.

Julian Ipsen
Nice library you have there! I have to complement you on your book selection as I only have eighty something in my library and we share almost 40 common interest, small world!
For antique Bibles try the folks at
Hi, I noticed you've bought some of our books -- thank you for supporting us, and I hope you enjoyed them!

Like you, I went to law school and became a lawyer, but unlike you, I didn't have the sense to get a decent paying job to support my bibliomania....instead I went back to grad school and started publishing obscure novels.

BTW, if you're interested in pre-Tolkien fantasy, you might check out the new edition of The Magic Ring (1826) we just put out [shameless plug]
May I recommend for your WWII reading, Ernie Pyle? An excellent personalized view of the war as it happened. Good title to start with: Brave Men.
You might be interested in [Renaissance of Wonder] by [[Marion Lochhead]]. Its subtitle is The Fantasy Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S.Lewis, George MacDonald, E. Nesbit and others. I seem to be the lone LTer listing it, but it's one of my favorite books.
Since you are into books pertaining to WWI you might check out Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August.

I noticed that we have some books in common. I haven't put in all my books yet, but we seem to have many common interests. Are you interested in particular editions? I would recommend that you look at the Oxford English Novels series. These were published in the 60's and very early 70's and are excellent editions. Some are quite rare. If you would like some assistance in finding books, let me know. I am a retired university Librarian and know a lot of used and rare book dealers who might help you.

John Ryland
I'm now pushing 700 titles and have many to go, but still noting how many book titles we share.
Just noting how many books we share, even though I only have ca. 400 books cataloged thus far--aiming toward 3-4K.
Ecellent. I shall seek it out. Thank you.
Excellent sentiment about ratio of read to owned. In cataloguing, I was thinking along the same lines; I was surprised at how many books I forgot I had and haven't opened yet.

BTW, you share 32 of my 102 catalogued books.
hi, I was just having a nose through your catalogue - and noticed a couple of books by Thomas Burke, Limehouse Nights and More Limehouse Nights. Limehouse in London? Are they any good - worth hunting down? We share enough good stuff for your opinion to be reliable I think.

What happened to volume 5 of Donne's sermons?
If you don't mind my asking, why have you got two different versions of Gibbon?
I do find it very odd that although plenty of people have volumes 1 and 3 of the Penguin Gibbon, we are the only ones who have volume 2.

I'm hoping that the process of cataloguing will improve the ratio of books read to books owned, which is currently dismal. Good thing that book-buying has intrinsic value!
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