In late September 1825 Clare received a letter dated the 22nd from the publisher and music seller James Power requesting permission to publish one of Clare’s songs. ‘The Banks of Broomsgrove’, set to music by John Barnett. Clare quickly replied giving his permission on the condition that he be paid ‘a trifle’ for the privilege. He offered a brief rationale for such ‘remuneration’, arguing that he needed to protect his copyright: T cannot give them away for nothing lest I forfiet by such permissions any benefits that may arise in future from such publications.’1 He also acknowledged that having one of his songs set to music could ‘go a great way to make a book popular’, and he left the amount of ‘remuneration’ to Power’s discretion. Given the mutual benefits of the arrangement, the two parties quickly came to terms. On 29 September Power completed the transaction by agreeing to Clare’s terms and promising future trade between them: T fully agree & trust you will not find the enclosed (£2—) too small a remuneration for the permission to publish with Music the Words mentioned in my former letter and of which I now send you a proof—With a hope that I may have occasion to apply to you again on a similar subject.’2
KeywordsPeriodical Publication Literary Circle Professional Writer Music Seller Obvious Appeal
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