LETTER : Clare should belong to us all

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The Independent Online
I WONDER what John Clare would have made of the current claim to the "ownership" of his unpublished manuscripts you report ("John Clare's lost poems revealed", 16 July).

I suspect he would have found it dishearteningly familiar, for he had more than enough experience of what he called the "fence of ownership". One would have thought that posterity would treat the legacy of his work more generously: Clare, of all poets, speaks to, and should belong to, everyone.

John Goodridge

Nottingham Trent University