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24.09.2014

‘An eminently beautiful Object is Fern’: The Romantics and the Victorian Fern Craze

By Sarah Whittingham Of all the many passions and crazes in nineteenth-century gardening and natural history, none was as long lasting or as wide reaching as fern fever, when the plant held a popular fascination for much of society. But this enthralment with the frond came out of nowhere; before the 1830s there was virtually […]

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13.07.2014

The microscopic eye of John Clare

By Sue Edney John Clare liked to get his head down in the grass – ‘close to nature’ in every way. In his poem Clock a Clay, Clare takes a ladybird’s eye-view, hiding in cowslip heads or ‘peeps’, ‘[w]hile grassy forests quake surprise’. His sightline makes the ‘buzzing fly’ a monster, the dew drops on […]

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