Austin, Frances Books
About the authors: Frances Austin taught English Language and Stylistics at the University of Liverpool and has written several books on the language of English poets, including Wordsworth, Coleridge and the metaphysical poets. She lives in Dorset and continues writing and research on various aspects of English language, editing a regular feature dealing with modern English language for the journal English Studies.
Bernard Jones has taught in the University of Cape Town and in England. He has worked extensively on Barnes’s papers and prose works as well as the poems. In 1962 he published the Poems of William Barnes in two volumes, and this has been the standard work for the poetry ever since. He has also written on Hardy and other Wessex writers.2002 0-7734-7240-1
This study focuses on the way in which Barnes uses and experiments with techniques of meter, rhyme and sound, and shows how an understanding of the language of the poems, not only dialect but also standard English, is essential to appreciating the worth of Barnes’s poetical output. A detailed examination of the way in which he set about composing his verse reveals the careful and self-conscious craftsman who lies behind the superficial oddities that may strike the present day reader.
“. . . its strength and distinction lie above all in the depth and extent of its demonstrated knowledge of Barnes’s verse, in the rich profusion of individual passages that it brings forward for detailed examination, and in the powerful sense it provides both of the unexpected range of Barnes’s achievement and the long-term persistence of his central themes. It will stand as in every sense the fullest study of Barnes the poet yet to be published and as a book that all those interested in Barnes will wish to read and own.” – Michael Millgate