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Edward Clarke

MA, PhD

Subject: History of Art, English Literature

I have been teaching Art and Architecture and English Literature to A Level students and undergraduates since 2002. I am also a Tutor at the Department for Continuing Education at Oxford University.

By far my favourite subject in the sixth form was History of Art A Level. It really enhanced the interpretive skills I was learning in English literature and History classes at the time. I thoroughly enjoyed learning this new discipline through in-depth slideshows accompanied by the inspiring commentaries of my teachers, who were both practising artists and passionate about the subject. They encouraged me to read widely on the subject, and I have taken their advice ever since. Our trips to Florence, Sienna, Venice, Paris, London, and elsewhere, provided me with an appreciation of the delights of the Grand Tour.

This first encounter with the subject was in the early nineties and resources could be hard to come by. Nowadays I am amazed at how this subject has blossomed online, and it can be as fascinating an experience taking a virtual tour of, say, the Sistine Chapel, as actually visiting the crowded place itself.

History of Art was not offered by Oxford University when I studied there in the mid-nineties, so my first Degree is in English Language and Literature. I also have a PhD from Trinity College, Dublin, where my research focussed on the work of Wallace Stevens. Today I am also known as a poet and literary critic.

My new collection of poems was published by Paraclete Press in April 2020 and is called A Book of Psalms since each of its 150 poems engages in different ways with a Psalm from the Bible. My latest critical book, The Vagabond Spirit of Poetry, makes claims for the efficacy of literature in our industrialised world, where we are presented with environmental, political and economic challenges. The Later Affluence of W. B. Yeats and Wallace Stevens was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.

I look forward to sharing my passion for the History of Art and English Literature with you.

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