Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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June 19, 2007
new enclosure movement


How Children Lost the Right to Roam in Four Generations:

. . .

The contrast between Edward and George's childhoods is highlighted in a report which warns that the mental health of 21st-century children is at risk because they are missing out on the exposure to the natural world enjoyed by past generations.
source: here, via here, via here


[John] Clare had cause to look back longingly on "nature's preserve" where he grew up, "the lonely nooks in the fields & woods & my favorite spots ... before enclosure [.pdf] destroyed them."

In 1809, when he was 16, Parliament [.pdf] passed an Act for the Enclosure of Helpston and neighboring parishes.

For centuries the village had lain among huge fields, woods, heath, and wasteland . . . Now fences and other barriers enclosed [.pdf] the open and common lands for private use, setting rectangular bounds on a world that once centered in Helpston and ranged out freely in the circle of a child's roving.

That "wandering scene" is gone, Clare says in "The Moors."

. . .

Turning thirty, Clare had his first bouts of severe depression, on top of poverty, seven children to feed, publishing troubles, anguish at enclosure, and an unwanted move from his birthplace. . . .

Hallucinations and worsening depression send him to a private asylum near London. . . .

After a few months, "homeless at home," he is confined to the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum for his last 24 years.
source: here, via here