Clemo's Love Letters
Heartfelt Valentines cards written by the Cornish poet Reginald John 'Jack' Clemo have been uncovered by researchers at Exeter University as part of the Archive Awareness Campaign. Clemo didn't find true love until he reached his early '50s.
Jack Clemo was born in Goonmarris Slip in the heart of St Austell's clay country, in 1916 and was the son of an illiterate clay-kiln worker.
Clemo came from a humble background, endured several periods of complete blindness as a child and left school at the age of just twelve.
Ruth and Jack in clay country
However he became known as a prolific writer, who later in life became permanently blind and almost deaf but still managed to become nationally recognised for his poetry and prose.
Clemo was deeply religious and fervently believed it was God's will for him to marry; however he didn't find true love until he reached his early 50's when he met and married Ruth Peaty, a laundry woman from Weymouth.
As a result Clemo was also able to rediscover a lighter side to life and his poetry. His love for Ruth and self-expression through his poetry, and his mischievous wit, are encapsulated in the little romantic cards he composed each year for his 'sweet little Pixie':
This Valentines comes chirping