John Clare (13 July, 1934 – 20 May 1864) was an English poet who wrote about the English countryside.
- As the son of a farmer, the poet worked in agriculture as a small boy, but attended school until the ripe old age of 12.
- Some of young Mr. Clare’s favorite books were Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler.
- He started writing poems in an attempt to help his parents pay their rent.
- He read his poems to his parents, under the guise of reading the works of another. He threw away what they didn’t like and kept what they thought was good.
- Clare married Martha Turner (Patty) in 1820. Patty was in the service of the Marquess of Exeter for £45 a year. An amount Mr. Clare has never earned.
- Clare was torn between the literary world in London and the need to take care of his family.
- In 1835 Mr. Clare published his last work, The Rural Muse, which got favorable reviews. The money, however, was not enough for him, his wife and their seven children.
- As his mental health began to get worst, Mr. Clare admitted himself to Dr. Matthew Allen’s private asylum. This was after he verbally abused the actor playing Shylock in a performance of The Merchant of Venice.
- In the asylum, Mr. Clare believed he was a prize fighter with two wives. Later he claimed he was Lord Byron.
- Clare’s works kept being published after his death with collected and unpublished editions.
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