JOHN CLARE BY HIMSELF
JOHN CLARE (1793-1864) was born in Helpston, Northamptonshire, in 1793 and spent most of his life in the countryside. His first collection was the highly successful Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (1820). This was followed by The Village Minstrel (1821), The Shepherd's Calendar (1827) and The Rural Muse (1835). He suffered a series of severe breakdowns in later life and spent his last twenty years in an asylum in Northampton. A Midsummer Cushion was published posthumously, in 1975.
ERIC ROBINSON is a world authority on John Clare and Vice President of the John Clare Society. The many books he has edited include John Clare's Autobiographical Writings, as well as (with P.M.S. Dawson and David Powell) A Champion for the Poor: Political Verse & Prose, Cottage Tales and The Northborough Sonnets; and (with Richard Fitter) John Clare's Birds. In addition to the books mentioned above, DAVID POWELL has also edited The Early Poems of John Clare 1804-1822, with Eric Robinson and Margaret Grainger.