References and Further Reading 1. Various Concepts of Consciousness The concept of consciousness is notoriously ambiguous. It is important first to make several distinctions and to define related terms.
In his lifetime, the village was in the Soke of Peterborough in Northamptonshire and his memorial calls him "The Northamptonshire Peasant Poet".
Helpston now lies in the Peterborough unitary authority of Cambridgeshire. He became an agricultural labourer while still a child; however, he attended school in Glinton church until he was In his early adult years, Clare became a potboy in the Blue Bell public house and fell in love with Mary Joyce; but her father, a prosperous farmer, forbade her to meet him.
Subsequently, he was a gardener at Burghley House. In the following year he was obliged to accept parish relief. Early poems[ edit ] Clare had bought a copy of James Thomson 's The Seasons and began to write poems and sonnets. This book was highly praised, and the next year his Village Minstrel and Other Poems was published.
The cottage was subdivided with his family renting a part. Soon, however, his income became insufficient, and in he was nearly penniless. The Shepherd's Calendar met with little success, which was not increased by his hawking it himself. As he worked again in the fields his health temporarily improved; but he soon became seriously ill.
Earl Fitzwilliam presented him with a new cottage and a piece of ground, but Clare could not settle in his new home. Clare was constantly torn between the two worlds of literary London and his often illiterate neighbours; between the need to write poetry and the need for money to feed and clothe his children.
His health began to suffer, and he had bouts of severe depression, which became worse after his sixth child was born in and as his poetry sold less well. Inhis friends and his London patrons clubbed together to move the family to a larger cottage with a smallholding in the village of Northboroughnot far from Helpston.
However, he only felt more alienated there.
His last work, the Rural Musewas noticed favourably by Christopher North and other reviewers, but this was not enough to support his wife and seven children. Clare's mental health began to worsen. As his alcohol consumption steadily increased along with his dissatisfaction with his own identity, Clare's behaviour became more erratic.
A notable instance of this behaviour was demonstrated in his interruption of a performance of The Merchant of Venicein which Clare verbally assaulted Shylock. He was becoming a burden to Patty and his family, and in Julyon the recommendation of his publishing friend, John Taylor, Clare went of his own volition accompanied by a friend of Taylor's to Dr Matthew Allen's private asylum High Beach near Loughtonin Epping Forest.
Taylor had assured Clare that he would receive the best medical care. Clare was reported as being "full of many strange delusions".
He believed himself to be a prize fighter and that he had two wives, Patty and Mary. He started to claim he was Lord Byron. Allen wrote about Clare to The Times in It is most singular that ever since he came Yet he has never been able to obtain in conversation, nor even in writing prose, the appearance of sanity for two minutes or two lines together, and yet there is no indication of insanity in any of his poetry.
He acknowledged that his father "was brought up in the communion of the Church of England, and I have found no cause to withdraw myself from it. However, Clare also honours the figure of Christ in poems such as "The Stranger". His own version of Child Harold became a lament for past lost love, and Don Juan, A Poem became an acerbic, misogynistic, sexualised rant redolent of an ageing Regency dandy.
Clare also took credit for Shakespeare 's plays, claiming to be the Renaissance genius himself. He did not believe her family when they told him she had died accidentally three years earlier in a house fire.
He remained free, mostly at home in Northborough, for the five months following, but eventually Patty called the doctors in.
Upon Clare's arrival at the asylum, the accompanying doctor, Fenwick Skrimshirewho had treated Clare since completed the admission papers. To the enquiry "Was the insanity preceded by any severe or long-continued mental emotion or exertion?
Here he wrote possibly his most famous poem, I Am. He died on 20 Mayin his 71st year. His remains were returned to Helpston for burial in St Botolph's churchyard.
Today, children at the John Clare School, Helpston's primary, parade through the village and place their "midsummer cushions" around Clare's gravestone which bears the inscriptions "To the Memory of John Clare The Northamptonshire Peasant Poet" and "A Poet is Born not Made" on his birthday, in honour of their most famous resident.+ free ebooks online.
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