On our way down to Suffolk from Yorkshire we stayed for a few days in Rutland and from there we had a leisurely drive with time to take in the village of Helpston, home to John Clare (1793-1864), the "Northamptonshire peasant poet". We had been before on our way home from an ibooknet meeting held at Peakirk Books but failed to have the camera with us last time. So here we are, a quick look at Helpston:
Poor old Clare was utterly in love with his locality but suffered mental problems, the trauma of which was only added to when he was sent away to an asylum, separating him from the landscape he loved.
If you are interested in John Clare you can do no better than John Clare by Himself edited by Eric Robinson and David Powell and illustrated with wood engravings by John Lawrence. There is also a recent biography John Clare by Jonathan Bate.
For out of print items on John Clare, Peakirk Books are no longer in Peakirk, but they still operate a mail order service and have a good range of John Clare items in stock.
There is also a John Clare society.
Edited to add: Karen at Cornflower also recommends a novel treatment of Clare, in both senses of the word. The Poet's Wife by Judith Allnatt is a fictionalised verison of the relationship between Clare and his wife Patty. You can read Karen's review here. I note that The Poet's Wife has 11 5 star reviews on Amazon; it is rare to see no dissent amongst Amazon readers! Another title for my to-be-acquired list then.