Why John Clare Went Mad

John Clare was a poet who lived during the Regency Period in England.

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You might immediately assume, therefore, that Clare would have been a dandy or a fop. To the contrary. He was born to a farm laborer and he lived in the country.  You might say that he embodied the country life of that time.

But there was a problem. The rural life that John Clare knew and loved was disappearing. The enclosure acts were making it impossible to work the common lands. England was about to enter the industrial age, and in doing so, it was about to abandon many country traditions.  Good or bad, those steeped in those traditions were lost.

John Clare saw this coming and, in my humble opinion, it drove him mad.

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