Other literary forms

(British and Irish Poetry, Revised Edition)

John Clare attempted little systematically except poetry. He left manuscript drafts of several unfinished essays, and part of what was intended as a natural history of Helpston. He wrote two lengthy autobiographical essays, one of which was published in 1931: Sketches in the Life of John Clare, Written by Himself. The other appeared in a collection of his prose in 1951. He also left one year of a journal in which he recorded his reading and his speculations on religion, politics, and literature. His best-known essay is probably his “Journey Out of Essex,” an account of his escape from an asylum and his harrowing journey home on foot with no food or shelter; it has been published several times.