This book situates John Clare's long, prolific but often badly neglected literary life within the wider cultural histories of the Regency and earlier Victorian periods. The first half considers the construction of the Regency peasant-poet and how Clare performed this role on stages such as the London Magazine. It also looks at the way in which it went out of fashion as Regency mentalities were replaced by early Victorian ones. The second half recreates asylum culture and places Clare's performances as Regency boxers and Lord Byron within this bleak new world.
ROGER SALES teaches in the School of English and American Studies at the University of East Anglia. His previous publications include Jane Austen and Representations of Regency England.