More than a century after his death, John Clare is being recognized as a poet of importance and stature. Yet in his own day he was at best a marginal figure, briefly celebrated as a 'Peasant Poet' before declining into neglect and long years of decay in a Northampton asylum. His letters, drawnfrom the whole of his adult life until a few years before his death, provide a fascinating and frequently moving insight into his work and thoughts, charting his progress from youthful enthusiasm to poignant decline. Drawn from Mark Storey's complete Oxford edition of the Letters (1986), this edition preserves all Clare's idiosyncrasies of spelling and punctuation. The letters are fully annotated, and the book includes brief biographies of the major correspondents, and a chronology of Clare's life.