"I'm John Clare now," the poet claimed to a newspaper editor, "I was Byron and Shakespeare formerly."
In 1841, Clare left the asylum in Essex, to walk home, believing that he was to meet his first love Mary Joyce; Clare was convinced that he was married with children to her [...:] He did not believe her family when they told him she had died three years earlier. He remained free, mostly at home in Helpston, for the five months to follow, but eventually his actual wife called the doctors in, between Christmas and New Year in 1841, and Clare was committed to the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum (known since as St Andrew's Hospital). He remained here for the rest of his life, encouraged and helped to write. Here he wrote poetry, including possibly his most famous poem, I Am.
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