Ever wondered what life was like in the rural countryside, in the early 19th Century, and how this influenced a writer who became one of the most renowned poets of this period?
John Clare became known for his celebrations of the English countryside and sorrows at its disruption. He lived in a cottage in Helpston for the first 40 years of his life. The Cottage was purchased by The John Clare Trust in 2005 and has been restored, using traditional building methods, to create a centre where you can learn about John Clare, his works, how rural people lived in the early 19th century and also gain an understanding of the environment.
The Cottage contains examples of his work together with information about his life. Some of the rooms have been returned to the style that would have been found in cottages in the early 19th century in rural England. The gardens have been redesigned and planted with varieties which would have been seen in Clare’s time.
On Wednesday 19 February we're heading out to Helpston for a special tour of the cottage. Joining us on the visit will be Mike Wilson, a literature and creative writing tutor who will lead an insightful discussion and run exercises to deepen our understanding and learning around the work of Clare. Topics will cover -
The Romantic Movement – who are the Romantics? And what are they? To what extent is John Clare an “early Romantic”?
A Sense of Place – Mike will give examples of just how important his home and hearth, his village, his immediate landscape etc were to John Clare.
The Outside World – how government interference, through the process of Enclosures, completely destroyed Clare's sense of the world and how he railed against this for the rest of this life.
There are still a few places available on the visit, click here for more details and to book your place.
This visit is part of our Literary Season. Next month we're going to the DH Lawrence Museum and have a Literary Lions Walking tour in Nottingham City Centre.