John Clare (1793-1864), poet and naturalist, was a prolific writer. His letters to a large circle of friends and associates cover his entire writing life and give a remarkable portrait of this man whose life ended sadly in an insane asylum. This comprehensive volume contains all Clare's known extant letters together with some letters to him from his publisher and family; drafts and scraps are included, as are poems incorporated in the letters, and Clare's idiosyncrasies of spelling and punctuation are preserved. The notes, drawing heavily on the large bulk of surviving correspondence written by others to Clare, address themselves to the intimate life carried on behind the letters. A chronology and an index of correspondents enhance the volume.