This chapter examines John Clare's first published poem collection titled Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery. It explains that Clare was initially known as the ‘Northamptonshire peasant’ and describes how he was presented by his editors and reviewers. It also describes the artful and sometimes awkward ways in which Clare positioned himself in the literary landscape and discusses how he engaged with and challenged the readers' expectations of him as a peasant poet.
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