RTE’s Book on One this week is by John Mckenna and is about the poet John Clare. A poignant story. Clare died in 1864, a disturbed man much loved by his second wife and his family.
I have sat in the porch of the church in Northhampton where Clare used to sit. He was confined in the asylum in Northampton but allowed out sometimes and when that happened he made for the porch to sit and think his thoughts.
He thought often about his first wife, Mary Joyce, which was a cause of sadness to his second and loving wife.
By a strange coincidence, John Clare is buried in the same cemetery as Lucia Joyce, disturbed daughter of James Joyce. Every year, on Bloomsday,she and her father are remembered by faithful members of the James Connolly Association of Northhampton. John Clare and Lucia Joyce: kindred spirits.