In 1841 the ‘peasant poet’ John Clare escaped from an asylum in Epping Forest, where he had been kept for four years, and walked over eighty miles home to Northamptonshire. Suffering from poor mental health, Clare was attempting to return to his idealized first love, Mary, unaware that she had died three years earlier. In 1995, with his life in crisis and his own mental health fragile, Robert decides to retrace Clare’s route along the Great North Road over a punishing four-day walk.
As he walks he reflects on the changing landscape and on the evolving shape of his own family, on fatherhood and masculinity, and on the meaning of home. Part memoir, part travel-writing, part literary criticism, A Length of Road is a deeply profound and poetic exploration of class, gender, grief and sexuality through the author’s own experiences and through the autobiographical writing of poet John Clare.
Postage is calculated at 10% of your order value, up to a maximum of £3.00. There is a free postage option at checkout if you are housebound/shielding, on low income, or need help with postage costs for any other reason. Your order will usually arrive within 2-3 working days. Delivery prices and times to other countries may vary (prices calculated at checkout).