Clare took four trips to London. The first as a literary sensation paraded about by his publisher, John Taylor. He was completely unprepared for London salons, snickered at for his green coat and poor manners. While he met powerful allies, this first trip, and sudden celebrity also made the return to his village difficult. The closest modern example I can think of is dear Susan Boyle.
John Taylor also published Keats. While Clare and Keats never met, they read each other’s work. Keats thought Clare unsophisticated and lacking grand ideas, while Clare, unsurprisingly, thought Keats a bit full of hot air.
Today continued the bumbling antics of the off-season tourists as the Keats house was closed, but we did manage a stop in the National Portrait Gallery on the way to look at bicycle jerseys!