The Poet's Wife

The Poet's Wife

3.7 (81 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

It is 1841. Patty is married to John Clare: peasant poet, genius and madman. Travelling home one day, Patty finds her husband sitting, footsore, at the side of the road, having absconded from a lunatic asylum over eighty miles away. Hopeful that his condition has improved, she takes his hands in delight but he fails to recognize her. She is devastated to discover that he has not returned home to find her, but to search for his childhood sweetheart, Mary Joyce, to whom he believes he is married. Patty still loves John deeply, but he seems lost to her, obsessed with the idealised image of a woman that she cannot possibly match. Plagued by jealousy, she seeks strength in memories: their whirlwind courtship, the poems John wrote for her, their shared affinity for the land. She must try to heal John's turbulent, unhappy soul and restore him to the man she married. But as John descends further into delusion and his behaviour becomes increasingly volatile, hope seems to be fading. Will she ever be able to conquer her own anger and hurt and reconcile with this man she now barely knows?show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 28mm | 399.16g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 055277443X
  • 9780552774437
  • 524,279

Review quote

"Clare often pops up in fiction, but it was high time someone rescued his poor wife from footnote-land. Allnatt (herself a poet) gives her an affecting, beautifully written afterlife." The Times "a beautifully written, poignant novel, lyrically descriptive of the landscape, detailed in the country life of the time and reminiscent of the gentle style of the genius peasant poet." Choice Magazine "This novel will have you reaching for the nearest copy of John Clare's powerful poems" Daily Mail "This book is superb" -- Charles Pallisershow more

About Judith Allnatt

Judith Allnatt lives in Northamptonshire. She is the author of one previous novel, A Mile of River.show more

Review Text

"a beautifully written, poignant novel, lyrically descriptive of the landscape, detailed in the country life of the time and reminiscent of the gentle style of the genius peasant poet."show more

Back cover copy

It is 1841. Patty is married to John Clare: peasant poet, genius and madman. Travelling home one day, Patty finds her husband sitting, footsore, at the side of the road, having absconded from a lunatic asylum over eighty miles away. She is devastated to discover that he has not returned home to find her, but to search for his childhood sweetheart, Mary Joyce, to whom he believes he is married. Patty still loves John deeply, but he seems lost to her. Plagued by jealousy, she seeks strength in memories: their whirlwind courtship, the poems John wrote for her, their shared affinity for the land. But as John descends further into delusion, hope seems to be fading. Will she ever be able to conquer her own anger and hurt, and reconcile with this man she now barely knows?show more

Rating details

81 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 21% (17)
4 42% (34)
3 27% (22)
2 6% (5)
1 4% (3)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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