The Ballad of John Clare tells the story of twelve momentous months in the early life of John Clare. We see him courting his childhood sweetheart, labouring in the fields, having his first sexual encounter and playing the fiddle with the village band. Above all we see him at one with the landscape that would be his life-long inspiration. However, this is no rural idyll. The enclosures are about to begin, taking the village land held in common and parcelling it out to the local landowners. Starvation and malnutrition are a constant presence and rural England will never be the same again. The Ballad of John Clare vividly brings to life the villages and countryside around Peterborough as it would have been two centuries ago and allows us to empathise with the young John Clare. Educated beyond his class, the peasant poet is about to emerge on his short and tragic career.