Philip Larkin met Monica Jones at University College Leicester in autumn 1946, when they were both twenty-four; he was the newly-appointed assistant librarian and she was an English lecturer. In 1950 Larkin moved to Belfast, and thence to Hull, while Monica remained in Leicester, becoming by turns his correspondent, lover and closest confidante, in a relationship which lasted over forty years until the poet's death in 1985. This remarkable unpublished correspondence only came to light after Monica Jones's death in 2001, and consists of nearly two thousand letters, postcards and telegrams, which chronicle - day by day, sometimes hour by hour - every aspect of Larkin's life and the convolutions of their relationship.
Philip Larkin met Monica Jones at University College Leicester in autumn 1946, when they were both 24; he was the newly-appointed assistant librarian and she was an English lecturer. This title consists of nearly 2000 letters, postcards and telegrams, which chronicle various aspects of Larkin's life and the convolutions of their relationship.
Focusing on the significance of place, connection and relationship in three poets who are seldom considered in conjunction, Rory Waterman argues that Philip Larkin, R.S. Thomas and Charles Causley epitomize many of the emotional and societal shifts and mores of their age. Waterman looks at the foundations underpinning their poetry; the attempts of all three to forge a sense of belonging with or separateness from their readers; the poets’ varying responses to their geographical and cultural origins; the belonging and estrangement that inheres in relationships, including marriage; the forced estrangements of war; the antagonism between social belonging and a need for isolation; and, finally, the charged issues of faith and mortality in an increasingly secularized country.
This book explores Larkin’s engagement with popular culture both as a threat to poetic authority and as a necessary form of cultural capital. It reveals the processes by which the social, contemporary, and politically charged practices of everyday life become the property of the cultured individual.
An authoritative review of literary biography covering the seventeenth century to the twentieth century A Companion to Literary Biography offers a comprehensive account of literary biography spanning the history of the genre across three centuries. The editor – an esteemed literary biographer and noted expert in the field – has encouraged contributors to explore the theoretical and methodological questions raised by the writing of biographies of writers. The text examines how biographers have dealt with the lives of classic authors from Chaucer to contemporary figures such as Kingsley Amis. The Companion brings a new perspective on how literary biography enables the reader to deal with the relationship between the writer and their work. Literary biography is the most popular form of writing about writing, yet it has been largely neglected in the academic community. This volume bridges the gap between literary biography as a popular genre and its relevance for the academic study of literature. This important work: Allows the author of a biography to be treated as part of the process of interpretation and investigates biographical reading as an important aspect of criticism Examines the birth of literary biography at the close of the seventeenth century and considers its expansion through the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries Addresses the status and writing of literary biography from numerous perspectives and with regard to various sources, methodologies and theories Reviews the ways in which literary biography has played a role in our perception of writers in the mainstream of the English canon from Chaucer to the present day Written for students at the undergraduate level, through postgraduate and doctoral levels, as well as academics, A Companion to Literary Biography illustrates and accounts for the importance of the literary biography as a vital element of criticism and as an index to our perception of literary history.
The Philip Larkin I Knew traces the author’s close friendship with the poet and stretches over his 30 year tenure of office as librarian of the University of Hull, taking in his literary achievements from The Less Deceived (1955), through The Whitsun Weddings (1964), to High Windows (1974). It reveals Larkin in a new light – courteous, compassionate, generous, and a man of deep sensitivity and charm – with a natural sense of fun and instinctive wit; in contrast to the gloomy and somewhat objectionable portrait that has emerged since his death.
When Anthony Thwaite's edition of Philip Larkin's Letters was published in 1992 and Motion's biography came out a year later. Larkin's enemies seized on the new disclosures with a frenzy hardly witnessed since the McCarthy era. What had hitherto been regarded only as potential inclinations hinted at in his poems - misogyny and xenophobia in particular - were no indisputable facts, and since then Larkin's reputation as a poet has been tarnished by his image as a human being. Richard Bradford's new biography reveals that Larkin treated his prejudices and peculiarities with detached circumspection. Sometimes he shared them, self-mockingly, self-destructively, with his closest friends: he divided up his life so that some people knew him well but none completely. It was only in the poems that the parts began to resemble the whole. The trajectory of his poetic writing was influenced principally by his friendship with Kingsley Amis. Without Larkin, Amis's immensely successful first novel, Lucky Jim, would not have been written. Its success caused Larkin to finally abandon his own ambitions as a novelist, to concentrate exclusively on his poetry and his poetry would thereafter become his autobiography, Larkin's poetry is in its own right magnificent, and readers of Bradford's biography will be able to extend their appreciation of his art to an acquaintance with the artist at work.
"Philip Larkin, The Secret Poems" is a poetry book containing 56 poems edited and crafted from the letters that Philip Larkin wrote to his friends and associates between 1943 and 1985, the year of his death. On April 25th 1964 Larkin wrote to Monica Jones, his companion and lover, "I think there is a poem to be made out of letters." The author and playright, Roger Rix, has taken Larkin at his word and has produced poems from Larkin's letters that he has selected and formatted to create a collection of newly minted poems.In this challenge he has tried to remain faithful to Larkin's original purpose and design. He has selected only Larkin's words as they were written and only in the sequence that they were set down.He has eliminated all unwanted phrases to emphasize the theme of each poem and has provided judicious line breaks to improve the flow.The result is a collection of poems that remain faithful to Larkin's intent in writing the original letters. It is important to remember that these are not poems by Philip Larkin, but they are poems that encapsulate his thoughts and ideas in a Larkinesque manner. The selection covers his entire writing career from 1943, when he was 21 years old, to 1985, the year of his death. In this way they provide a valuable and fascinating history of his life in letters.His loves, his interests, his ups and downs, his sadness, His love of nature, his dry and sometimes wicked sense of humour and, most of all, his wonderful and natural way with words. This collection should be enjoyed by all lovers of Larkin's works as well as students of English poetry.