The Best of Betjeman
By John Betjeman
A delightful anthology of Betjeman's greatest poetry and prose
John Betjeman, appointed Poet Laureate in 1972, is celebrated as the best loved poet of the twentieth century. His subtle blend of wit and melancholia, affection and criticism continues to attract an ever-expanding readership. From beneath his sparkling wit and deceptively simple nostalgia, Betjeman emerges as the authority on a broad range of subjects from conservation and church architecture to tradition and Englishness.
In this selection of his greatest poetry and prose, cherished classics such as Slough, Pot Pourri from a Surrey Garden and A Subaltern’s Love-song sit beside rare gems like Metro-land, Betjeman’s critically acclaimed film script.
John Betjeman was born on August 28th, 1906, in London. He was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1931, his first book of poems, 'Mount Zion', was published by an old Oxford friend, Edward James. His second book was 'Ghastly Good Taste', a commentary on architecture, published in 1934. He was knighted in 1969 and was made Poet Laureate in 1972. John Betjeman died on May 19th 1984, at his home in Trebetherick. He was buried in the nearby church of St.Enodoc.
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- Publication date:
16 Jan 2006
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His humour is remarkably versatile, for it can be used to serve both his deepest love and his most remorseless hatred — Observer
His poems spring from what he really feels about real life, and as a result he brings back to poetry a sense of dramatic urgency it had all but lost — Philip Larkin
Betjeman is perhaps as completely original a writer as has ever existed — Times Literary Supplement
'This "best of", which shows just why Betjeman came to be regarded with more affection than any other poet of the 20th century, lives up to the claim with a selection of his greatest poetry and prose' — Western Daily Press
'Who could ever tire of the amusing and poignant pictures he painted in verses...' — Oxford Times