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In addition to his acknowledged position as one of Britain's most important poets of the post-World War II era, Philip Larkin was unquestionably one of the last great letter writers. There are over seven hundred letters in this impressive collection, dating from Larkin's late teens until close to his death at the age of sixty-three in 1985. Early letters to school friends, including the writer Kingsley Amis, form a portrait of the young artist, full of jazz, literature, and obscenities. Later correspondents include the novelist Barbara Pym (whose fictional portraits of genteel English country life Larkin so admired), Robert Conquest, Andrew Motion, and Julian Barnes.
In his Introduction, Anthony Thwaite writes: "What is remarkable, for all the masks he put on, is how consistently Larkin emerges, whoever he is writing to . . . [The letters] are an informal record of the lonely, gregarious . . . intolerant, compassionate, eloquent, foul-mouthed, harsh and humorous Philip Larkin, who was not only one of the finest poets of our time but also a compulsive and entertaining letter-writer."
16 Pages of Black-and-White Photographs
Anthony Thwaite lives in Low Tharston, Norfolk, in the United Kingdom.
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