Trains and Buttered Toast

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9780719561269: Trains and Buttered Toast

Eccentric, sentimental and homespun, John Betjeman's passions were mostly self-taught. He saw his country being devastated by war and progress and he waged a private war to save it. His only weapons were words—the poetry for which he is best known and, even more influential, the radio talks that first made him a phenomenon. From fervent pleas for provincial preservation to humoresques on eccentric vicars and his own personal demons, Betjeman's talks combined wit, nostalgia and criticism in a way that touched the soul of his listeners from the 1930s to the 1950s. Now, collected in book form for the first time, his broadcasts represent one of the most compelling archives of 20th-century broadcasting.

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About the Author:

John Betjeman was born in 1906 and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford. His gave his first radio talk in 1932; future appearances made him into a national celebrity. He was knighted in 1969 and became poet laureate in 1972. He died in 1984. Stephen Games writes about in architecture and language. He was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, made documentaries for BBC Radio 3 and was the first arts correspondent on The Independent. His work for the Guardian brought him a British Press Award. He has been a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and deputy editor of the RIBA Journal. In 2002, he edited the radio talks of Nikolaus Pevsner, whose biography he is writing.

Review:

'Try Before You Buy: the two-minute sampler' -- Metro 20060607 'A century of John Betjeman' -- Waterstone's Books Quarterly 20060501 'Stand by for a real treat.' -- Daily Mail, Val Hennessy, Critic's Choice 20060609 'Games! has produced a volume which no Betjeman maniac will be without.' -- -- Evening Standard: A.N. Wilson 20060619 'What a joy' -- Scottish Sunday Herald/Magazine 20060605 'Beautifully produced! Betjeman was evidently a comic writer of the highest class' -- Guardian 20060708 'Excellent' -- Spectator 20060708 'Informative and entertaining' -- Scotsman 20060601 'In Trains and Buttered Toast Betjeman's voice is gloriously new again' -- The Times/Books 20060819 'Stephen Games has made a useful, entertaining selection of Betjeman's radio talks' -- Sunday Telegraph/Seven 20060827

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