John Betjeman was by far the most popular poet of the twentieth century. His collected poems sold over two million copies. Television audiences loved his quirky evocations of landscape and architecture.
As Poet Laureate, he became a national icon, but behind the public man were doubts and demons. For much of his fifty year marriage to Penelope Chetwode, the daughter of a Field Marshal, Betjeman had a relationship with Elizabeth Cavendish, the daughter of the Duke of Devonshire and Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret. Betjeman, a devout Anglican, was tormented by guilt about the storms this emotional triangle caused.
This book is the first to use fully the vast archive of personal material relating to Betjeman's private life, including literally hundreds of letters written by his wife about their life together and apart. It is a celebration of a much-loved poet, a brave campaigner for architecture at risk, and a highly popular public performer.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Eamonn12 - LibraryThing
This is a warts-and-all portrait, released in time for the 2006 centenary, and some of the warts are quite large. His continual ‘falling in love’ for instance gets a bit tedious as one reads on. His ... Read full review