Philip Larkin

  • by James Booth
  • Narrated by Derek Perkins
  • 19 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Philip Larkin (1922-1985) is one of the most beloved poets in English. Yet after his death a largely negative image of the man himself took hold; he has been portrayed as a racist, a misogynist and a narcissist. Now Larkin scholar James Booth, for seventeen years a colleague of the poet's at the University of Hull, offers a very different portrait. Drawn from years of research and a wide variety of Larkin's friends and correspondents, this is the most comprehensive portrait of the poet yet published.
Booth traces the events that shaped Larkin in his formative years, from his early life when his his political instincts were neutralised by exposure to his father's controversial Nazi values. He studies how the academic environment and the competition he felt with colleagues such as Kingsley Amis informed not only Larkin's poetry, but also his little-known ambitions as a novelist.
Through the places and people Larkin encountered over the course of his life, including Monica Jones, with whom he had a tumultuous but enduring relationship, Booth pieces together an image of a rather reserved and gentle man, whose personality - and poetry - have been misinterpreted by decades of academic study. Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love reveals the man behind the words as he has never been seen before.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fell in love withthe poetry if not the man.

I am coming to poetry very late in life. It was poorly taught at school in the late 50's. I only went to Auden after 4 Weddings and a Funeral and so you will understand what a novice I am. I knew who Larkin was, that he was a Librarian,used four letter words, was at my husband's college at Oxford and after his death was found to be a bit of a racist who liked pornography. After our parents died my brother quoted the line of what Larkin thought our parents did to us.
Enough to say that after listening to James Booth's masterful biography I have the Complete Poems, Required Writing and the CD of the Sunday Sessions on order.I really appreciated the format of making continual reference to how and when the poetry was being written and its connection to the people.places and events in his life.I had a friend who used to stamp Einstein's library books at Princeton and there must be many students who now associate their time at Hull with the Library.Kudos to the reader -beautifully done.
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- susan "I like to weed and read at the same time."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-04-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury