TOMORROW is the centenary of the birth of Sir John Betjeman, Poet Laureate and celebrant of suburbia. The occasion has provoked a blizzard of Betjemania in the media...
Monday sees the 100th anniversary of the birth of a poet who above all represents a certain kind of harmonious Englishness. In the world of John Betjeman, electric trains are lighted after tea; trifle is sufficient for sweet (but only among the lower-middle classes); and Miss J Hunter Dunn combines the speed of a swallow with the grace of a boy on the tennis court.No such harmony exists between John Betjeman's biographers, however. AN Wilson, novelist, journalist and author of the highly rated book The Victorians, has written a new life of the poet, simply called Betjeman. But Bevis Hillier, who worked for 25 years on his three-volume authorised version, seems unhappy about Wilson's encroachment on to his "patch". [...]
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on Sunday, August 27, 2006 at 11:08 AM.
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