First and Last Loves

John Betjeman
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ISBN 9780571245697 Format Paperback
Published 18/09/2008 Length 256 pages

About Book

'Oh prams on concrete balconies, what will your children see? Oh white and antiseptic life in school and home and clinic, oh soul-destroying job with handy pension, oh loveless life of safe monotony, why were you created?'

First and Last Loves is a collection of Betjeman's essays on architecture, first published to coincide with an exhibition at the Soane Museum, and a worthwhile volume in its own right. Introduced with a lively tirade against mediocrity entitled 'Love is Dead', Betjeman discusses a range of topics including conservation battles, modern architecture and his passion for railways.

  • About John Betjeman

    Poet and architectural critic, Sir John Betjeman was born in North London in 1906. He was taught by T S Eliot at Highgate Junior School and was rusticated from Magdalen College Oxford for failing Divinity. He published several poetry collections, including New Bats in Old Belfries and A Few Late Chrysanthemums, and several works on architecture. His Collected Poems was published in 1958 and the first edition sold over 100,000 copies. He was knighted in 1969 and appointed Poet Laureate in 1972. He died in Cornwall in 1984.

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