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First published in 1989 Philip Larkin, the Marvell Press, and Me is the story of how this small publishing company became a chapter in literary history when, in 1955, the then novice publishers, of which Jean Hartley was one, were entrusted with the manuscript of Larkin’s The Less Deceived.
The Less Deceived, Larkin’s second collection, contained the mature Philip Larkin style – that of a detached observer of what Jean Hartley referred to as ‘ordinary people doing ordinary things’ – the virtues of which came to be associated with The Movement, the post-war generation of poets that used plain language and traditional forms to address everyday life in Britain. The themes of The Less Deceived resonated with readers and it became one of the most outstanding collections of 1955. Philip Larkin, the Marvell Press, and Me charts that progress and introduces the reader to the real Philip Larkin.
‘Jean Hartley’s story is a vital piece of evidence for anyone curious about Larkin’s life.’ Andrew Motion, Observer.
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