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Philip Larkin - Author

About the Author

Philip Larkin was born in 1922 and grew up in Coventry. In 1955 he became Librarian of the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull, a post he held until his death in 1985. He was the best-loved poet of his generation and the recipient of innumerable honours, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and the W.H. Smith Award.

Featured books by Philip Larkin

High Windows

High Windows

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2015

Larkin's final collection of poems shows, as does all his best work, his ability to adapt contemporary speech rhythms and everyday vocabulary to subtle metrical patterns and poetic forms. Rather than words comes the thought of high windows: The sun-comprehending glass, And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless. - from High Windows .

ebook of the month
The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin

The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/01/2012

The manuscript and printed sources have been scrutinized afresh; more detailed accounts than hitherto available of the sources of the text and of dates of composition are provided; and, previous accounts of composition dates have been corrected. Variant wordings from Larkin's typescripts and the early printings are recorded. For the first time, the poems are given a comprehensive commentary. This draws critically upon, and substantially extends, the accumulated scholarship on Larkin, and covers closely relevant historical contexts, persons and places, allusions and echoes, and linguistic usage. Due prominence is given to the poet's comments on his poems, which often outline the circumstances that gave rise to a poem, or state what he was trying to achieve. Larkin played down his literariness, but his poetry enrichingly alludes to and echoes the writings of many others; Archie Burnett's commentary establishes him as a more complex and more literary poet than many readers have suspected.

ebook of the month

Other books by Philip Larkin

The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin

The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/05/2020

This entirely new edition brings together all of Philip Larkin's poems. In addition to those in Collected Poems (1988), and in the Early Poems and Juvenilia (2005), some unpublished pieces from Larkin's typescripts and workbooks are included, as well as verse (by turns scurrilous, satirical, affectionate, and sentimental) tucked away in his letters. The manuscript and printed sources have been scrutinized afresh; more detailed accounts than hitherto available of the sources of the text and of dates of composition are provided; and previous accounts of composition dates have been corrected. Variant wordings from Larkin's typescripts and the early printings are recorded. For the first time, the poems are given a comprehensive commentary. This draws critically upon, and substantially extends, the accumulated scholarship on Larkin, and covers closely relevant historical contexts, persons and places, allusions and echoes, and linguistic usage. Due prominence is given to the poet's comments on his poems, which often outline the circumstances that gave rise to a poem, or state what he was trying to achieve. Larkin played down his literariness, but his poetry enrichingly alludes to and echoes the writings of many others; Archie Burnett's commentary establishes him as a more complex and more literary poet than many readers have suspected.

Required Writing

Required Writing

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/01/2020

The appearance of Philip Larkin's second prose collection - reviews and critical assessments of writers and writing; pieces on jazz, mostly uncollected; some long, revealing and often highly entertaining interviews given on various occasions - was a considerable literary event. Stamped by wit, originality and intelligence, it was vintage Larkin throughout: 'Deprivation is for me what daffodils were for Wordsworth.' 'I see life more as an affair of solitude diversified by company than as an affair of company diversified by solitude.' Q. 'How did you arrive upon the image of a toad for work or labour?' A. 'Sheer genius.'

High Windows

High Windows

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/09/2019

Larkin's final collection of poems shows, as does all his best work, his ability to adapt contemporary speech rhythms and everyday vocabulary to subtle metrical patterns and poetic forms. Many of the poems in the collection, which includes some of his best-known pieces ('The Old Fools', 'This Be the Verse', 'The Explosion', and the title poem) show the preoccupation with death and transience that is so typical of the poet. This beautifully designed edition forms part of a series of ten titles celebrating Faber's publishing over the decades.

Philip Larkin: Letters Home

Philip Larkin: Letters Home

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/11/2018

Letters Home gives access to the last major archive of Larkin's writing to remain unpublished: the letters to members of his family. These correspondences help tell the story of how Larkin came to be the writer and the man he was: to his father Sydney, a 'conservative anarchist' and admirer of Hitler, who died relatively early in Larkin's life; to his timid, depressive mother Eva, who by contrast lived long, and whose final years were shadowed by dementia; and to his sister Kitty, the sparse surviving fragment of whose correspondence with her brother gives an enigmatic glimpse of a complex and intimate relationship. In particular, it was the years during which he and his sister looked after their mother that shaped the writer we know so well: a number of poems written over this time are for her, and the mood of pain, shadow and despondency that characterises his later verse draws its strength from his experience of the long, lonely years of her senility. One surprising element in the volume, however, is the joie de vivre shown in the large number of witty and engaging drawings of himself and Eva, as 'Young Creature' and 'Old Creature', with which he enlivens his letters throughout the three decades of her widowhood. This important edition, meticulously edited by James Booth is a key piece of scholarship that completes the portrait of this most cherished of English poets.

Philip Larkin: Letters Home

Philip Larkin: Letters Home

Author: Philip Larkin Format: eBook Release Date: 30/10/2018

Letters Home gives access to the last major archive of Larkin's writing to remain unpublished: the letters to members of his family. These correspondences help tell the story of how Larkin came to be the writer and the man he was: to his father Sydney, a 'conservative anarchist' and admirer of Hitler, who died relatively early in Larkin's life; to his timid depressive mother Eva, who by contrast, lived long, and whose final years were shadowed by dementia; and to his sister Kitty, the sparse surviving fragment of whose correspondence with her brother gives an enigmatic glimpse of a complex and intimate relationship- But it was the years during which he and his sister looked after their mother in particular that shaped the writer we know so well: a number of poems written over this time are for her, and the mood of pain, shadow and despondency that characterises his later verse draws its strength from his experience of the long, lonely years of her senility. One surprising element in the volume, however, is the joie de vivre shown in the large number of witty and engaging drawings of himself and Eva, as 'Young Creature' and 'Old Creature', with which he enlivens his letters throughout the three decades of her widowhood.This important edition, meticulously edited by Larkin's biographer, James Booth, is a key piece of scholarship that completes the portrait of this most cherished of English poets.

The Whitsun Weddings

The Whitsun Weddings

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2016

The most cherished of poets, Philip Larkin is a writer with an unrivalled ability to touch readers with his evocations of English life. The Whitsun Weddings, his first volume with Faber and Faber, was published in 1964. This Faber Modern Classics edition includes a foreword by Alan Johnson MP. 'Larkin, with his (in the best sense) provincial eye, and his unparalleled ear, is the supreme writer of post-war England.' Telegraph 'Larkin's originality is palpable . . . Who else uses an essentially conversational idiom to achieve such a variety of emotional effects? Who else takes us, and takes us so often, from sunlit levity to mellifluous gloom? And let it be emphasised that Larkin is never 'depressing'.' Martin Amis

The North Ship

The North Ship

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2015

The North Ship, Philip Larkin's earliest volume of verse, was first published in August 1945 and reissued in 1966 by Faber. The introduction, by Larkin himself, explains the circumstances of its publication and the influences which shaped its content. This is the first thing I have understood: Time is the echo of an axe Within a wood.

Philip Larkin Poems

Philip Larkin Poems

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/01/2013

For the first time, Faber publish a selection from the poetry of Philip Larkin. Drawing on Larkin's four collections and on his uncollected poems. Chosen by Martin Amis. 'Many poets make us smile; how many poets make us laugh - or, in that curious phrase, laugh out loud (as if there's another way of doing it)? Who else uses an essentially conversational idiom to achieve such a variety of emotional effects? Who else takes us, and takes us so often, from sunlit levity to mellifluous gloom?... Larkin, often, is more than memorable: he is instantly unforgettable.' - Martin Amis

The Sunday Sessions

The Sunday Sessions

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Audio Release Date: 26/01/2012

The Sunday Sessions consists of twenty-six poems, the contents of two tapes recorded by Philip Larkin in Hull in February 1980 - reportedly, each on a Sunday, after lunch with John Weeks, a sound engineer and colleague of the poet. The tapes, which contain work from Larkin's first major collection, The North Ship, as well as poems from his best-known collections, The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows, remained 'lost' for over two decades, lying on a shelf in the garage in which they were recorded. Since their rediscovery they have been the subject of widespread media attention, including a BBC Radio 4 Archive Hour documentary. Their contents are here published in full for the first time.

Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica

Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2011

Philip Larkin met Monica Jones at University College Leicester in autumn 1946, when they were both twenty-four; he was the newly-appointed assistant librarian and she was an English lecturer. In 1950 Larkin moved to Belfast, and thence to Hull, while Monica remained in Leicester, becoming by turns his correspondent, lover and closest confidante, in a relationship which lasted over forty years until the poet's death in 1985. This remarkable unpublished correspondence only came to light after Monica Jones's death in 2001, and consists of nearly two thousand letters, postcards and telegrams, which chronicle - day by day, sometimes hour by hour - every aspect of Larkin's life and the convolutions of their relationship.

The Less Deceived

The Less Deceived

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/03/2011

Philip Larkin's second collection, The Less Deceived was published by The Marvell Press in 1955, and now appears for the first time in Faber covers. The eye can hardly pick them out From the cold shade they shelter in, Till wind distresses tail and mane; Then one crops grass, and moves about - The other seeming to look on - And stands anonymous again. from 'At Grass'

The Sunday Sessions

The Sunday Sessions

Author: Philip Larkin Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 22/01/2009

The Sunday Sessions consists of twenty-six poems, the contents of two tapes recorded by Philip Larkin in Hull in February 1980 - reportedly, each on a Sunday, after lunch with John Weeks, a sound engineer and colleague of the poet. The tapes, which contain work from Larkin's first major collection, The North Ship, as well as poems from his best-known collections, The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows, remained 'lost' for over two decades, lying on a shelf in the garage in which they were recorded. Since their rediscovery they have been the subject of widespread media attention, including a BBC Radio 4 Archive Hour documentary. Their contents are here published in full for the first time. Running time approx. 1 hour / 1 disc

High Windows: York Notes Advanced

High Windows: York Notes Advanced

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/08/2007

For more than 25 years, York Notes have been helping students throughout the UK to get the inside track on the written word. Firmly established as the nation's favourite and most comprehensive range of literature study guides, each and every York Note has been carefully researched and written by experts to make sure that you get the most wide-ranging critical analysis, the most detailed commentary and the most helpful key points and checklists. York Notes Advanced offer a fresh and accessible approach to English Literature. Written by established literature experts, they introduce students to a more sophisticated analysis, a range of critical perspectives and wider contexts.

Early Poems and Juvenilia

Early Poems and Juvenilia

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/03/2005

Philip Larkin was one of the most admired and loved English poets of the twentieth century. His Collected Poems has become essential reading on any bookshelf, covering his four published volumes and late work. But Larkin was a prolific writer in his youth, and wrote over two hundred and fifty poems in the years leading up to his first collection. Drawing on the pamphlets, manuscripts and workbooks from 1938 to 1946-46, the Early Poems reveals, for the first time, the formative writings and literary origins of this most gifted of poets.

A Girl in Winter

A Girl in Winter

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/03/2005

Philip Larkin's second novel was first published in 1947. This story of Katherine Lind and Robin Fennel, of winter and summer, of war and peace, of exile and holidays, is memorable for its compassionate precision and for the uncommon and unmistakable distinction of its writing. 'A Girl in Winter is a beautifully constructed, funny and profoundly sad book.' Andrew Motion 'One of the finest and most sustained prose poems in the language.' John Bayley

Jill

Jill

Author: Philip Larkin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/03/2005

'It will, I hope, still qualify for the indulgence traditionally extended to juvenilia,' wrote Philip Larkin, almost twenty years after the publication of his first novel. But Jill, with its exact evocation of place - Oxford in 1940 - and astute insight into character, emotions and social nuance, requires no such indulgence. It is a classic of its time, and shows many of the qualities that were later to distinguish Larkin's great, mature poetry. 'Jill is, in a sense, a kind of cryptic manifesto. It is a novel about writing, about discovering a literary personality, and about the sorts of consolation that art can provide.' Andrew Motion