Philip Larkin

Dear Philip, Dear Kingsley
  • Dear Philip, Dear Kingsley

  • Readings of selected correspondence between the poet Philip Larkin (played by Alan Bennett) and the writer Kingsley Amis (played by Robert Hardy). A meeting at Oxford University during World War II signalled the beginning of a lifelong friendship between two outstanding contributors to 20th century English literature: Philip Larkin, poet, and Kingsley Amis, the prolific novelist. Selected from correspondence written between 1943 and 1985, these letters offer an entertaining and illuminating insight into the prejudices, exasperations and in-jokes of two literary greats. A linking commentary complements the writers' own words as they relate events in their personal lives, report on their work in progress, and generally rail against the modern world.

Philip Larkin was one of the pre-eminent poets of the post-war period. Born in 1922, he graduated from Oxford in 1943 and became a librarian. His first collection of poetry, The North Ship, was published in 1945, but it was his second, The Less Deceived (1955) that would bring him into the public eye. The same year, he became University Librarian at the University of Hull. He remained there for the next thirty years, producing two more collections of poetry, The Whitsun Weddings (1964) and High Windows (1974). Collected Poems, comprising all Larkin's published and much of his unpublished work, was published posthumously in 1988. Philip Larkin's many awards include the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, and he received a CBE in 1975. He died in 1985.

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