John Betjeman (1906-1984), is the most widely-read English poet of the twentieth century. His gift for comic writing, his dazzling technical abilities and his combination of eccentricity and Englishness were all key ingredients in his enduring popularity; his frequent appearances on radio and television, his enthusiasm for churches and railways, and a fervent devotion to the preservation of Victorian buildings, establishing him as a household name.
The vintage Betjeman recordings were made in the wake of the success of his book, Collected Poems which sold at a rate of one thousand per day in the month before Christmas 1958 and would go on to sell two million copies worldwide. Our edition includes some of his finest verse; Norfolk, which recalls the landscape of childhood; his mockery of the nouveau riche middle-class, How to get on in Society; A Subaltern's Love Song, the eulogy to the quintessential Betjeman woman, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn; the celebration of female beauty that is Youth and Age on Beaulieu River, Hants; and the passionate and sensual Licorice Fields at Pontefract.
His most famous television production was 'Metroland', made for the BBC in 1973, in which he celebrated suburban life in the area to the north-west of London that grew up in the early 20th Century around the Metropolitan Railway; a series of vignettes of life in the suburbs of Metroland, drawn together by Betjeman¹s commentary, partly in verse.
In the last decade of his life, Betjeman recorded four albums for Charisma with composer Jim Parker including Banana Blush and Late Flowering Love. These LPs were released to great acclaim, gaining perhaps surprising apostles in Nick Cave and Suggs of Madness, who recently named a Betjeman track as one of his Desert Island Discs…
Our Price: £9.95
False Security / Hunter Trials / North Coast Recollections / Seaside Golf / Norfolk / Sunday In Ireland / Remorse / Youth And Age On Beaulieu River, Hants / A Subaltern's Love Song / Reproof Deserved / Beside The Seaside / Business Women / House Of Rest / Song Of A Night-Club Proprietress / The Licorice Fields At Pontefract / Our Padre / Dear Old Village / Indoor Games Near Newbury / How To Get On In Society / Life At Oxford, Hearties And Aesthetes, Being Sent Down