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Encyclopedia > John Betjeman
A collection of Betjeman's poetry, published by John Murray in January 2006

Sir John Betjeman CBE (28 August 190619 May 1984) was an English poet, writer and broadcaster who described himself in Who's Who as a "poet and hack". He was born to a middle-class family in Edwardian Hampstead. Although he claimed he failed his degree at Oxford University, his early ability in writing poetry and interest in architecture supported him throughout his life. Starting his career as a journalist, he ended it as British Poet Laureate and a much-loved figure on British television. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority, these are Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross (GBE) Knight Commander... is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1906 (MCMVI) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... is the 139th day of the year (140th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and/or video signals which transmit programs to an audience. ... Whos Who, ISBN 0-713-662-751, is an annual British publication by A & C Black of very short biographies of about 30,000 famous and/or important Britons, published since 1849. ... The Edwardian period or Edwardian era in the United Kingdom is the period 1901 to 1910, the reign of King Edward VII. It succeeded the Victorian period and is sometimes extended to include the period up to the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912, the start of World War... , Hampstead is a suburb of north London in the London Borough of Camden, located four miles (6. ... The University of Oxford (usually abbreviated as Oxon. ... A Poet Laureate is a poet officially appointed by a government and often expected to compose poems for State occasions and other government events. ... British television broadcasting has a range of different broadcasters, broadcasting multiple channels over a variety of distribution media. ...

Contents

Life

Early life and education

Betjeman was born John Betjemann, which was changed to the less Germanic "Betjeman" during the First World War. He started life at Parliament Hill Mansions on the bottom edge of Hampstead Heath in north London. His parents Mabel (née Dawson) and Ernest Betjemann had a family firm, which manufactured the kind of ornamental household furniture and gadgets so loved by Victorians. His father's forebears had come from Bremen, Germany,[1] more than a century earlier, setting up their home and business in Islington, London. In 1909, the Betjemanns left Parliament Hill Mansions, moving half a mile north to more opulent Highgate, where, from West Hill, in the reflected glory of the Burdett-Coutts estate, they could look down on those less fortunate: Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ... Hampstead Heath (locally known as The Heath) is a public open space in the north of London. ... North London is that part of London which is north of the River Thames. ... Queen Victoria (shown here on the morning of her accession to the Throne, 20 June 1837) gave her name to the historic era The Victorian era of the United Kingdom marked the height of the British Industrial Revolution and the apex of the British Empire. ... This article is about the city in Germany. ... , Islington is the central district of the London Borough of Islington. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... View of Highgate, John Constable, 1st quarter of 19th century. ... In 1798, Sir Henry Tempest built a country villa on the south-facing slopes of Highgate, London adjacent to Highgate Rise - now known as Highgate West Hill. ...

Here from my eyrie, as the sun went down,
I heard the old North London puff and shunt,
Glad that I did not live in Gospel Oak.
[2] Originally called the East & West India Docks & Birmingham Junction Railway and opened between 1850 and 1852, the railway linked the docks at Blackwall to Camden Town. ... Gospel Oak is an inner suburb of north London below Hampstead Heath. ...

Betjeman's early schooling was at the local Byron House and Highgate School, where he was taught by the poet T. S. Eliot, after which he boarded at the Dragon School preparatory school in North Oxford and Marlborough College, a public school in Wiltshire. While at school, reading the works of Arthur Machen won him over to an allegiance to High Church Anglicanism, a conversion of vital importance personally and for his later writing and interest in art and architecture. He was also influenced by the ghost stories of M. R. James and attributed his interest in old churches, etc. to these tales in his introduction to a book about M. R. James by Peter Haining He was a contemporary of both Louis MacNeice and Graham Shepard. Highgate School is a British Independent School in London, England. ... Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965), was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. ... Dragon School logo School House at the Dragon School, on Bardwell Road. ... A preparatory school, or prep school, in current English usage, is a independent school designed to prepare a student for fee-paying, secondary independent school. ... North Oxford, especially central North Oxford between the city centre and Summertown, is considered by many to be the most desirable and famous suburb of Oxford, England. ... Marlborough College is a British independent boarding school in the county of Wiltshire. ... An independent school or private school in the United Kingdom is a school relying for all of its funding upon private sources. ... Wiltshire (abbreviated Wilts) is a large southern English county. ... Arthur Machen (March 3, 1863 – December 15th, 1947) was a leading Welsh-born author of the 1890s. ... High Church relates to ecclesiology and liturgy in Christian theology and practice. ... Anglicanism commonly refers to the beliefs and practices of the Anglican Communion, the churches that are in full communion with the see of Canterbury. ... Montague Rhodes James, OM (August 1, 1862 – June 12, 1936), who published under the byline M. R. James, was a noted British mediaeval scholar and provost of Kings College, Cambridge (1905–1918) and of Eton College (1918–1936). ... Montague Rhodes James, OM (August 1, 1862 – June 12, 1936), who published under the byline M. R. James, was a noted British mediaeval scholar and provost of Kings College, Cambridge (1905–1918) and of Eton College (1918–1936). ... Peter Haining is a well-known journalist and author who lives and works in London. ... Frederick Louis MacNeice (September 12, 1907 – September 3, 1963) was a British and Irish poet and playwright. ... Graham Shepard is the son of E.H. Shepard illustrator of Winnie the Pooh and The Wind in the Willows. ...


Betjeman entered the University of Oxford with considerable difficulty, having failed the mathematics portion of the university's matriculation exam, Responsions. He was, however, admitted as a commoner (i.e., a non-scholarship student) at Magdalen College and entered the newly-created School of English Language and Literature. At Oxford Betjeman made little use of the academic opportunities. His tutor, a young C.S. Lewis, regarded him as an "idle prig" and Betjeman in return considered Lewis unfriendly, demanding, and uninspired as a teacher. Betjeman disliked the coursework's emphasis on linguistics and he dedicated most of his time to cultivating an active social life, to his interest in English ecclesiastical architecture, and to private literary pursuits. He had a poem published in Isis, the university magazine, and was editor of the Cherwell student newspaper during 1927. He famously brought his teddy bear Archibald Ormsby-Gore up to Magdalen with him, the memory of which later inspired his Oxford contemporary Evelyn Waugh to include Sebastian Flyte's teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited. Much of this period of his life is recorded in his blank verse autobiography, Summoned by Bells which was published in 1960 and made into a television film in 1976. The University of Oxford (usually abbreviated as Oxon. ... Responsions, was previously a name describing the first of the three examinations once required for an academic degree at the University of Oxford. ... A commoner, in British law, is someone who is neither the Sovereign nor a noble. ... College name Magdalen College Latin name Collegium Beatae Mariae Magdalenae Named after Mary Magdalene Established 1458 Sister college Magdalene College, Cambridge President Professor David Clary FRS JCR President Jessica Jones Undergraduates 395 MCR President Eloise Scotford Graduates 230 Location of Magdalen College within central Oxford , Homepage Boatclub Magdalen College (pronounced... The University of Oxford (usually abbreviated as Oxon. ... Clive Staples Lewis (November 29, 1898 – November 22, 1963), commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis, was an author and scholar. ... Linguistics is the scientific study of language, which can be theoretical or applied. ... Isis is the longest-running independent student magazine in England, established in 1892 at the University of Oxford. ... Cherwell newspaper is a student newspaper published by and for students of Oxford University. ... Archibald Ormsby-Gore, better known as Archie, was the teddy-bear of English poet laureate John Betjeman. ... Evelyn Waugh, as photographed in 1940 by Carl Van Vechten Arthur Evelyn St. ... Aloysius is Lord Sebastian Flytes teddy bear in Evelyn Waughs novel Brideshead Revisited (1945). ... Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder is a novel by the English writer Evelyn Waugh, first published in 1945. ... Blank verse is a type of poetry, distinguished by having a regular meter, but no rhyme. ... Cover of the first English edition of 1793 of Benjamin Franklins autobiography. ... Book cover Summoned by Bells Summoned by Bells, the blank verse autobiography by John Betjeman, describes his life from his early memories of a middle class home in Edwardian Hampstead, London to his premature departure from Magdalen College, Oxford. ... Year 1976 Pick up sticks(MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


It is a common misapprehension, cultivated by Betjeman himself, that he did not complete his degree because he failed to pass the compulsory holy scripture examination, known as Divinity, or, colloquially, as "Divvers." The facts of the matter are, however, more complicated. In Hilary Term 1928, Betjeman failed Divinity for the second time. He was rusticated (i.e., temporarily sent down) for Trinity Term to prepare for a retake of the exam and was permitted to return in October. Meanwhile, he wrote to G.C. Lee, secretary of the Tutorial Board at Magdalen, stating his position and asking to be entered for the Pass School (a set of examinations taken on rare occasions by undergraduates who are deemed unlikely to achieve an honours degree). It is thus also a myth that Lewis said "You'd have only got a third" (i.e., a third-class honours degree); rather, Lewis had informed the tutorial board that he thought Betjeman would not achieve an honours degree of any class. For other uses, see Divinity (disambiguation) and Divine (disambiguation). ... The Oxford -er is a colloquial, sometimes facetious, abbreviation, prevalent at Oxford University from about 1875, which is thought to have been borrowed from the slang of Rugby School. ... Hilary term is the second academic term of Oxford Universitys academic year. ... Rustication is a term used at British universities, particularly Oxford University and Cambridge University, for a disciplinary action consisting of a temporary expulsion from the university. ... Trinity Term is the name of the third and final term of Oxford Universitys academic year. ... College name Magdalen College Latin name Collegium Beatae Mariae Magdalenae Named after Mary Magdalene Established 1458 Sister college Magdalene College, Cambridge President Professor David Clary FRS JCR President Jessica Jones Undergraduates 395 MCR President Eloise Scotford Graduates 230 Location of Magdalen College within central Oxford , Homepage Boatclub Magdalen College (pronounced... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Permission to sit the Pass School was granted, which was the occasion of Betjeman's famous decision to offer a paper in Welsh. The story told by Osbert Lancaster that a tutor was engaged twice a week by train (first class) from Aberystwyth is probably also apocryphal, since Jesus College had a number of Welsh tutors who would have taught him. Betjeman was finally sent down, permanently this time, at the end of Michaelmas Term 1928.[3] It has recently been clarified that Betjeman did pass his Divinity examination on his third try but was sent down after failing the Pass School, having achieved a satisfactory result in only one of the three required papers (on Shakespeare and other English authors).[4] Welsh redirects here, and this article describes the Welsh language. ... Example of a Lancaster Pocket Cartoon Sir Osbert Lancaster (1908 - 1986) was an author, diplomat and art critic. ... and of the Jesus College College name Jesus College in the University of Oxford of Queen Elizabeths Foundation Named after Jesus Christ Established 1571 Sister college Jesus College, Cambridge Principal The Lord Krebs JCR President Paolo Wyatt Undergraduates 340 MCR President Jahan Zahid Graduates 160 Location Turl Street, Oxford... Michaelmas term is the first term of Oxford University, Cambridge University, LSE, University of Wales, Lampeter, Durham University, and formerly University of Newcastle upon Tynes academic year, and is the only term name shared by Oxford and Cambridge, Oxford and Lampeter and Oxford and Durham. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


Betjeman's academic failure at Oxford rankled him for the rest of his life and he was never reconciled with C. S. Lewis, towards whom he continued to nurse a bitter detestation. This situation was perhaps complicated by his enduring love of Oxford, from which he accepted an honorary doctorate of letters in 1974. Doctor of Letters (Latin: Litterarum doctor; D.Litt. ...


After university

Betjeman left Oxford without a degree, but he had made the acquaintance of people who would influence his work, including Louis MacNeice, W. H. Auden, Maurice Bowra, Osbert Lancaster, George Alfred Kolkhorst, Tom Driberg and the Sitwells. Frederick Louis MacNeice (September 12, 1907 – September 3, 1963) was a British and Irish poet and playwright. ... Wystan Hugh Auden (21 February 1907 – 29 September 1973) (IPA: ; first syllable of Auden rhymes with law), who signed his works W. H. Auden, was an Anglo-American poet, regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. ... Sir Cecil Maurice Bowra (April 8, 1898 – July 4, 1971) was an English classical scholar, teacher, and wit. ... Example of a Lancaster Pocket Cartoon Sir Osbert Lancaster (1908 - 1986) was an author, diplomat and art critic. ... George Alfred Kolkhorst (1897-1958) was an Oxford don. ... Thomas Edward Neil Driberg, Baron Bradwell (May 22, 1905—August 12, 1976) was a British journalist and politician who was an influential member on the left of the UK Labour party from the 1950s to the 1970s. ... From left: Edith Sitwell (1887 - 1964), Sir George Sitwell, Lady Ida, Sacheverell Sitwell (1897-1988), and Osbert Sitwell (1892-1969). ...


After university Betjeman worked briefly as a private secretary, school teacher and film critic for the Evening Standard. After some freelance pieces for the Architectural Review he was employed on its full-time staff as an assistant editor between 1930 and 1935. Up to this point Betjeman had been an admirer of Victorian decoration; he changed his views, or bit his tongue, while writing for The Review — the editor was a vigorous proponent of Modernism. Mowl (2000) says, "His years at the Architectural Review were to be his true university." At this time, while his prose style matured, he joined the MARS Group, an organisation of young modernist architects and architectural critics in Britain. Headlines of the Evening Standard on the day of London bombing on July 7, 2005, in Waterloo Station The Evening Standard is a British tabloid newspaper published and sold in London and surrounding areas of southeast England. ... The Architectural Review is a monthly international architectural magazine which has been published in London since 1896. ... For Christian theological modernism, see Liberal Christianity and Modernism (Roman Catholicism). ... The Modern Architectural Research Group, or MARS Group, was a British architectural think tank founded in 1933 by several prominent architects and architectural critics of the time involved in the British modernist movement. ...


On 29 July 1933 Betjeman married the Hon. Penelope Chetwode, the daughter of Field Marshal Lord Chetwode. The couple lived in Oxfordshire and had a son, Paul, in 1937 and a daughter, Paula (better known as Candida, now Candida Lycett Green), in 1942. is the 210th day of the year (211th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Note: This article is about the military usage of the word marshal. For other usages, see the end of this article. ... Philip Walhouse Chetwode, 1st Baron Chetwode (21 September 1869–1950) was a British cavalry officer during World War I. He served on the Western Front in smaller cavalry commands receiving little distinction. ... Oxfordshire (abbreviated Oxon, from the Latinised form Oxonia) is a county in the South East of England, bordering on Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and Warwickshire. ... Candida Lycett Green (born 1942) is a writer and journalist who did much to keep alive the memory of her father, Sir John Betjeman (1906-84), Poet Laureate 1972-84. ...


The Shell Guides, a series of guides to the counties of Britain guides, came from an idea developed by Betjeman and Jack Beddington, a friend who was publicity manager with Shell-Mex Ltd. The guides were aimed at Britain's growing number of motorists who drove out to churches and historical sites at weekends. They were published by the Architectural Press and financed by Shell. By the start of World War II 13 had been published, of which Cornwall (1934) and Devon (1936) had been written by Betjeman. A third, Shropshire, was written with and designed by his good friend John Piper in 1951. The Shell Guides were a 20th century series of guidebooks on the British Isles. ... A county is generally a sub-unit of regional self-government within a sovereign jurisdiction. ... Jack Beddington was a United Kingdom advertising executive. ... This Page is under construction. ... Royal Dutch Shell plc is a multinational oil company of British and Dutch origins. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... For other uses, see Cornwall (disambiguation). ... Year 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display full 1934 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Part of the seafront of Torquay, south Devon, at high tide Devon is a large county in South West England, bordered by Cornwall to the west, and Dorset and Somerset to the east. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Shropshire (pronounced /, -/), alternatively known as Salop[6] or abbreviated Shrops[7], is a county in the West Midlands of England. ... John Egerton Christmas Piper CH (December 13, 1903 – June 28, 1992) was a well-known 20th century English artist who lived for many years at Fawley Bottom near Henley-on-Thames. ... Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 1939, Betjeman was rejected for active service in World War II but found war work with the films division of the Ministry of Information. In 1941 he became British press attaché in Dublin, Ireland, which was a neutral country. He may have been involved with intelligence gathering and is reported to have been selected for assassination by the IRA until they decided that a published poet was unlikely to be involved in such work. Betjeman wrote a number of poems based on his experiences in Ireland. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The term Ministry of Information may refer to the following: Minister of Information - A British government position during the First and Second World War. ... Dublin city centre at night WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: , Statistics Province: Leinster County: Dáil Éireann: Dublin Central, Dublin North Central, Dublin North East, Dublin North West, Dublin South Central, Dublin South East European Parliament: Dublin Dialling Code: +353 1 Postal District(s): D1-24, D6W Area: 114. ... Military intelligence (abbreviated MI, int. ... Following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6 December 1921, the Irish Republican Army in the 26 counties that were to become the Irish Free State split between supporters and opponents of the Treaty. ...


After the Second World War

Betjeman's house at Cloth Fair in the City
Betjeman's house at Cloth Fair in the City

Penelope Betjeman became a Roman Catholic in 1948, and the couple drifted apart. In 1951, he met Lady Elizabeth Cavendish, with whom he developed an immediate and lifelong friendship. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 3. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 3. ... Motto: Domine dirige nos Latin: Lord, guide us Shown within Greater London Sovereign state United Kingdom Constituent country England Region Greater London Status sui generis, City and Ceremonial County Admin HQ Guildhall Government  - Leadership see text  - Mayor John Stuttard  - MP Mark Field  - London Assembly John Biggs Area  - City  1. ... Lady Elizabeth Georgina Alice Cavendish CVO (b. ...


By 1948 Betjeman had published more than a dozen books. Five of these were verse collections, including one in the USA; although not admired by some literary critics, his poetry was popular, and sales of his Collected Poems in 1958 reached 100,000.


He continued writing guidebooks and works on architecture during the 1960s and 1970s and started broadcasting. His work was not limited to these activities; he was a founder member of The Victorian Society in 1958 and put great effort into the protection of old buildings of architectural merit which were in danger of demolition. Betjeman was also closely associated with the culture and spirit of Metro-land, the name by which the outer reaches of the Metropolitan Railway were known before the war. The Victorian Society is the national charity responsible for the study and protection of Victorian and Edwardian architecture and other arts in Britain. ... Metropolitan steam locomotive Metro-land (or Metroland) refers, broadly speaking, to the suburban areas north-west of London, in the counties of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex, served by the Metropolitan Railway, an independent company until absorbed by the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) in 1933. ... The Metropolitan Line is a line of the London Underground. ...


In 1973 he made a widely acclaimed television documentary for the BBC called Metro-land, which was directed by Edward Mirzoeff. In the centenary of his birth in 2006, his daughter led two celebratory railway trips: one from London to Bristol, the other, through Metro-land, to Quainton Road. Metro-land was a widely praised and fondly remembered documentary for BBC television by the then Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman (1906-84). ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Quainton Road railway station at Quainton in Buckinghamshire, England was a through station on the impoverished Aylesbury & Buckingham Railway (A&BR), a branch line running from Aylesbury station, connecting with the GWR, to Verney Junction, connecting with the LNWR cross-country route between Oxford and Cambridge. ...


He fought a spirited, but ultimately unsuccessful, campaign to save the Euston Arch, although he was victorious in the battle to preserve the iconic Gothic hotel at St Pancras Station. The Euston Arch was the original entrance to Euston station in central London. ... Interior of Cologne Cathedral Interior of San Zanipolo, Venice, photo Giovanni dallOrto. ... The Gothic Revival facade and clock tower of the disused Midland Hotel are the most visible part of St Pancras station. ...


In his public image Betjeman never took himself too seriously. His poems are often humorous and in broadcasting he exploited his bumbling and fogeyish image. This article discusses humour in terms of comedy and laughter. ...


His wryly comic verse is accessible and has attracted a great following for its satirical and observant grace. Auden said in his introduction to Slick But Not Streamlined "... so at home with the provincial gaslit towns, the seaside lodgings, the bicycle, the harmonium." His poetry is similarly redolent of time and place, continually seeking out intimations of the eternal in the manifestly ordinary. There are constant evocations of the physical chaff and clutter that accumulates in everyday life, the miscellanea of an England now gone but not beyond the reach of living memory. There is Ovaltine and the Sturmey-Archer bicycle gear, and ...

Oh! Fuller's angel-cake, Robertson's marmalade,
Liberty lampshades, come shine on us all.
John Betjeman's grave

and Image File history File links Download high resolution version (488x684, 99 KB) Summary Photograph taken by user:Saltmarsh - October 2005 at St Enodocs Church, Trebetherick, Corwall Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (488x684, 99 KB) Summary Photograph taken by user:Saltmarsh - October 2005 at St Enodocs Church, Trebetherick, Corwall Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...

I have a Slimline brief-case and I use the firm's Cortina.
In every roadside hostelry from here to Burgess Hill
[5]

It has been astutely observed that Betjeman's poetry provides the reader with a skeleton key to a long lost past which he will instantly recognise even if he were never there. It is this talent for evoking the familiar and secure, however homely, that makes a reader feel similarly disposed toward Betjeman himself. He is the font of wry, well-painted, avuncular reminiscence.


He was a practicing Anglican, and his religious beliefs come through in some of his poems, albeit sometimes in a rather light-hearted way. He combined piety with a nagging uncertainty about the truth of Christianity. Unlike Thomas Hardy, who disbelieved in the truth of the Christmas story, while hoping it might be so, Betjeman affirms his belief even while fearing it might be false. Even in Christmas, one of his most openly religious poems, the last three stanzas that proclaim the wonder of Christ's birth do so in the form of a question "And is it true...?" that is answered in the conditional tense, "For if it is..." Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... “Thomas Hardy” redirects here. ...


Perhaps his views on Christianity were best expressed in his poem "The Conversion of St. Paul", a response to a radio broadcast by humanist Margaret Knight: Margaret Knight (February 14, 1838 - October 12, 1914) was an American inventor. ...

But most of us turn slow to see
The figure hanging on a tree
And stumble on and blindly grope
Upheld by intermittend hope,
God grant before we die we all
May see the light as did St. Paul.

Betjeman was, however, deeply insecure, and this imbued his writings. It was said that "Depression was for him what daffodils were for Wordsworth" (BBC programme on the occasion of the centenary of his birth: 28 August 2006). is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


He became Poet Laureate in 1972, and this combined with his popularity as a television performer ensured that his poetry eventually reached an audience enormous by poetic standards. Like Tennyson, he appeals to a very wide public and manages to voice the thoughts and aspirations of many ordinary people while retaining the respect of many of his fellow poets. This is partly because of the apparently simple traditional metrical structures and rhymes he uses (not nearly as simple as they might appear). A Poet Laureate is a poet officially appointed by a government and often expected to compose poems for State occasions and other government events. ... Year 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 1975 he proposed that the Fine Rooms of Somerset House should house the Turner Bequest, so helping to scupper the plan of the Minister for the Arts that they should house the Theatre Museum. The central courtyard of Somerset House in London. ... The Theatre Museum in the Covent Garden district of London, England, is the United Kingdoms National Museum of the Performing Arts. ...


Sir John was very fond of the ghost stories of M.R. James and supplied an introduction to Peter Haining's book M.R. James - Book of the Supernatural. Montague Rhodes James, (August 1, 1862–June 12, 1936). ... Peter Haining is a well-known journalist and author who lives and works in London. ...


For the last decade of his life Betjeman suffered increasingly from Parkinson's Disease. He died at his home in Trebetherick, Cornwall on 19 May 1984, aged 77, and is buried half a mile away in the churchyard at St Enodoc Church[6]. Remains of a shipwreck on the rocks at Trebetherick Point. ... For other uses, see Cornwall (disambiguation). ... is the 139th day of the year (140th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... St Enodocs church, Trebetherick. ...


A number of memorials have been created to Betjeman's memory, including a window designed by John Piper at All Saints' Church, Farnborough in Berkshire, where Betjeman lived at the adjoining Rectory. There is also the Betjeman Millennium Park at nearby Wantage in Oxfordshire (formerly in Berkshire), where he had lived from 1951 to 1972 and where he set his book, Archie and the Strict Baptists. John Egerton Christmas Piper CH (December 13, 1903 – June 28, 1992) was a well-known 20th century English artist who lived for many years at Fawley Bottom near Henley-on-Thames. ... Farnborough is a small village and civil parish in Berkshire, England. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Wantage is a small town in the Thames Valley, southern England. ... Oxfordshire (abbreviated Oxon, from the Latinised form Oxonia) is a county in the South East of England, bordering on Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and Warwickshire. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


Honours

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority, these are Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross (GBE) Knight Commander... Commanders Badge of the Order of the British Empire The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions, in order of seniority: Knight or Dame Grand Cross... The Royal Society of Literature is the senior literary organisation in Britain. External link The Royal Society of Literature Categories: Literature stubs | Literature of the United Kingdom ... The dignity of Knight Bachelor is a part of the British honours system. ... American Academy of Arts and Letters is an organization whose goal is to foster, assist, and sustain an interest in American literature, music, and art. ...

Betjeman and architecture

Betjeman has often been portrayed as a compulsive protester who idolised the past, who had a special fondness for Victorian buildings even when they were third-rate and leapt into action whenever any kind of ancient relic was threatened with destruction. He was alleged to be a snob, a romantic, out of touch with the realities of contemporary life and steeped in nostalgia. Manchester Town Hall is an example of Victorian architecture found in Manchester, UK. The Carson Mansion is an example of a Victorian home in Eureka, California, USA The term Victorian architecture can refer to one of a number of architectural styles predominantly in the Victorian era. ...


This is something of a caricature though it has elements of truth. He responded to architecture as the visible manifestation of society's spiritual life as well as its political and economic structure. He attacked speculators and bureaucrats for what he saw as their rapacity and lack of imagination. This article is about building architecture. ...


The preface of his collection of architectural essays, First and Last Loves says:

We accept the collapse of the fabrics of our old churches, the thieving of lead and objects from them, the commandeering and butchery of our scenery by the services, the despoiling of landscaped parks and the abandonment to a fate worse than the workhouse of our country houses, because we are convinced we must save money.

Work

Despite being a prolific poet, Betjeman remains best known for just a single poem, Slough, written in 1937 about the community outside London which typified the transformation of the rural landscape wrought by industrialisation. It opens "Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough / It isn't fit for humans now." Slough is a poem by Sir John Betjeman, first published in the 1937 collection Continual Dew. ... Slough (pronounced ) is a town and unitary authority (Borough of Slough) in England. ...


Printed

Most of the work below has been published more than once. In most cases the details given are those of first publication.


Verse

  • Betjeman, John (1931). Mount Zion, or in touch with the infinite. London: James Press. (With illustrations).
  • Betjeman, John (1937). Continual Dew, a little book of bourgeois verse. London: John Murray. (With illustrations).
  • Epsilon [Betjeman, John] (1938). Sir John Piers. Mullingar: Westmeath Examiner.
  • Betjeman, John (1940). Old Lights for New Chancels, verses topographical and amatory. London: John Murray.
  • Betjeman, John (1945). New Bats in Old Belfries. London: John Murray.
  • Betjeman, John (1947). Slick but not Streamlined. Garden City N.Y.:Doubleday & Co. (With an introduction by W. H. Auden).
  • Betjeman, John (1950). Selected Poems: chosen with a preface by John Hanbury Angus Sparrow. London: John Murray.
  • Betjeman, John (1954). A Few Late Chrysanthemums. London: John Murray.
  • Betjeman, John (1954). Poems in the Porch. London: SPCK. (Illustrated by John Piper).
  • Betjeman, John (1958). John Betjeman’s Collected Poems. London: John Murray. (Compiled and with an introduction by the Earl of Birkenhead)
  • Betjeman, John (1959). Altar and Pew, Church of England verses. London: Edward G. Hulton.
  • Betjeman, John (1960). Summoned by Bells. London: John Murray. (With drawings by Michael Tree).
  • Betjeman, John (1962). A Ring of Bells. London: John Murray. (Illustrated by Edward Ardizzone).
  • Betjeman, John (1966). High and low. London: John Murray.
  • Betjeman, John (1971). A Wembley Lad and The Crem. London: Poem-of-the-month Club.
  • Maugham, Robin (1977). The barrier : a novel containing five sonnets by John Betjeman written in the style of the period. London: WH Allen.
  • Betjeman, John (1974). A nip in the air. London: John Murray.
  • Betjeman, John (1976). Betjeman in Miniature: selected poems of Sir John Betjeman. Paisley: Gleniffer Press.
  • Betjeman, John (1978). The best of Betjeman: selected by John Guest. London: John Murray.
  • Betjeman, John (1981). Church poems. London: John Murray. (Illustrated by John Piper).
  • Betjeman, John (1982). Uncollected poems: with a foreword by Bevis Hillier. London: John Murray.
  • Betjeman, John (2005). Faith and Doubt of John Betjeman: An Anthology of Betjeman's Religious Verse London: Continuum. (Edited by Kevin J. Gardner).
  • Betjeman, John (2007). Tennis Whites and Teacakes: An Anthology of Betjeman's prose and verse. Edited and introduced by Stephen Games. London: John Murray.

John Hanbury Angus Sparrow (1906-1992) John Sparrow was educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford. ... Edward George Hulton (1869-1925) was a British newspaper publisher and Thoroughbred racehorse owner. ... Book cover Summoned by Bells Summoned by Bells, the blank verse autobiography by John Betjeman, describes his life from his early memories of a middle class home in Edwardian Hampstead, London to his premature departure from Magdalen College, Oxford. ...

Prose

  • Betjeman, John (1933). Ghastly good taste, or the depressing story of the rise and fall of British architecture. London: Chapman & Hall.
  • Betjeman, John (1934). Cornwall Illustrated, in a Series of Views. London: Architectural Press. (A Shell Guide).
  • Betjeman, John (1936). Devon - Compiled with many illustrations.. London: Architectural Press. (A Shell Guide).
  • Betjeman, John (1938). An Oxford University Chest, comprising a description of the present state of the town and University of Oxford. London: John Miles. (Illustrated in line and halftone by L. Moholy-Nagy, Osbert Lancaster, Edward Bradley and others).
  • Betjeman, John (1939). Antiquarian Prejudice. London: Hogarth Press (Hogarth Sixpenny Pamphlet #3).
  • Betjeman, John (1942). Vintage London. London: William Collins.
  • Betjeman, John (1943). English Cities and Small Towns. London: William Collins. (One of series: The British People in Pictures).
  • Betjeman, John (1944). English Scottish and Welsh landscape 1700-1860. London: Frederick Muller Ltd.
  • Betjeman, John (1944). John Piper. London: Penguin Books. (One of series: The Penguin Modern Painters).
  • Betjeman, John; Lewis, CS; et al (1946). Five sermons by laymen. Northampton: St Matthew's Church.
  • Betjeman, John (1947). ed Watergate Children’s Classics. London: Watergate Classics.
  • Betjeman, John; Piper, John (Eds.) (1948). Murray’s Buckinghamshire Architectural Guide. London: John Murray.
  • Betjeman, John; Piper, John (Eds.) (1949). Murray’s Berkshire Architectural Guide. London: John Murray.
  • Betjeman, John (1950). Studies in the History of Swindon. Swindon. (with many others).
  • Betjeman, John; Piper, John (1951). Shropshire - with maps and illustrations. London: Faber & Faber. (Shell Guide).
  • Betjeman, John (1952). First and Last Loves, essays on towns and architecture. London: John Murray.
  • Betjeman, John (1953); et al. Gala day London, photographs by Izis Bidermanas. Harvill Press.
  • Betjeman, John (1956). The English Town in the Last Hundred Years, The Rede Lecture. Cambridge: CUP.
  • Betjeman, John (1958). Collins Guide to English Parish Churches, including the Isle of Man. London: Collins.
  • Betjeman, John (1960). First and Last Loves. London: Arrow Books. (With drawings by John Piper).
  • Betjeman, John (ca 1962). Clifton College buildings. Bristol. (Reprinted from Centenary essays on Clifton College).
  • Betjeman, John (1964). Cornwall, A Shell Guide . Faber and Faber. (A Shell Guide).
  • Betjeman, John; Clarke, Basil (1964). English Churches. London: Vista Books.
  • Betjeman, John (1965). The City of London Churches. London: Pitkin Pictorials. (One of Pitkin Pride of Britain series).
  • Betjeman, John (1968). Collins pocket guide to English parish churches. London: Collins.
  • Betjeman, John (1969). Victorian and Edwardian London from old photographs. London: Batsford.
  • Perry George; et al (1970). The book of the Great Western, with introduction by J. Betjeman . London: Sunday Times Magazine.
  • Betjeman, John (1972). A pictorial history of English architecture. London: John Murray.
  • Betjeman, John (1972). London's historic railway stations. London: John Murray. (Photographs by John Gay).
  • Betjeman, John (1974). A plea for Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street. London: Church Literature Association. (With four drawings by Gavin Stamp).
  • Betjeman, John; Rowse, AL (1976). Victorian and Edwardian Cornwall from old photographs. London: Batsford.
  • Betjeman, John (1977). Archie and the Strict Baptists. London: John Murray. (Children's stories: illustrated by Phillida Gili).
  • Betjeman, John (1977). Metro-land. London: Warren Editions. (Limited edition: with lithographs by Glynn Boyd Harte).
  • Betjeman, John (1984). Betjeman's Cornwall. London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-4106-9*
  • Betjeman, John (2007). Tennis Whites and Teacakes: An Anthology of Betjeman's prose and verse. Edited and introduced by Stephen Games. London: John Murray.

An Oxford University Chest is a book about Oxford University, written by the poet Sir John Betjeman and first published by John Miles in London in 1938. ... Izis Bidermanas was a photogrpaher best known for his photos of French circuses and of Paris. ... The Sir Robert Redes Lecturer is an annual appointment to give a public lecture, the Sir Robert Redes Lecture (usually Rede Lecture) at the University of Cambridge. ...

Recordings

  • Betjeman, John and Parker, Jim. Banana Blush: John Betjeman reads 12 of his poems with musical accompaniment provided by Jim Parker (composer)

Jim Parker (1934-), who has won the British Academy Award for Best Original Television Music four times, has written scores for over one hundred programmes and is one of Britains most successful and versatile composers. ...

Radio/Prose

  • Betjeman, John (2006). Trains and Buttered Toast: Selected BBC Radio Talks, 1932-55. London: John Murray. (Edited and introduced by Stephen Games.)
  • Betjeman, John (2007). Sweet Songs of Zion. London: Hodder & Stoughton. (Edited and introduced by Stephen Games.)

Television

His television programmes included:

  • John Betjeman In The West Country, made for the defunct ITV company TWW in 1962. This series was long thought lost, but was rediscovered in the 1990s and shown on Channel 4 under the titles The Lost Betjemans and Betjeman Revisited
  • John Betjeman Goes By Train, a co-production between BBC East Anglia and British Transport Films, made in 1962
  • One Man's County, BBC programme from 1964, about Cornwall
  • Something About Diss, made for BBC East Anglia in 1964
  • Two episodes in the Bird's Eye View series, An Englishman's Home and Beside The Seaside, made for the BBC in 1969
  • Betjeman In Australia, a co-production between the BBC and the Australian Broadcasting Commission, made in 1971
  • Thank God It's Sunday, made for the BBC in 1972
  • Metro-land, a poetic and humorous journey on the Metropolitan Line from Baker Street to rural Buckinghamshire, made for the BBC in 1973
  • A Passion For Churches, made for the BBC in 1974
  • Summoned By Bells, a television version of his verse autobiography, made for the BBC in 1976
  • Vicar Of This Parish, a documentary about Francis Kilvert and his love of Herefordshire and the Welsh Marches, made for the BBC in 1976
  • Queen's Realm, a compilation programme made for the Silver Jubilee in 1977, most of it compiled from 1968/69 Bird's Eye View footage
  • Time With Betjeman, his final and retrospective series (1983), which included extracts from much of his television work, conversations with his producer Jonathan Stedall and many friends and colleagues, and included a memorable final interview filmed outside his home in Cornwall.
  • Betjeman and Me, series aired by BBC Two in August 2006, a retrospective of Betjeman's life, loves and poetry and how his work affected celebrities such as the TV chef Rick Stein, actor Griff Rhys-Jones and architectural historian, conservationist and broadcaster Dan Cruickshank.

Independent Television (generally known as ITV, but also as ITV Network) is a public service network of British commercial television broadcasters, set up under the Independent Television Authority (ITA) to provide competition to the BBC. ITV is the oldest commercial television network in the UK. Since 1990 and the Broadcasting... This article is about the British television station. ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... The ABC or Australian Broadcasting Corporation is the national, Australia. ... London Transport Portal The Metropolitan Line is part of the London Underground, coloured maroon on the Tube map. ... 94 Baker Street, formerly the Apple Boutique. ... Buckinghamshire (abbreviated Bucks) is one of the home counties in South East England. ... Robert Francis Kilvert (3 December 1840–23 September 1879), always known as Francis, or Frank, was born at The Rectory, Hardenhuish Lane, near Chippenham, Wiltshire, to the Rev. ... Herefordshire is a historic and ceremonial county and unitary district (known as County of Herefordshire) in the West Midlands region of England. ... The Welsh Marches is an area along the border of England and Wales in the island of Great Britain. ... A Silver Jubilee is a celebration held to mark a 25th anniversary. ... For other uses, see Cornwall (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the art form. ... Christopher Richard (Rick) Stein OBE (born January 4, 1947) is an English chef, restaurateur and television presenter. ... Griff Rhys Jones (born 6 November 1953) is the comedy partner and foil of Mel Smith. ... Dan Cruickshank Professor Dan Cruickshank (born 1949) is an architectural historian and television presenter, currently working for the BBC, and lives in Spitalfields, London. ...

Bibliography

   A bibliography of works by John Betjeman appears above.

  • Matthew, H.C.G. and Harrison, B. (eds), (2004). Oxford dictionary of national biography (vol. 5). Oxford: OUP.
  • Brooke, Jocelyn (1962). Ronald Firbank and John Betjeman. London: Longmans, Green & Co.
  • Games, Stephen (2006). Trains and Buttered Toast, Introduction. London: John Murray.
  • Games, Stephen (2007). Tennis Whites and Teacakes, Introduction. London: John Murray.
  • Games, Stephen (2007). Sweet Songs of Zion, Introduction. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
  • Gardner, Kevin J. (2005). "John Betjeman." The Oxford encyclopedia of British literature. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Green, Chris (2006). John Betjeman and the Railways. Transport for London
  • Hillier, Bevis (1984). John Betjeman: a life in pictures. London: John Murray.
  • Hillier, Bevis (1988). Young Betjeman. London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-4531-5.
  • Hillier, Bevis (2002). John Betjeman: new fame, new love. London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-5002-5.
  • Hillier, Bevis (2004). Betjeman: the bonus of laughter. London : John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-6495-6.
  • Hillier, Bevis (2006). Betjeman: the biography. London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-6443-3
  • Lycett Green, Candida (Ed.) (Aug 2006). Letters: John Betjeman, Vol.1, 1926 to 1951. London: Methuen. ISBN 0-413-77595-X
  • Lycett Green, Candida (Ed.) (Aug 2006). Letters: John Betjeman, Vol.2, 1951 to 1984. London: Methuen. ISBN 0-413-77596-8
  • Lycett Green, Candida, Betjeman's stations in The Oldie, September 2006
  • Mirzoeff, Edward (2006). Viewing notes for Metro-land (DVD) (24pp)
  • Mowl, Timothy (2000). Stylistic Cold Wars, Betjeman versus Pevsner. London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-5909-X
  • Schroeder, Reinhard (1972). Die Lyrik John Betjemans. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag. (Thesis).
  • Sieveking, Lancelot de Giberne (1963). John Betjeman and Dorset. Dorchester: Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society.
  • Stanford, Derek (1961). John Betjeman, a study. London: Neville Spearman.
  • Taylor-Martin, Patrick (1983). John Betjeman, his life and work. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 0-7139-1539-0
  • Wilson, A. N. (2006). Betjeman. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 0-09-179702-0

Andrew Norman Wilson (born 1950) is an English writer, known for his biographies, novels and works of popular and cultural history. ...

References

  1. ^ Mowl, Timothy (2000). Stylistic Cold Wars, Betjeman versus Pevsner, p 13.
  2. ^ Betjeman, John (1960). Summoned by Bells, p 5.
  3. ^ B. Hillier, Young Betjeman, pp. 181–194.
  4. ^ Priestman, Judith, "The dilettante and the dons", Oxford Today, Trinity term, 2006.
  5. ^ from Executive in A Nip in the Air (1974).
  6. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, OUP, 2004

Other sources

John Murray is a British publishing house, renowned for the roster of authors it has published in its history, including Jane Austen, Lord Byron and Charles Darwin. ... Nikolaus Pevsner (January 30, 1902 - August 18, 1983) was a German-born British historian of art and, especially, architecture. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Preceded by
Cecil Day-Lewis
British Poet Laureate
1972–1984
Succeeded by
Ted Hughes

  Results from FactBites:
 
John Betjeman.com (919 words)
A large collection of prose, bringing together a selection of John Betjeman's writings spanning four decades, discussing buildings, townscape and landscape, together with appreciations of writers, artists and architects, ranging from Evelyn Waugh, Pugin and T.S. Eliot, to R.S. Thomas, Etchells and Jacob Epstein.
John Betjeman - Poet to Poet, by Hugo Williams.
Covers Betjeman’s life from his university days through to his period on the staff of The Architectural Review, as editor of the Shell Guides in the 1930s, and as Press Attaché in Dublin during the War.
channel4.com - Real Lives - John Betjeman (803 words)
Sir John Betjeman's public image is that of a lifelong devotee of the English upper classes.
John Betjeman's family background was far removed from the aristocratic milieu he loved.
Betjeman found companionship with Elizabeth Cavendish, whom he met in 1951 –; the attraction was mutual, immediate and lifelong.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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