John Betjeman

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

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

Sir John Betjeman CBE (28 August 1906 – 19 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.


  • 1 Life
    • 1.1 Early life and education
    • 1.2 After university
    • 1.3 After the Second World War
    • 1.4 Honours
  • 2 Betjeman and architecture
  • 3 Work
    • 3.1 Printed
      • 3.1.1 Verse
      • 3.1.2 Prose
      • 3.1.3 Recordings
      • 3.1.4 Radio/Prose
    • 3.2 Television
  • 4 Bibliography
  • 5 References
  • 6 Other sources
  • 7 External links


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:

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.

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.

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, a 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.

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.

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]

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Shell Guides, a series of British county 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.

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.

After the Second World War

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.

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.

In 1973 he made a widely acclaimed television documentary for the BBC called Metro-land, which was directed by Edward Mirzoeff. In the centenary (2006) of his birth, his daughter led two celebratory railway trips: one from London to Bristol, the other, through Metro-land, to Quainton Road.

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.

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.

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, and.

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


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

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 recognize 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..."

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.

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).

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).

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.

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.

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].

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 Baptist'.


  • 1960 Queen's Medal for Poetry
  • 1960 CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire)
  • 1968 Companion of Literature, the Royal Society of Literature
  • 1969 Knight Bachelor
  • 1972 Poet Laureate
  • 1973 Honorary Member, the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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.

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.

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.


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...."


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


  • 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.


  • 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.


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


  • 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.)


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.


   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
  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

  • Betjeman, John (1960). Summoned by Bells. London: John Murray.
  • Mowl, Timothy (2000). Stylistic Cold Wars, Betjeman versus Pevsner. London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-5909-X
  • Biography by Jocelyn Brooke
  • John Betjeman website
  • The Betjeman Society
  • John Betjeman at the Notable Names Database
  • Biography by Jocelyn Brooke
  • The Poetry Archive entry for John Betjeman (recordings of "A Subaltern's Love Song" and "Youth and Age on Beaulieu River")
  • Shell County Guides website
  • - Seeking Betjeman Country. By Rehan Qayoom. A fresh look at Betjeman's London haunts.
  • A Shopshire Lad with audio from Sir John
  • A theatrical event about John Betjeman's role in saving St Pancras Station

  • Preceded by
    Cecil Day-Lewis
    British Poet Laureate
    Succeeded by
    Ted Hughes
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