Information about the author.
Philip Larkin was one of the greatest and most popular English poets of the twentieth century, and also one of the most private. Living in towns “where only salesmen and relations come”, refusing to read or lecture before an audience, he was by the end of his life affectionately known as “the hermit of Hull”. At sixty he promised that as soon as he saw “the Grim Reaper coming up the path” he would burn all his personal papers. Instead, be left behind him an archival treasure trove, a cache of letters, journals, and papers that reveal a man who, from very early on, made art, especially poetry, his aspiration and believed himself destined for fame.
Larkin’s friend and fellow poet Andrew Motion has drawn deeply from this rich lode of previously unknown and unpublished material and from conversations with those who knew Larkin best, to give us an intimate and detailed portrait—the first, and…[more]