Fonds SC015 - John Betjeman fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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John Betjeman fonds

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Fonds

Reference code

UVICSP SC015

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  • 1913 - 1986 (Creation)
    Creator
    Betjeman, John, 1906-1984

Physical description area

Physical description

24 m of textual records

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Name of creator

(1906-1984)

Biographical history

John Betjeman was a poet, journalist, free-lance writer, architectural commentator, broadcaster, and television personality who was popular in England in the 1960s and 1970s and was active in the campaigning for the preservation of churches, buildings and landscape. He was knighted in 1969 and became poet laureate in 1972. During his time at Oxford University, Betjeman's active social life included writers such as Evelyn Waugh, Bryan Guiness, Graham Greene, and W.H. Auden. He married Penelope Chetwood in 1933; and travelled extensively in Europe, North America and the Middle East between 1948 and 1975 giving lectures, slide shows and readings. He was an officer and patron of more than 40 organizations, including Royal Commissions of Fine Art and of Historic Monuments. With all his public exposure, he became Britain's most popular poet by 1962, when his "Collected Poems" sold more than 100,000 copies. His poetry publisher throughout most of his career was John Murray.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence, published and unpublished literary works, notebooks, sketchbooks, desk diaries, financial accounts and agreements, and ephemera. Correspondents include family and friends, professional and business associates, and aspiring poets and fans. Many letters include enclosures such as pamphlets, manuscripts, drawings, reports, plans, contracts, scripts, clippings, and bills. The correspondence series include occasional replies from Betjeman. Major correspondents (more than 35 letters) include: J.R. Ackerly, John Arlott, Betjeman family, John Edward Bowle, Maurice Bowra, B.B.C., Bryan House School, Hugh Casson, Leonard Clark, William Clonmore, J.N. Comper, Patrick Cullinan, Curtis Brown, Daily Telegraph, Tom Driberg, T.S. Eliot, Frederick Etchells, Faber and Faber, Peter Fleetwood-Hesketh, The Georgian Group, Grand Opera Productions, Great Britain Department of Environment, Great Britain Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Greater London Council, Ken Griffiths, Samuel Gurney, David Higham Associates, Bevis Hillier, Historic Churches Preservation Trust, Helen Holmes, Edward James, Wilfrid Jarvis, Oliver Kenross, G.A. Kolkhurst, Osbert Lancaster, Brazley Mitchell, John Murray Publishers, National Association of Alms Houses, National Trust, Edmund and Margaret Penning-Rowsell, John and Myfanwy Piper, Percy Popkin, Alan Pryce-Jones, Ann Reed, Royal Fine Art Commission, Camilla Russell, Martyn Skinner, John Sparrow, The Spectator, Olivar Stonar, John Summerson, Geoffrey Taylor, Time and Tide, Victorian Society, Evelyn Waugh, Keith Wedmore, Weekend Telegraph, and Mary Wilson.

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General note

Architecture, Modern--19th century--England; Authors and publishers--Great Britain; Literature; Motion pictures; Newspapers--Great Britain; Poetry, Modern--20th century--England; Poets, English--20th century--Biography; Poets, English--20th century--Manuscripts; Television Broadcasting--England

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Revised by JF, July 23, 2013.

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