By A. N. Wilson
John Betjeman was once by means of a long way the preferred poet of the 20 th century; his amassed poems offered greater than million copies. As poet laureate of britain, he turned a countrywide icon, yet in the back of the general public guy have been doubts and demons. The poet top recognized for writing hymns of compliment to athletic middle-class women at the tennis courts led a tempestuous emotional lifestyles. for far of his fifty-year marriage to Penelope Chetwode, the daughter of a box marshal, Betjeman had a courting with Elizabeth Cavendish, the daughter of the Duke of Devonshire and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. Betjeman, a religious Anglican, used to be laid low with guilt concerning the storms this emotional triangle caused.
Betjeman, released to coincide with the hundredth anniversary of the poet's delivery, is the 1st to exploit totally the significant archive of private fabric on the subject of his inner most lifestyles, together with actually countless numbers of letters written by way of his spouse approximately their lifestyles jointly and aside. right here too are chronicled his many friendships, starting from "Bosie" Douglas to the younger satirists of non-public Eye, from the Mitford sisters to the loopy Gang. this can be a occasion of a much-loved poet, a courageous campaigner for structure in danger, and a hugely renowned public performer. Betjeman used to be the vintage instance of the depression clown, whose unhappiness discovered its ideal temper tune within the hymns of a poignant Anglicanism.
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John Betjeman was once by means of some distance the preferred poet of the 20 th century; his amassed poems offered greater than million copies. As poet laureate of britain, he grew to become a countrywide icon, yet at the back of the general public guy have been doubts and demons. The poet most sensible identified for writing hymns of compliment to athletic middle-class ladies at the tennis courts led a tempestuous emotional lifestyles.
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Extra info for Betjeman: A Life
Girolamo lived on the Via Recta, which extended out from the piazza, near to the church of San Agostino. But in other ways this piazza was a shrewd choice of location for a bureaucrat who wished to be at the centre of everything. 4 Given that he was a servant, Bernardino built a palace for himself of remarkable splendour flanked by the Via dell Anima, across from the church of Sant’ Agnese in Agone. He took advantage of a bull passed by Sixtus IV, Et si de cunctarum civitatum (‘for the benefit of the city’), designed to promote regeneration and renewal in the city of Rome.
By the twelfth century, different families controlled different parts of the city: the Colonna ruled the Quirinal and 19 the cardinal’s daughter Esquiline hills; the Frangipani family ruled the Palatine and the area around the Colosseum, and the Savelli ruled the Aventine hill and the stretch of the river Tiber at its foot. Over in Trastevere, there was an alliance of sorts between the families of the Pierleone, the Papareschi, the Tebaldi and the Normanni, Felice’s mother’s family. The Orsini family controlled the area around the Ponte Sant’ Angelo, one of the few bridges across the Tiber, as well as the heart of the abitato.
2 The Roman Felice could see it was hardly comparable to the city she had left behind. Undoubtedly she arrived with all the preconceptions city-dwellers have towards places they deem less sophisticated. There were plenty of ingredients for conflict between a headstrong and lonely girl and her Savonese relations. They did not even share a first language. The Italian used for written correspondence or spoken between Italians of different towns or provinces was toscana, the language of Tuscany. But even today each province still has its own dialect, spoken exclusively by its natives.