LARKIN, Philip

(1922 - 1985)
“Deprivation is for me what daffodils were for Wordsworth.”

Scroll down to see our current collection of Larkin first editions.

Phillip Arthur Larkin was gifted with an insight into the spiritual desolation of post war Britain, and the language skills to articulate it.  Although he graduated with a first class English degree from St John’s College, Oxford in 1943, he chose to escape the metropolitan literary life electing instead to study librarianship, ending up as a librarian at Hull University. He supported himself for forty years in this manner, but his spare time was taken up with writing poignant and lucid verse.  During the early 1940s Larkin wrote several poems, which appeared in various journals, but his first book of poetry was not published until 1945 when The North Ship was issued by The Fortune Press in an edition of around 500 copies.  He produced on average only one book of poetry once every decade, yet with Less Deceived, Whitsun Weddings and High Windows, Larkin’s use of colloquial language and familiar settings and emotions endeared him to an appreciative audience.  He followed Hardy’s thoughts “that a modern poet could write about the life around him in the language of the society around him” with the result that although he turned down the post of Poet Laureate in 1984, he became one of Britain’s most popular poets.

In addition to his poetry Larkin also wrote two novels, Jill and A Girl in Winter.

Related blogpost: Philip Larkin, A Night with No Memory



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 Philip LARKIN

Books by this author

The Brynmor Jones Library 1929-1979

[LARKIN, Philip]


Poetry in the Making

[LARKIN, Philip] (contr.)


All What Jazz

LARKIN, Philip



LARKIN, Philip


High Windows

LARKIN, Philip



LARKIN, Philip


The Fantasy Poets

LARKIN, Philip


Oxford Poetry 1942-1943

LARKIN, Philip