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Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica

by Philip Larkin, edited by Anthony Thwaite
£12.99   paperback  Faber and Faber (2011)

Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica by Philip Larkin, edited by Anthony Thwaite Philip Larkin met Monica Jones at University College, Leicester, in Autumn 1946, when they were both twenty-four; he was the newly appointed assistant librarian and she was an English lecturer. In 1950 Larkin moved to Belfast, and thence to Hull, while Monica remained in Leicester, becoming by turns his correspondent, lover and closest confidante, a relationship which lasted over forty years until the poetís death in 1985.
 
This remarkable unpublished correspondence only came to light after Monica Jonesís death in 2001, and consists of nearly two thousand letters, postcards and telegrams, which chronicle - day by day, sometimes hour by hour - every aspect of Larkinís life and the convolutions of their relationship. The letters deal extensively with other writers, living and dead (D. H. Lawrence, Hardy, Katherine Mansfield, Kipling, Dickens, Kingsley Amis), and with the experiences that shaped Larkinís poems. Their impressionistic immediacy - liberally sprinkled with Larkinís cartoons - and their relaxed privacy offer a view of the poetís personality and its resources which was often screened from his other epistolary relationships, already familiar to readers of Anthony Thwaiteís edition of the Selected Letters (1992).
 
The collection was acquired by the Bodleian Library in Oxford in 2004, and the present selection is made possible through a collaboration between Faber and Faber and the Bodleian Library.
 
Letters to Monica offers a richly characteristic selection from Larkinís side of the correspondence, and one which tells both sides of their story.

ISBN 13: 9780571239108 | ISBN 10: 0571239102