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John Betjeman and Cornwall

By Philip Payton

John Betjeman and Cornwall
Hardback, 278 pages £55.00
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9780859898478
Format: 234mm x 156mm
Buy this Book


Paperback, 278 pages £16.99
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9780859898485
Format: 234mm x 156mm
Buy this Book


PDF, 278 pages £14.00
Published: 2015
ISBN: 9780859899239
Buy this Book


Subjects: Biography, Cornish Studies, South-West Studies


“I was one of the 8,000-strong ‘Betjemaniacs’ gathered at Carruan farm in Cornwall in August 2006 to celebrate the hundredth birthday of Sir John Betjeman, the late Poet Laureate. Situated high above Polzeath, with tremendous views out to the azure Atlantic and the great headland of Pentire, Carruan was, with its exhilarating sense of space, an inspirational choice for this great event. I stood in the pasty-queue with the Archbishop of Canterbury, watched the poetic performance of Bert Biscoe, and browsed among the bookstalls in the hope of finding second-hand copies of rare Betjeman books to add to my collection. Here was that Patrick Taylor-Martin volume that had eluded me for years, and Betjeman’s Britain – compiled by Candida Lycett Green, Betjeman’s daughter – together with more recent editions of old favourites.”         

Philip Payton, in the preface to John Betjeman and Cornwall



Quintessentially English, Betjeman was an 'outsider' in England - and doubly so in Cornwall where, as he was the first to admit, he was a ‘foreigner’. And yet, as this book describes, Betjeman also strove to acquire a veneer of ‘Cornishness', cultivating an alternative Celtic identity, and finding inspiration in Cornwall's Anglo-Catholic tradition.

He was also active in Cornish affairs, insisting that Cornwall was not part of England, and championing Cornish environmental concerns that anticipated today's focus on sustainability.

The new research in this book includes a wealth of previously ignored source material, forming a lively new account of Betjeman's life and work and his defining relationship with Cornwall. This book is likely to be controversial and to provoke debate.





List of Illustrations

Preface


Preamble: 'The Sky Widens to a Sense of Cornwall'

1.  'That Bold Coast-line Where he was Not Born': John Betjeman as 'foreigner'

2.  'Into Betjemanland': Imagining North Cornwall

3.  'The Oldest Part of Cornwall': Hawker, Baring-Gould and 'Betjeman Country'

4.  'Caverns of Light revealed the Holy Grail': Betjeman and The Secret Glory

5.  'A Longing for Ireland': Sean O'Betjeman and the 'Anglo-Celtic Muse'

6.  'I'm Free! I'm Free!': Cornwall as Liberation

7.  'Jan Trebetjeman, The Cornish Clot': John Betjeman Goes Native

Epilogue: 'When People talk to me about "The British"...I Give Up'

Notes

Further Reading

Index



'In time, perhaps, books about Betjeman will be as frequent as books about [T.S.] Eliot, if less solemn.'
William Plomer, writing in the Guardian, 7 April 1961

'I was one of the 8,000-strong 'Betjemaniacs' gathered at Carruan farm in Cornwall in August 2006 to celebrate the hundredth birthday of Sir John Betjeman, the late Poet Laureate. Situated high above Polzeath, with tremendous views out to the azure Atlantic and the great headland of Pentire, Carruan was, with its exhilarating sense of space, an inspirational choice for this great event. I stood in the pasty-queue with the Archbishop of Canterbury, watched the poetic performance of Bert Biscoe, and browsed among the bookstalls in the hope of finding second-hand copies of rare Betjeman books to add to my collection. Here was that Patrick Taylor-Martin volume that had eluded me for years, and Betjeman's Britain - compiled by Candida Lycett Green, Betjeman's daughter - together with more recent editions of old favourites.'
Philip Payton, in the preface to John Betjeman and Cornwall



'All Betjeman addicts should add this to their Christmas list.'
The Betjeman Society Newsletter, Dec 2010, No. 80



‘Payton’s masterful new book’
‘John Betjeman and Cornwall is a brilliant assessment of Betjeman’s Cornish imagination and an important contribution to the ongoing scholarly re-evaluation of Betjeman.’
English Studies 93.1, February 2012



‘…as meticulously researched and documented as we have come to expect’
‘Betjeman remains endearing and elusive- and challenging. It is the value of Prof. Payton’s scholarly book that he extends our perspectives and expands the debate.’
Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries, Volume XL- Part IX, Spring 2011, John Hurst



Philip Payton is Professor of Cornish & Australian Studies in the University of Exeter and Director of the Institute of Cornish Studies at the University’s Cornwall campus.



John Betjeman and Cornwall
John Betjeman and Cornwall - Paperback cover

John Betjeman and Cornwall
John Betjeman and Cornwall - Hardback cover



Publication Details:


Binding:
 Hardback , 278 pages
ISBN:
 9780859898478
Format:
 234mm x 156mm

Binding:
 Paperback , 278 pages
ISBN:
 9780859898485
Format:
 234mm x 156mm

Binding:
 PDF , 278 pages
ISBN:
 9780859899239

BIC Code:
 1DBK, BG, BGL, DSB, GTB, HBJD1, HBLW
BISAC Code:
  BIO000000, BIO007000, HIS015000, HIS018000, HIS037070, LIT000000, SOC053000
Imprint:
 University of Exeter Press


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