Description

Betjeman (Sir John, poet, writer, and broadcaster, 1906-84) Collection of autograph manuscript and printed material relating to Betjeman, including: draft autograph and typescript poems and letters, books by and about Betjeman, contributions to periodicals and newspaper cuttings, vinyl records etc., some material a few tears to edges, folds, some creased, v.s., v.d., 1939-84 (qty).

⁂ Collection, includes:

(1). Autograph manuscript and typescript drafts of poems and prose, numerous corrections and deletions, c. 34pp., v.s., n.d. (c. 29 pieces).

Including (first lines): "[On Leaving Wantage] I like the way the old brick garden walls"; "Carson and Anne Kilpatrick"; "[For Patrick] How glad I am I was bound apprentice"; "Norfolk. How did the devil come? When first attack"; "[A Russell Flint] I could not speak for amazement at your beauty"; "Nursery rhymes, anthologies..."; "Greek Orthodox. What did I see when first I went to Greece"; "[Inexpensive Progress] Encase your legs with nylons."

Poetry Prom. Typescript, autograph notes by Betjeman on 18pp., together 41pp., folio, [1975].

(2). Autograph and typed draft letters and postcards to various people, c. 100pp., v.s., 29 Radnor Walk, [London], 1975-81, on a variety of subjects, including: a letter of thanks to the Queen for a party at Buckingham Palace, "... Nash's splendid architecture lifted me out of my usual morbid self absorption. The Prince of Wales suggested I might try to write a poem on it": a book on London, "I think that the sort of artist who would make a good drawing of the view from the bridge at Lea... is Edward Bawden. He would see the point of it and the London & Kent quality it has. John Piper would do it well & respond to its beauty;" declining to write a foreword to a book of poems by a member of the public, "I have been advised by my publisher not to write any more forewords and can only wish you the best of luck with your book of poems. We are only lucky if we get published in our own lifetime and if we are never published it should not be too depressing. We may come into our own posthumously." (c. 120 pieces).

Various letters to Betjeman, including: Penelope Lady Betjeman, Ted Hughes, "I loved A Nip in the Air. Something about your poems often leaves me shaken in a way that otherwise only certain real events do"; John Murray etc. (c. 15 pieces).

(3). Books by Betjeman, including: A Nip in the Air, number 19 of 175 copies signed by the author, original buckram, edges uncut, 1974; A Nip in the Air, reprint, signed presentation from Betjeman to Ada Leask [1899-1987, Irish historian], 1974; Betjeman in Miniature, Selected Poems..., original rexine, gilt, 51 x 51mm., Glennifer Press, 1976 (3 copies); The Best of Betjeman: Selected by John Guest, uncorrected proof copy, original printed wrappers, oblong 4to, John Murray, 1978; Clarke (Kenneth) The Other Side of the Alde, autograph postcard signed "K" sending this work to Betjeman, original wrappers, small stain on upper cover, Litton Cheney, 1968 etc. (c. 30).

(4). Ephemera, including: Betjeman's Driving Licence, original cloth, 98 x 63mm., 1970-73; "Service of Thanksgiving for Sir Noël Coward at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London... 24 May, 1973"; photographs of Betjeman, 4 vinyl record albums of Betjeman's poetry (1 signed presentation inscription from Betjeman), newspaper cuttings etc. (qty).

An insight into the working methods of one of Britain's greatest and most popular poets. Betjeman's poems and letters show his humour, kindliness and a certain melancholy that permeated his life and work. "He offers us something we cannot find in any other writera gaiety, a sense of the ridiculous, an affection for human beings and how and where they live, a vivid and vivacious portrait of mid-twentieth-century English social life." - Philip Larkin.

"Unpublished ode to the bank manager:

'My dear Mr Phillips, your heart is your tutor;

Tho' your bank may succumb to a soulless computer,

And so, Mr Phillips, because you've a heart,

I'll stay with the Midland [Bank] till death us do part.'"

[Inexpensive Progress]

Let's say goodbye to hedges

And roads with grassy edges

And winding country lanes

Let all things travel faster

Where motor car is master

Till only speed remains.

"There was a story Billy Pantin told about dining in Worcester and discussing with Somerset the date of the glass at Chartres [Cathedral]. 'He said he thought it was done somewhere between 1145 and 1250 and Wilkinson said he could well imagine it. That would be about the time the monks got up and they'd be sure to knock off at lunch time.'" [William Abel Pantin (1902-73), historian].

Provenance: From a secretary who worked with Betjeman for many years.

Lot 239

Betjeman (Sir John) Collection of printed and manuscript material relating to Betjeman from a secretary who worked with him for many years, including: typescript poems, unfinished typed letters, books by and about Betjeman, contributions to periodicals and newspaper cuttings, vinyl records etc., 1939-84 (qty).  

Estimate: £20,000 - 25,000

Description

Betjeman (Sir John, poet, writer, and broadcaster, 1906-84) Collection of autograph manuscript and printed material relating to Betjeman, including: draft autograph and typescript poems and letters, books by and about Betjeman, contributions to periodicals and newspaper cuttings, vinyl records etc., some material a few tears to edges, folds, some creased, v.s., v.d., 1939-84 (qty).

⁂ Collection, includes:

(1). Autograph manuscript and typescript drafts of poems and prose, numerous corrections and deletions, c. 34pp., v.s., n.d. (c. 29 pieces).

Including (first lines): "[On Leaving Wantage] I like the way the old brick garden walls"; "Carson and Anne Kilpatrick"; "[For Patrick] How glad I am I was bound apprentice"; "Norfolk. How did the devil come? When first attack"; "[A Russell Flint] I could not speak for amazement at your beauty"; "Nursery rhymes, anthologies..."; "Greek Orthodox. What did I see when first I went to Greece"; "[Inexpensive Progress] Encase your legs with nylons."

Poetry Prom. Typescript, autograph notes by Betjeman on 18pp., together 41pp., folio, [1975].

(2). Autograph and typed draft letters and postcards to various people, c. 100pp., v.s., 29 Radnor Walk, [London], 1975-81, on a variety of subjects, including: a letter of thanks to the Queen for a party at Buckingham Palace, "... Nash's splendid architecture lifted me out of my usual morbid self absorption. The Prince of Wales suggested I might try to write a poem on it": a book on London, "I think that the sort of artist who would make a good drawing of the view from the bridge at Lea... is Edward Bawden. He would see the point of it and the London & Kent quality it has. John Piper would do it well & respond to its beauty;" declining to write a foreword to a book of poems by a member of the public, "I have been advised by my publisher not to write any more forewords and can only wish you the best of luck with your book of poems. We are only lucky if we get published in our own lifetime and if we are never published it should not be too depressing. We may come into our own posthumously." (c. 120 pieces).

Various letters to Betjeman, including: Penelope Lady Betjeman, Ted Hughes, "I loved A Nip in the Air. Something about your poems often leaves me shaken in a way that otherwise only certain real events do"; John Murray etc. (c. 15 pieces).

(3). Books by Betjeman, including: A Nip in the Air, number 19 of 175 copies signed by the author, original buckram, edges uncut, 1974; A Nip in the Air, reprint, signed presentation from Betjeman to Ada Leask [1899-1987, Irish historian], 1974; Betjeman in Miniature, Selected Poems..., original rexine, gilt, 51 x 51mm., Glennifer Press, 1976 (3 copies); The Best of Betjeman: Selected by John Guest, uncorrected proof copy, original printed wrappers, oblong 4to, John Murray, 1978; Clarke (Kenneth) The Other Side of the Alde, autograph postcard signed "K" sending this work to Betjeman, original wrappers, small stain on upper cover, Litton Cheney, 1968 etc. (c. 30).

(4). Ephemera, including: Betjeman's Driving Licence, original cloth, 98 x 63mm., 1970-73; "Service of Thanksgiving for Sir Noël Coward at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London... 24 May, 1973"; photographs of Betjeman, 4 vinyl record albums of Betjeman's poetry (1 signed presentation inscription from Betjeman), newspaper cuttings etc. (qty).

An insight into the working methods of one of Britain's greatest and most popular poets. Betjeman's poems and letters show his humour, kindliness and a certain melancholy that permeated his life and work. "He offers us something we cannot find in any other writera gaiety, a sense of the ridiculous, an affection for human beings and how and where they live, a vivid and vivacious portrait of mid-twentieth-century English social life." - Philip Larkin.

"Unpublished ode to the bank manager:

'My dear Mr Phillips, your heart is your tutor;

Tho' your bank may succumb to a soulless computer,

And so, Mr Phillips, because you've a heart,

I'll stay with the Midland [Bank] till death us do part.'"

[Inexpensive Progress]

Let's say goodbye to hedges

And roads with grassy edges

And winding country lanes

Let all things travel faster

Where motor car is master

Till only speed remains.

"There was a story Billy Pantin told about dining in Worcester and discussing with Somerset the date of the glass at Chartres [Cathedral]. 'He said he thought it was done somewhere between 1145 and 1250 and Wilkinson said he could well imagine it. That would be about the time the monks got up and they'd be sure to knock off at lunch time.'" [William Abel Pantin (1902-73), historian].

Provenance: From a secretary who worked with Betjeman for many years.

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