The current 40-page issue of About Larkin shows a photograph of a smiling Eva Larkin taken by Philip in 1970. It includes facsimiles of communications between Philip and Eva featuring his charming sketches of ‘young creature’ and ‘old creature’.
We also publish a facsimile of a letter from Larkin written to Lord Tennyson following the death of John Betjeman in 1984. Philip Pullen contributes a fascinating piece on Larkin’s attitude towards Coventry, illustrated with photographs taken by the poet, and R.H. Winnick explores unrecorded allusions in the Complete Poems. Geoff Weston intriguingly documents Larkin’s rejection of the OBE in 1968; Lyn Lockwood and Rachael Galletly offer lively accounts of Larkin’s impact in the classroom, and Janice Rossen entertainingly recalls her early researches into Barbara Pym and Larkin, conducted, as often as not, over the lunch or dinner table. In a far-ranging article Douglas Porteous analyses Larkin’s attitudes towards Nature, while the late Hull poet Douglas Houston whimsically recalls Larkin in the library in the 1970s. There are obituaries of Robert Conquest and, sadly also, Terry Kelly, a mainstay contributor to About Larkin over the last decade. We include also accounts of Society events at the British Library, King Henry VIII School Coventry and the Brynmor Jones Library, Hull. There are original poems by Monica Cheale, Peter Didsbury and Alison Mace.