From 1930 until shortly before his death he shared with countless readers, listeners and viewers his remarkably catholic passions for books, people and places. Coming Home gathers together a selection from over four decades of his writings about buildings, townscape and landscape, together with appreciations of writers, artists and architects, ranging from Evelyn Waugh, Pugin and T. S. Eliot to R. S. Thomas, Frederick Etchells and Jacob Epstein. Candida Lycett Green's prefaces to each section of this book provide invaluable insight into the context in which these pieces were written by one of the century's most eloquent champions of beautiful, unusual and often unloved places and buildings.
"What a delightful book... Betjeman has the precious ability to see beauty in so many places, things and people, and to describe them so effectively that we are persuaded to recognise their beauty also and to wish to see for ourselves" -- Norman Taylor Literary Review "There is something to enjoy in virtually every item in this carefully chosen anthology, but the most individual and characteristically Betjemanic pieces are those about his abiding loves: the landscape and the buildings of England" -- Charles Osborne Daily Telegraph "In addition to revealing and amusing- and artistically astute pieces about artistic contemporaries such as Waugh, Auden and Epstein- there are autobiographical sections of shocking self-knowingness" -- Candia McWilliam Independent on Sunday
John Betjeman was born in 1906 and educated at Marlborough and Oxford. He was best-known and loved as a poet and received many of the major British literary prizes: the Royal Society of Literature Award under the Heinemann Bequest; the annual Foyle Poetry Prize (twice); and the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize. Betjeman was a founder of the British Victorian Society, he was a well-known broadcaster and journalist as well as a leading authority on architecture and topographical subjects. In 1960 he was given the CBE; in 1969 he was knighted by the Queen; and in 1972 he was appointed Poet Laureate. He died in 1984.