Betjeman and Auden: two figures in a landscape

A Literary Leicester Fringe event

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Nov 15, 2014
from 02:00 PM to 04:15 PM


Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre 3

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John Betjeman

Presenter: Professor Andrew Biswell, Leicester graduate, Director of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and Professor of Modern Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University

John Betjeman and W H Auden were two of the best-loved poets of the last century but very little is known about their friendship. By reputation, they are sometimes said to be poles apart, Betjeman, the popular favourite uncle figure versus Auden the forbidding intellectual, fond of coining new words and reading the Oxford English Dictionary, but not much interested in speaking to the general reader. Andrew Biswell’s talk illustrates the affinities between these two giants of 20th century English poetry. Drawing on poems, music-hall songs, writings about place, unpublished letters and rare poems by each author written in imitation of the other, this talk will cast new light on the poets and the wider context of their work.

This Betjeman Society event (Shires Branch) is open to the public. W.H. Auden

The lecture will take place from 2pm – 3.15pm and then from 3.45pm to 4.15pm, Professor Biswell with be interviewed by Dr John Florance with questions from the Audience.

In the best English tradition, tea will be served in the interval from 3.15pm to 3.45pm

Members of the public wishing to join the Betjeman Society will be able to do so and the afternoon will be concluded with information about future events.

Auden and Betjeman

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