larkin creates himself


The first article on Philip Larkin ever to appear in the British press was published anonymously in the Times Educational Supplement, once the younger sister paper to the TLS, in 1956, when the poet was thirty-four years old. In his reply to a letter from an American professor who had written in 1958 to ask him for some biographical details, Larkin wrote:

The best and indeed the only source of information about me is an article in the Times Educational Supplement on 13 July 1956 which I assume you will be able to see. This gives details of biography, education and publications, along with a rather unpleasant photograph . . . . If necessary I could supply a copy of the article I mentioned, but since I have only a very small and diminishing stock of these I should be relieved if you could find a copy or photocopy within the United States.

This article was written by me – with considerable input from Larkin himself.

more from the TLS here.