philip larkin and his mother

2130Dalya Alberge at The Guardian:

He was terrified of marriage, living a life of tangled relationships with women who became his muses. Poet Philip Larkin’s view of marriage may partly have been coloured by his mother’s warnings of its disadvantages, previously unpublished letters reveal.

In 1952, Eva Larkin told her son: “Marriage would be no certain guarantee as to socks being always mended, or meals ready when they are wanted. Neither would it be wise to marry just for those comforts. There are other things just as important.”

The following year, she quoted from a George Bernard Shaw novel in offering further relationship advice: “I have just finished reading Love Among the Artists … in which occurs this passage ‘No: it is marriage that kills the heart and keeps it dead. Better starve the heart than overfeed it. Better still to feed it only on fine food, like music’. In a way, I agree with him… Better to have lived a full life, I think.”

more here.