Sir John Betjeman

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Betjeman, Sir John

(bĕt`jəmən), 1906–84, English poet, b. London. Traditional in rhyme and meter, his verse combined a witty appraisal of the English present with nostalgia for England's past, especially the Victorian past. His published collections include Mt. Zion (1933), Continental Dew (1937), Old Lights for New Chancels (1940), A Few Late Chrysanthemums (1954), High and Low (1966), Metro–Land (1977), Church Poems (1981), and Collected Poems (1971 and 2006). He also wrote numerous architectural studies, including Ghastly Good Taste or a Depressing Story of the Rise and Fall of English Architecture (1933, rev. ed. 1971) and A Pictorial History of English Architecture (1972). Knighted in 1969, he was named poet laureate of England in 1972.


See Summoned by Bells (1960), an autobiography in verse; biographies by P. Taylor-Martin (1983), B. Hillier (1988 and 2002), and A. N. Wilson (2006); B. Hillier, John Betjeman: A Life in Pictures (1984); C. L. Green, ed., John Betjeman Letters (2 vol., 1994–95); studies by M. L. Stapleton (1974) and F. Delaney (1983).

References in periodicals archive ?
The famous Dilton Marsh Halt sign and, below, Sir John Betjeman who fought so hard to save the station, which still operates today
It says: "Sir John Betjeman declared it 'the most splendid facade in England.
It was not only, (as John Betjeman would have said), "for the shining ones who dwell, safe in the Dorchester Hotel".
John Betjeman was a British poet and public figure who was known for his devotion to preserving Victorian architecture and satirical writings on suburban London.
Jennings, whose works include the statue of poet Sir John Betjeman at St Pancras station in London, said: "It has been delightful to make this statue of Ronnie Barker.
The name is like a ring of bells," Poet John Betjeman has written of the picturesque spot.
Distinguished past winners include WH Auden, John Betjeman, Philip Larkin, Stevie Smith and Ted Hughes.
She will hold the position for 10 years and follows poets such as William Wordsworth and John Betjeman.
Gerry Doherty, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, said Sir John Betjeman, poet and champion of our railways, would be "turning in his grave" if trainspotters were banned.
As all the world now knows, Bevis Hillier, whose three-volume life of Sir John Betjeman (1906-1984) has just appeared in a one-volume centenary-year abridgement, has fooled A.
The critical fate of John Betjeman is a sharply divided one.
Friends of the rising star, who played raunchy Nan Astley in the taboo-breaking TV lesbian serial, expected her to marry John, who is grandson of the late Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman.