'It will, I hope, still qualify for the indulgence traditionally extended to juvenilia,' wrote Philip Larkin, almost twenty years after the publication of his first novel. But Jill, with its exact evocation of place - Oxford in 1940 - and astute insight into character, emotions and social nuance, requires no such indulgence. It is a classic of its time, and shows many of the qualities that were later to distinguish Larkin's great, mature poetry.
'Jill is, in a sense, a kind of cryptic manifesto. It is a novel about writing, about discovering a literary personality, and about the sorts of consolation that art can provide.' Andrew Motion