'In time, perhaps, books about Betjeman will be as frequent as books about [T.S.] Eliot, if less solemn." William Plomer, writing in the Guardian, 7 April 1961 "I was one of the 8,000-strong 'Betjemaniacs' gathered at Carruan farm in Cornwall in August 2006 to celebrate the hundredth birthday of Sir John Betjeman, the late Poet Laureate. Situated high above Polzeath, with tremendous views out to the azure Atlantic and the great headland of Pentire, Carruan was, with its exhilarating sense of space, an inspirational choice for this great event. I stood in the pasty-queue with the Archbishop of Canterbury, watched the poetic performance of Bert Biscoe, and browsed among the bookstalls in the hope of finding second-hand copies of rare Betjeman books to add to my collection. Here was that Patrick Taylor-Martin volume that had eluded me for years, and Betjeman's Britain - compiled by Candida Lycett Green, Betjeman's daughter - together with more recent editions of old favourites.' Philip Payton, in the preface to John Betjeman and Cornwall 'All Betjeman addicts should add this to their Christmas list.' The Betjeman Society Newsletter, Dec 2010, No. 80 'Payton's masterful new book' 'John Betjeman and Cornwall is a brilliant assessment of Betjeman's Cornish imagination and an important contribution to the ongoing scholarly re-evaluation of Betjeman.' English Studies, 93.1, February 2012 '...as meticulously researched and documented as we have come to expect' 'Betjeman remains endearing and elusive- and challenging. It is the value of Prof. Payton's scholarly book that he extends our perspectives and expands the debate.' Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries, Volume XL- Part IX, Spring 2011, John Hurst
About the Author
Philip Payton is professor of Cornish and Australian Studies in the University of Exeter and Director of the Institute of Cornish Studies at he University's Cornwall campus. He is also the author of A.L. Rowse and Cornwall (UEP, 2005), Making Moonta: The Invention of Australia's Little Cornwall (UEP, 2007) and numerous other books on Cornwall.