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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A guidebook to Englishness, 17 Jun 2007
What a delicious book! "Tennis Whites and Teacakes" gathers Betjeman's thoughts on a range of subjects from childhood and school to girls and boys, friends and aristocrats, war and peace, holidays and travel, and church and belief. And you get much more than you were expecting: there's his trademark sentimentality - but Betjeman thought that sentimentality was good, and that forces you to reconsider your preconceptions. Then again, it's much sharper and more sceptical about Englishness than you might have guessed. Betjeman, for all his snobbery and fogeyness, had a keen eye, and he saw - and saw through - a lot that the heritage industry now expects us to lap up uncritically. One other thing that's surprising is his enthusiasm for aspects of the modern world - stuff that we've always understood he disapproved of. In short, this huge tome is a treasury of surprises - a real eye-opener. And there's masses inside it that's very relevant today too - articles about bullying, about Oxford's gay culture in the 1920s, about his refusal to fly the flag during the last war, and about the difficulty of belief in God, for example. If you thought Betjeman was just a poet, then read this and you'll find he's just as entertaining and thought-provoking as a journalist, a diarist and a correspondent. This book is a must-buy for anyone who wants to understand the patron saint of Englishness and England's national spirit in the 20th century.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very easy to, 26 July 2014
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This review is from: Tennis Whites and Teacakes (Paperback)
Very interesting book imaging John Betjemans voice on BBC radio giving his talks,A book to give laughs and tears .

Very easy to read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It was a present, 1 Nov 2013
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Bought as a present for my father who says he likes it. Perhaps he'll lend it to me then I could judge for myself!
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Tennis Whites and Teacakes
Tennis Whites and Teacakes by John Betjeman (Paperback - 12 Jun 2008)
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