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John Betjeman on Trains by John Betjeman

John Betjeman on Trains

by John Betjeman, Jonathan Glancey (Editor)

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Edited and then extensively commented on by Jonathan Glancey this little volume is based on ” ten letters selected by his daughter each describing a journey that Betjeman made or that he planned to make or that he planned for a friend or relative.” Indeed, some of these letters that form the “chapter headings” of each of the pieces are no more than a few quick lines that Betjeman jotted down for intending visitors in order to ensure they chose the right train, or alighted at the right station. From these few scraps Glancey assembles us a delicious and satisfying repast that fills.

Glancey’s elaborations on Betjeman’s friends and visitor, supported by his observations of the trains, the geography, views – or as Betjeman called them “landskips” - are then fleshed out with the history of the locale or the subject of the intended meeting of these visits. Some form recollections recalled in greater detail by the poet laureate himself in his work Trains and Buttered Toast.(http://www.librarything.com/work/1046085).

All are charming to read and should be valued as vinaigrettes to this meal of a time that has now passed.

It is true however; this work is far more by Glancey than Betjeman, the editor became its author, but drew directly and pleasingly on the master’s own letters and was directed by the prose John Betjeman composed.
  John_Vaughan | Jun 15, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Betjemanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Glancey, JonathanEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0413776123, Hardcover)

John Betjeman was a great champion of British heritage and a devotee of the railways. This small, beautiful volume, edited and annotated by Jonathan Glancey, describes all that Betjeman found of value in the landscape and architecture of this country as he cut a nostalgic, personality-filled arc through a long-lost Britain.

Jonathan Glancey is the architecture and design editor of the Guardian.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:04 -0400)

The best-loved of English poets, John Betjeman was also a great champion of British heritage. This volume brings together some of his correspondences written on his travels, and describes what Betjeman found of value in the landscape and architecture of this country as it cuts a nostalgic arc through Betjeman's Britain.… (more)

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