MS letter from Philip Larkin to Charles Monteith, 21st June 1981

Scope and Content

MS letter from Philip Larkin to Charles Monteith. On writing paper printed with Larkin’s home address at the head, and dated in his hand. Refers to Larkin and Monica Jones’s (Larkin’s partner between 1950 and his death) visit to Lords, the cricket ground in London, where probably they were due to watch England play a match in a series of tests against Australia, “on July 2”. (Mentions the previous match, which had been played at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.) Also refers to a party at the offices of Faber & Faber, 3 Queen Square, London. Notes that recently Larkin has written an introduction “for the last B Pym novel, the one everyone turned down in 1963”, which is The Sweet Dove Died, the novel Barbara Pym published in 1978, having had it rejected by publishers in the 1960s. Relates Larkin’s opinion of the novel. Mentions “Evans, Pike, Dunn and Larkin” attending a boxing match in Hull, expressing Larkin’s expectation that Monteith “heard about it”. (Perhaps Monteith heard about it from Douglas Dunn, the Scottish poet who has been published by Faber & Faber and who worked under Larkin at the Brynmore Jones Library, the University of Hull.) Also relates that “Andrew Motion [(1952-, English writer, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom between 1999 and 2009)] has resigned”. (Motion taught English at the University of Hull between 1976 and 1980, where he met Philip Larkin.) In white paper envelope stamped with the time, date and location of postage, and addressed in Larkin’s hand, using Monteith’s home address.

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