Philip Larkin is recognised as one of the most important writers to have emerged in Britain since the Second World War. First published in 1982, Andrew Motion’s study begins with an account of Larkin’s life and literary background and discusses his literary relationship with Hardy and Yeats and his association with the Movement. He analyses Larkin’s two novels and assesses his three mature collections. Throughout the book much reference is made to uncollected reviews and articles and occasionally to unpublished manuscripts. Rather than developing the familiar line on Larkin as an empirical and melancholy writer, Andrew Motion explores the Symbolist and transcendent element in his work, and emphasises its range and variety.
1. Introduction 2. The Background 3. The Novels 4. The Poems