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John Betjeman

Betjeman in 1961
Betjeman in 1961
Born John Betjemann
(1906-08-28)28 August 1906
Parliament Hill Mansions, Lissenden Gardens, Gospel Oak, London, England
Died 19 May 1984(1984-05-19) (aged 77)
Trebetherick, Cornwall, England
Occupation Poet, writer, broadcaster
Nationality British
Alma mater Magdalen College, Oxford
Notable works Poetry Mount Zion (1931)
Prose Ghastly Good Taste (1933)

Sir John Betjeman (28 August 1906 – 19 May 1984) was an English poet, writer, and broadcaster who described himself in Who's Who as a "poet and hack". He was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1972 until his death.

He was a founding member of the Victorian Society and a passionate defender of Victorian architecture. He began his career as a journalist and ended it as one of the most popular British Poets Laureate and a much-loved figure on British television.


John Betjeman Plaque (14095323634)
John Betjeman Plaque

Betjeman was born in Highgate, London. He studied at Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1933 he married Penelope Chetwode; they separated in the late 1940s. The couple's son was born in 1937, their daughter in 1942. Betjeman's partner from 1951 until his death was Lady Elizabeth Cavendish.

Betjeman died of Parkinson's disease in Trebetherick, Cornwall. He was replaced as Poet Laureate by Ted Hughes. Betjeman was also known as an architectural critic. He is buried at St Enodoc in Cornwall.

Awards and honours

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