Monica Jones, Philip Larkin and Me

Monica Jones, Philip Larkin and Me Her Life and Long Loves

Hardback (15 Apr 2021)

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Synopsis

'A brilliant biography - John Sutherland has brought Monica Jones to life as she deserves.' Claire Tomalin

'I couldn't put it down. Vivid and penetrating, it's a brilliant portrait of a confounding, complex woman.' Cressida Connolly

Monica Jones was Philip Larkin's partner for more than four decades, and was arguably the most important woman in his life. She was cruelly immortalised as Margaret Peel in Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim and widely vilified for destroying Larkin's diaries and works in progress after his death. She was opinionated and outspoken, widely disliked by his friends and Philip himself was routinely unfaithful to her. But Monica Jones was also a brilliant academic and an inspiring teacher in her own right. She wrote more than 2,000 letters to Larkin, and he in turn poured out his heart to her.

In this revealing biography John Sutherland explores the question: who was the real Monica? The calm and collected friend and teacher? The witty conversationalist and inspirational lecturer? Or the private Monica, writing desperate, sometimes furious, occasionally libellous, drunken letters to the only man, to the absent man, whom she could love? Was Monica's life - one of total sacrifice to a great poet - worthwhile? Through his careful reading of Monica's never-before-seen letters, and his own recollections, John Sutherland shows us a new side to Larkin's story, and allows Monica to finally step out from behind the poet's shadow.

Book information

ISBN: 9781474620185
Publisher: Orion
Imprint: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Pub date:
DEWEY: 941.085092
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Sales rank: 691
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 492g
Height: 199mm
Width: 296mm
Spine width: 32mm