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Sir John Betjeman

(1906-1984), Poet Laureate, writer and broadcaster

Sitter in 41 portraits
Born in London of Dutch origin, Betjeman was a friend of W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice at Oxford. He began writing for the Architectural Review in 1931. At the Architectural Press he proposed the Shell Guides and became the series editor. As an early champion of Victorian architecture, Betjeman exercised, as he put it, his own 'topographical predeliction for suburbs and gaslights and Pont Street and Gothic Revival churches and mineral railways, provincial towns and garden cities'. His published poetry includes A Few Late Chrysanthemums (1954), the blank verse autobiography Summoned by Bells (1960), and A Nip in the Air, published in 1972, the year he became Poet Laureate.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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Sir John Betjeman, by Cecil Beaton - NPG x14028

Sir John Betjeman

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print on white card mount, 1955
NPG x14028

Sir John Betjeman; Anne Parsons (née Messel), Countess of Rosse, by Desmond O'Neill - NPG x184219

Sir John Betjeman; Anne Parsons (née Messel), Countess of Rosse

by Desmond O'Neill
bromide press print, 1 April 1959
NPG x184219

Sir John Betjeman, by Mark Gerson - NPG x88199

Sir John Betjeman

by Mark Gerson
modern bromide print, November 1960
NPG x88199

Penelope (née Chetwode), Lady Betjeman; Sir John Betjeman, by P.A. Reuter Photos Ltd - NPG x194234

Penelope (née Chetwode), Lady Betjeman; Sir John Betjeman

by P.A. Reuter Photos Ltd
vintage print, 15 March 1960
NPG x194234

Sir John Betjeman, by Godfrey Argent - NPG x165061

Sir John Betjeman

by Godfrey Argent
bromide print, 17 January 1968
NPG x165061

Sir John Betjeman, by Jane Bown - NPG x28616

Sir John Betjeman

by Jane Bown
bromide print on card mount, 1972
NPG x28616

Sir John Betjeman, by Granville Davies - NPG x17992

Sir John Betjeman

by Granville Davies
black and white glossy print, December 1982
NPG x17992

Sir John Betjeman, by Granville Davies - NPG x17993

Sir John Betjeman

by Granville Davies
black and white glossy print, December 1982
NPG x17993

Sir John Betjeman, by Granville Davies - NPG x17994

Sir John Betjeman

by Granville Davies
black and white glossy print, December 1982
NPG x17994

Writers, by Lord Snowdon - NPG x126893

Writers

by Lord Snowdon
cibachrome print, January 1982
NPG x126893

Sir John Betjeman, by Stephen Hyde - NPG x24946

Sir John Betjeman

by Stephen Hyde
bromide print, August 1983
NPG x24946

Web image not currently available

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1953
NPG x1726

Web image not currently available

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1953
NPG x1727

Web image not currently available

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1953
NPG x939

Web image not currently available

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1953
NPG x940

Web image not currently available

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1953
NPG x941

Web image not currently available

Sir John Betjeman

by Mark Gerson
bromide print, November 1960
NPG x87359

Web image not currently available

Sir John Betjeman

by Mark Gerson
bromide print, November 1960
NPG x935

Web image not currently available

Sir John Betjeman

by Mark Gerson
bromide print, 1961
NPG x8687

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Sir John Betjeman

by Bill Brandt
bromide print on card mount, 1980
NPG x22406

Media

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