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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.

List Thumbnail

P512(3)

Sir John Betjeman

by Lewis Morley
bromide print, 1970
NPG P512(3)

5778

Sir John Betjeman

by Angela Conner
bronze bust, 1973
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5778

P150(6)

Sir John Betjeman

by Arnold Newman
bromide print, 1978
NPG P150(6)

x126619

Sir John Betjeman

by John Gay
vintage bromide print, published March 1954 (1949)
NPG x126619

x126620

Sir John Betjeman

by John Gay
vintage bromide print, 1949
NPG x126620

x126621

Sir John Betjeman

by John Gay
vintage contact sheet, 1949
NPG x126621

x937

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1953
NPG x937

x938

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1953
NPG x938

x942

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1953
NPG x942

x943

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1953
NPG x943

x25955

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1953
NPG x25955

x25956

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1953
NPG x25956

x25957

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1953
NPG x25957

x25958

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1953
NPG x25958

x25959

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1953
NPG x25959

x25960

Sir John Betjeman

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1953
NPG x25960

x14028

Sir John Betjeman

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

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