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Philip Larkin and the jazz man

Martin Chilton remembers his father’s friendship with the poet, and recalls a lost age of independent bookshops

By Martin Chilton  

©PA/PA Wire/PA Images

“What will survive of us is love,” wrote Philip Larkin in his poem “An Arundel Tomb.” That line came to mind recently when I walked past a tiny coffee shop in Bloomsbury. Between 1968 and 1982, it was the site of one of London’s quirkiest independents, the Bloomsbury Bookshop, founded by my late mother, Teresa Chilton. It was also the shop from which Larkin used to buy rare jazz books. The poet struck up a friendship with the Chilton family, which showed a very different side to…

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