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Betjemania!

On the centenary of John Betjeman's birth, Michael Horovitz rounds up the recent collections and biographies

By Michael Horovitz   September 2006

The centenary of John Betjeman’s birth heralds a further series of pushes for the Betjeman product range, which will doubtless continue trucking for yonks. Exhibitions documenting his achievements are opening at the Bodleian and British libraries and Sir John Soane’s Museum. Radio and television programmes old and new are en route, in commemoration of one of the most pioneering and popular broadcasters ever. And a massive array of books by and about Betjeman and his works will be on display in stores all over England to an extent inconceivable for any other 20th-century poet.

Betjeman’s lifelong production of poems has…

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