By A. N. Wilson
John Betjeman used to be through a ways the preferred poet of the 20 th century; his accrued poems offered greater than million copies. As poet laureate of britain, he grew to become a countrywide icon, yet at the back of the general public guy have been doubts and demons. The poet top identified for writing hymns of compliment to athletic middle-class ladies at the tennis courts led a tempestuous emotional lifestyles. for far of his fifty-year marriage to Penelope Chetwode, the daughter of a box marshal, Betjeman had a dating with Elizabeth Cavendish, the daughter of the Duke of Devonshire and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. Betjeman, a religious Anglican, was once stricken by guilt in regards to the storms this emotional triangle caused.
Betjeman, released to coincide with the hundredth anniversary of the poet's delivery, is the 1st to take advantage of absolutely the substantial archive of non-public fabric on the subject of his inner most lifestyles, together with actually 1000s of letters written by means of his spouse approximately their existence jointly and aside. the following too are chronicled his many friendships, starting from "Bosie" Douglas to the younger satirists of non-public Eye, from the Mitford sisters to the loopy Gang. it is a get together of a much-loved poet, a courageous campaigner for structure in danger, and a hugely well known public performer. Betjeman used to be the vintage instance of the depression clown, whose unhappiness came upon its ideal temper song within the hymns of a poignant Anglicanism.
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Extra info for Betjeman: A Life
He often liked to remind colleagues of how John F. Kennedy had once bumped into a janitor cleaning the floors of NASA's vast corridors. " JFK had asked the janitor. "Mr. President, I am helping put a man on the moon," the janitor had replied. Pettit said he wanted every person at Lehman to have that janitor's spirit. Every man and woman had his or her part in the firm's business. Bond salesman Craig Schiffer recalls that "Chris had an ability that I have never seen"-people often walked away inspired even after he had ripped into them.
You' re going to come work for me. '" Vinci quickly morphed into Pettit's chief of staff.
A preening sophisticate who dominated luncheons with his prattle, Peterson was widely disliked by the relatively blue-collar traders for his patrician demeanor. Glucksman and his traders won the Great War and ousted Peterson, chiefly because by the mid-1980s the traders were making more money than the advisory bankers aligned with Peterson. But the fight cost the firm dearly. Top banking talent fled and revenues plummeted, making it vulnerable for a takeover by the newly merged entity of American Express Shearson in April 1984.