Philip Arthur Larkin was born on August 9, 1922, in Coventry. He was the second child, and only son, of Sydney and Eva Larkin. Sydney Larkin was City Treasurer between the years 1922-44. Larkin's sister, some ten years his senior, was called Catherine, but was known as Kitty.
He attended the City's King Henry VIII School between 1930 and 1940, and made regular contributions to the school magazine, The Coventrian, which, between 1939 and 1940, he also helped to edit .
After leaving King Henry VIII, he went to St. John's College, Oxford, and despite the war (Larkin had failed his army medical because of his poor eyesight), was able to complete his degree without interruption, graduating ...view middle of the document...
Also, in 1954, the Fantasy Press published a pamphlet containing five of his poems. The Marvell Press, based in Hessle, near Hull, published 'Toads' and 'Poetry of departures' in Listen. It would be the Marvell Press that published his next collection The Less Deceived.
Larkin took up the position of Librarian at the University of Hull on March 21, 1955, and it was in October of that year that The Less Deceived was published. It was this collection that would be the foundation of his reputation as one of the foremost figures in 20th Century poetry.
It wasn't until 1964 that his next collection, The Whitsun Weddings was published. Again, the collection was well received, and widely acclaimed, and the following year, Larkin was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
It was during the years 1961-71 that Larkin contributed monthly reviews of jazz recordings for the Daily Telegraph, and these reviews were brought together and published in 1970 under the title All What Jazz: a record diary 1961-1968. He also edited the Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse, which was published in 1973.
His last collection High Windows was published in 1974, and confirmed him as one of the finest poets in English Literary history. 'Aubade', his last great poem, was published in The Times Literary Supplement in December 1977. If this had been the only poem Larkin had ever written, his place in English poetry would still be secure.
A collection of his...