When Philip Larkin's "letters" were published in 1992, the poet's enemies seized on the new disclosures with a frenzy unseen since the McCarthy era.
What hadpreviously been regarded only as potential inclination hinted at in his poemsmisogyny and xenophobia in particularwere now indisputable facts, and since then Larkin's reputation as a poet has been tarnished by his image as a human being.
Richard Bradford's acclaimed biography, now in paperback for the first time, reveals that Larkin treated his prejudices and peculiarities with detached circumspection.
Sometimes he shared them, self-mockingly, self-destructively, with his closest friends.
He divided up his life so that some people knew him well but none completely, and it was only inhis poems that the parts began to resemble the whole."