15 April 2021, The Tablet

Faith and Philip Larkin: 'Toying with the moth-eaten brocade'

by John Sutherland

Faith and Philip Larkin: 'Toying with the moth-eaten brocade'

Philip Larkin
Alamy/British Library

 

Among the jumble scattered around Philip Larkin’s house, after his death, was a copy of the Catholic marriage service and its regulation. The document now rests in the archive of the poet’s miscellaneous remains at Hull University. Its acquisition dates from 20 years earlier when there were two women in Larkin’s life – one of whom, as he told his friend Robert Conquest, he “wanted” to marry, the other of whom he “ought” to marry. Both wished to marry Larkin.

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