Jean Hartley’s Philip Larkin, the Marvell Press and Me: an Index


TITLE: Jean Hartley’s Philip Larkin, the Marvell Press and Me: an Index compiled by James L. Orwin

Publication date: 1st May 2015

Details: An Index for the 1989 Carcanet (Hardback) edition of Jean Hartley’s memoir Philip Larkin, the Marvell Press and Me, including brief synopses of chapters and an Introduction by James L. Orwin. Designed and produced to slip comfortably in the back of the Carcanet edition. Made from 100% recycled paper (80gsm, ISO 70 whiteness).

Dimensions: 135mm X 210mm
ISBN: 978-0-9932330-3-6 (print) Price: £5.00

ISBN: 978-0-9932330-5-0 (ebook) Price: £1.99
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Philip Larkin, the Marvell Press and Me was first published by Carcanet (with financial assistance from The Arts Council of Great Britain) in 1989. It has never included an Index, either in the original hard-cover version or in the slightly extended paperback version published by the Sumach Press in 1993 (the 2010 Faber Finds edition replicates the Sumach Press edition). This Index has been created as a tribute to Jean Hartley, the book’s author, who played a vital role in both bringing Philip Larkin’s work to worldwide attention and helping to secure his reputation and legacy long after his death in 1985.

This version of the Index refers to the original (1989) Carcanet hard-cover edition. It is NOT for use with the 1993 Sumach Press, or the 2010 Faber Finds edition.

In compiling it I have tried to include – as individual index items – occurrences of specific years that appear in the text. While the synopses of individual chapters will further assist the location of specific events, I felt that including years numerically would serve as an additional aid to the identification of significant information and events.

I have also attempted to include (in the synopses of chapters) specific, already well known incidents or information; for example, Larkin’s arrival in Hull (p. 65), his ‘Chateau du Dettol’ quote (p. 91), his ‘bleed-off’ quote (p.99), and Jean’s departure in 1968 (with Alison and Laurien) from the family home (p. 130).

The Sumach Press paperback edition of Philip Larkin, the Marvell Press and Me (1993) includes a 6-page AFTERWORD in which Jean Hartley refers to Larkin’s Collected Poems (1988) and Selected Letters (1992), and comments on her pleasure in finding previously unpublished poems such as ‘An April Sunday brings the snow’, ‘Mother, Summer, I’ and ‘The Dance’. The contents of Larkin’s Selected Letters (‘Some… surprising, some shocking’) were not sufficient to change Jean’s view of the friend she knew so well. In fact, it was Jean (along with other friends of the poet) who led the corrective charge against the controversy generated by the Selected Letters, and which today sees Larkin’s reputation being reinterpreted, resurrected and reinforced for the twenty-first century in terms of the work rather than the life by a new generation of scholars. Jean Hartley’s loyalty to Philip Larkin’s literary genius was unshakeable.

James L. Orwin

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