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It is the gradual accumulation of the last and previous centuries.

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To take all these things down and re-erect them in a new block would not work. The restaurant which Wilde, Beerbohm, Sickert and John frequented was reconstructed with care, but the atmosphere went.

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Atmosphere is a thing hard to describe,let alone define in legal terms. A place which has been constantly been used by actors, managers and famous people, as Rules has, acquires an invisible atmosphere, just as a church frequented by praying people acquires an atmosphere. We have all experienced it in our lives.


We can sense it and it will not photograph. When the atmosphere is pleasant and welcoming, as it is at Rules, it is something to be treasured and protected so that posterity may enjoy it too. It is quite different from a museum because it is living and in use, not an exhibit.

John Betjeman

Restaurant Premises. Yellow brick with painted stone on stucco dressings, concealed roof. Simplified Italianate detailing. Ground floor stuccoed with shop front incorporating doorway to right, framed by narrow pilasters with foliate caps and entablature-fascia with ribbed console bracket stops.

The Betjeman Poetry Prize | National Poetry Library

Upper floors have recessed casements, those of 1st and 2nd floors leaded as if quarries, prominent bracketed sills linked by band course. Whatever his sexual preferences, Betjeman was temperamentally gay. Drawn to outsiders because he felt himself to be one, he became a lifelong friend of a friend of Dorothy. He loved old-time British music hall and was a devotee of Coronation Street, delighting in meeting the cast on the set. His writing is saturated with camp. He had delightfully silly nicknames for friends and he often employed humorous verse to appear frivolous about the serious.

Sadly, when Paris Hilton is chosen as the new gay icon , you know that the label has become meaningless, but Betjeman truly deserves his iconic status and the affectionate admiration of gay people for his shining example of tolerance and respect. We would like to apologise for any offence caused by the remark. Topics Books Books blog.

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Poetry John Betjeman Oscar Wilde blogposts. Reuse this content. A Challenge in Observation from the Midland Region Show all 12 episodes.

Himself - Presenter of 'Metro-Land'. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ISBN Alternate Names: Sir John Betjeman.

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  • Edit Did You Know? Personal Quote: Shortly before his death, when he was wheelchair-bound following a heart-attack and a stroke, and suffering from Parkinson's, he was asked whether he had any regrets about his life - what he had done or hadn't done. And on his writing, he said "I like writing poetry.

    Heritage: Sir John Betjeman - Poet Laureate with a love of railways and architecture

    But I'm not certain that it's any good. I only hope to heaven it is. Time will tell. Trivia: Having been bullied at school during World War I because of his German surname Betjemann , he changed the spelling to Betjeman. Star Sign: Virgo. Edit page.

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