15 June-28 Oct 2006. Oxfords Bodleian Library hosts an exhibition dedicated to British poet, broadcaster and conservationist Sir John Betjeman on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Entitled Summoned by Bells, John Betjeman and Oxford, the exhibition features Betjemans original manuscripts and drawings as well as rare first editions, photographs, paintings and personal possessions including Archie, the poets teddy bear. Betjeman was educated at Magdalen College though he famously failed to graduate, and despite an acrimonious relationship with his tutor CS Lewis, he remained very attached to Oxford. Central to the display are original manuscript drafts for Betjemans blank verse autobiography Summoned by Bells published in 1960, while CS Lewiss diary with unflattering comments about his student is also on show. The life and works of other contemporaries of the poet including WH Auden and TS Eliot, his teacher at Highgate school in London, are also explored. Betjeman became Poet Laureate in 1972 and died in 1984. The exhibition includes items never seen before in public as well as unpublished material. Admission free. Mon-Fri 9.00-17.00 Sat 9.00-16.30.
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Sir John Betjeman and Oxford.
The Bodleian Exhibition Room is sited within the Old Schools Quadrangle. Entrance from Catte Street, off Broad Street in the centre of Oxford. Tel +44 01865 277224 email@example.com