Philip Larkin exhibition in Hull offers fresh insights into poet's life

Philip is many things to many people; to some bleakly beautiful poet with razor-sharp wit, to others womanising misogynist whose casual racism is unforgivable. It is into this morally complex minefield that new exhibition, held in Hull’s Brynmor Jones library where he was famously the librarian, has waded, offering new perspective on Larkin, one the city’s most treasured figures. The exhibition, opened as part of Hull City of Culture 2017, has gathered together hundreds of personal items from Larkin’s life, from his book to his clothes, ornaments from his office home, unseen photographs, notes doodles objects belonging to his many lovers, to piece together a new fascinating picture of the poet’s life. Most of the objects were originally in Larkin’s home have never been seen in public before. It is an exhibition that does shy away from the complex, darker sides of Larkin’s personality. On display is the small figurine of Hitler, given to the poet by his Nazi-sympathiser father who once took Larkin to a Nuremberg Rally. Also on display are the empty spines of the diaries that Larkin ordered to be shredded […]

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