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Additional letters, postcards and cards sent by Philip Larkin to Monica Jones, with three photographs

 Single Item
MS. 22131
Held in our offsite storage facility

  • Request


  1. Letters, 9 Aug 1962; 18 Aug 1962; 7 Feb 1963; 9 Mar 1964; 10 Dec 1972; 10 Mar 1973; 25 Nov 1973 (with three enclosed colour photographs of Monica Jones posing on an England road marker, Philip Larkin posing on an England road marker, a graveyard in Strathmore)
  2. Postcards, 23 [Aug?] 196[5?]; [date, month obscured] 1970; 2 Jun 1970; 12 Nov 1972
  3. Empty envelope used for a shopping list, 4 Oct 196[?]
  4. Undated sketch cartoon by Larkin 'Drinking Rabbit's Guide', 15 Oct 1978
  5. Four birthday cards, n.d.


  • Creation: 9 Aug 1962-15 Oct 1978, n.d.


1 box

Language of Materials

  • English


MS. 22131

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 22131


Letters from Philip Larkin, poet and librarian, to Monica Jones, teacher and academic.

Biographical / Historical

For Philip Larkin, see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. See also Andrew Motion, Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life, (London, 1993).

Margaret Monica Beale Jones, teacher and academic, was born in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, 7 May 1922, and died in Hull, Yorkshire, 15 February 2001. Jones, to whom Larkin dedicated 'The Less Deceived' in 1955, was perhaps that poet’s most enduring and influential companion.

After attending the girls' high school at Kidderminster, Jones won a scholarship to read English at St Hugh's College, Oxford. After a short time as a schoolteacher she moved to Leicester in 1946 to take up an assistant lectureship at the University College of Leicester (later Leicester University) which she held until 1981.

It was here that Jones met Larkin when in 1946 he took up a position in the college’s library. From 1950, when Larkin left Leicester to take up an appointment at the Queen’s University Library, until 1973, when both Jones and Larkin apparently acquired telephones, the pair maintained a regular correspondence. Upon leaving her position at Leicester in 1981 Jones moved into Larkin’s house in Hull, where she lived until her death in 2001.

The relationship between Larkin and Jones is described in Andrew Motion's 1993 biography of Larkin. Fictional representations of Jones appear in Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim (Margaret Peel), and Eating People is Wrong (Viola Masefield) by Malcolm Bradbury, a former student.

Custodial History

The main archive of letters from Larkin to Jones was acquired by the Bodleian after the death of Monica Jones in 2001; the remainder of her archive went to Hull University Archives (ref. U DMA). These letters were found when the archive at Hull was being catalogued and a decision was made to reunite them with the letters here at the Bodleian.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Hull University Archives, 2022.

Related Materials

The bulk of Philip Larkin's letters to Monica Jones can be found at MSS. Eng. b. 2148; c. 7403-7448, c. 7553-7555, MS. Photogr. c. 459

Catalogue of additional postcards and cards sent by Philip Larkin to Monica Jones
Charlotte McKillop-Mash
Language of description
Script of description
Catalogued with the generous support of the Roy Davids bequest.
Edition statement
First edition.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom