Philip Larkin
Media playback is unsupported on your device

Poet Larkin's negative aspects 'a myth'

19 August 2014 Last updated at 12:14 BST

A new biography of the poet Philip Larkin argues that he was not the miserable character which some have previously portrayed.

Its author James Booth, Larkin's colleague for 17 years at the University of Hull, told the Today programme that the negative aspects of Larkin are "a myth" and we must take into account his sense of humour.

He added that Larkin's poems portrayed his empathy for other people. In addition, the poet - who died in 1985 - was determined to never be caught in a relationship with a woman "because that would have cut down his ability to identify with all the different aspects of life".

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday 19 August.