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Tuesday, 6 November, 2001, 16:33 GMT
Larkin's house up for sale
Brynmor Jones Library at Hull University
Philip Larkin worked in the Brynmor Jones Library
The home where poet Philip Larkin lived for the last 11 years of his life has been put up for sale in Hull.

The four-bedroom detached house - which Larkin once famously described as an "ugly little house" - has been put on the market at 165,000.

Larkin scholars at nearby Hull University and the local authority are hoping the house can be secured as base for a writer in residence.

Dr James Booth, an English lecturer at Hull University and general secretary of the Philip Larkin Society, said they hoped to raise money for a trust fund to buy the house.

Philip Larkin
Philip Larkin died in 1985

Larkin, who worked at the university library, moved into the house - 105 Newland Park - in 1974, but complained that his writing dried up while he was living there.

One of the few notable pieces he wrote while he was there - The Mower - described an accident involving his lawnmower and a hedgehog on the lawn.

When he died in 1985 Larkin left provision in his will for his close friend Monica Jones to stay living there.

She had moved in earlier in 1985 and died this year.

Dr Booth said the society was meeting Hull City Council and the English Unit within the university's Humanities Department to discuss how to buy the property for a resident writer.

Personal possessions

He said: "It would seem a good idea if the house could be in some way preserved more or less as it was when Monica lived in it.

"We would like to see it preserved for posterity as it is the only house Philip Larkin ever owned."

Dr Booth said Larkin's apparent dislike of the house should not be interpreted literally.

He said: "He was also very rude about some of his best loved friends. That was the thing about Larkin. He would say some terrible things about that which was intimate and close to him."

The house still contains some of Larkin's possessions - including shaving brushes and shoes - but most of the important manuscripts and other items have been removed and stored mainly at Hull and Oxford universities.

It is not believed any of his possessions are included in the sale.

A spokeswoman for estate agents Stanifords, who are handling the sale, said there had already been a lot of interest.

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