BETJEMAN, John. Ghastly Good Taste. London: Anthony Blond, 1970.
8vo., original calf-backed olive cloth, lettered in gilt on spine; pale green endpapers; title printed in black and brown; pp. xxviii, 112, [ii]; complete with nine-foot folding illustration by Peter Fleetwood Hesketh at rear, showing 'The Street of Taste or the March of English Art Down the Ages'; a near-fine copy in original slipcase (slightly stained).
A specially bound autographed and numbered limited edition signed by John Betjeman. This copy no. 43.
Ghastly Good Taste was Betjeman's first work of prose, in which he vigorously defends his love of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, considered deeply unfashionable at the time.
"My own interest started in seeking out what was old. When the guide told me that this was the bed in which Queen Elizabeth slept, I believed him. When owners of country cottages in Suffolk told me their cottage was a thousand years old, I believed them too. I thought that this or that church was the smallest in England, and that secret passages ran under ruined monasteries, so that monks could get to the nearest convent without being seen. The older anything was the lovelier I thought it."