Anthony Thwaite was a poet to his marrow. As an editor, anthologiser, literary editor, literary executor to Philip Larkin and as a poet himself, verse was his metier.

Thwaite’s initial intention was to study archaeology at university, having become fascinated by the deep past during his National Service posting to Libya and ‘moseying about’ in the remains of Leptis Magna. Instead, he read English at Christ Church, Oxford and immediately began writing poetry of great adroitness. A career developed that mixed foreign teaching (Japan) and travel, literary editorships at the Listener and the New Statesman (Claire Tomalin and James Fenton were his assistants), reviewing, writing and editing. The fruit of his life is contained in his 50-plus books.