Oh prams on concrete balconies, what will your children see? Oh white and antiseptic life in school and home and clinic, oh soul-destroying job with handy pension, oh loveless life of safe monotony, why were you created?' First and Last Loves is a collection of Betjeman's essays on architecture, first published to coincide with an exhibition at the Soane Museum, and a worthwhile volume in its own right. Introduced with a lively tirade against mediocrity entitled 'Love is Dead', Betjeman discusses a range of topics including conservation battles, modern architecture and his passion for railways.

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