Thanks are due first and foremost to Clare Reihill and Judith Hooper, Trustees of the Estate of T. S. Eliot, for resolving in January 2020 – when the 1,131 letters were broken out of a fifty-year embargo at the Firestone Library at Princeton University – to publish as soon as feasibly possible the text of the letters from Eliot to Hale. The initial idea was to publish in hardback form a two-volume selection from these letters, with the remainder to be made available on the website It was Clare Reihill’s generous decision, in the summer of 2020 – as the scale of the project grew clearer to everyone (including the awareness that the letters added up to over a million words) – to make the complete text available online, free of charge, to all readers.

I am deeply grateful to my colleague and friend Nancy Fulford, Archivist for the Eliot Estate, for her support, encouragement and initiative, and for organising the magnificent spread of illustrations with such flair and resourcefulness; to Debbie Whitfield, for her speedy initial transcribing of the letters; to Candida Brazil and Jenni Davis for expert proofreading; and to Oliver Rowse, for his good cheer and support; his skill in clearing copyright permissions; his dauntless preparation of the index; and for liaising with the website creators.

Donald Sommerville has been my superb copy-editor: he knows what I owe him for the generous and good-humoured care with which he tackles text and notes, for gently correcting gaffes, and for his tremendous knowledge of the Second World War.

Huge thanks are due too to Daniel J. Linke, University Archivist and Deputy Head of Special Collections, Princeton University Library; Dorran Boyle, Collections and Access Associate, Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College, Claremont, CA; Robert Brown, Faber Archivist, and Jane Kirby, Acting Archivist, The Faber Archive, Faber & Faber Ltd, London; Tony Cuda; Frances Dickey; Thomas I. Finnigan, Head of Circulation, Millbrook Library, Millbrook, New York; Sara Fitzgerald; Dylan Gaffney, Forbes Library Local History, Northampton, MA; Lyndall Gordon; Henry Gott; Mark Hodgin, Verger, St Stephen’s Church, Gloucester Road, Kensington, London; Jessie Hopper, Assistant Curator, William Munroe Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library; Carol Jackson, editor of Signpost, Chipping Campden Historical Society; Martha Kennedy, Library Director, J. Josephine Tucker Library, Concord Academy, Concord MA; Karen Kukil; London Library; Jim McCue; Christopher McVey; Mick Patrick; Donald Pfister; Leslie Pohl-Kosbau, Archivist (Volunteer), First Unitarian Church, Portland, Oregon; Paige Roberts, Director of Archives & Special Collections, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA; Ronald Schuchard; Don C. Skemer, former Curator of Manuscripts, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library; Nathanial Smith, Municipal Archivist/Records Manager, Town of Concord Archives; Oliver Soden; Robert Stagg; Jayme Stayer; Victoria Stewart; Michelle A. Taylor; Erica Wagner; Katherine Whitcomb, Special Collections Assistant, Jones Library, Amherst, MA; Gregory Wolfe, Publisher & Editor, Slant Books, Seattle, WA; Nanci Young, College Archivist, Smith College Special Collections, Neilson Library, Northampton, MA; AnnaLee Pauls, Photoduplication Coordinator, Brianna Cregle, Special Collections Assistant, and Emma Paradies, Imaging Services Assistant, Princeton University Library; Ellie King, Project Archivist, University of Sussex; Kate Long, Research Services Archivist, and Bena Williams, Post-Baccalaureate Fellow for Public Services, Special Collections, Smith College; Jennifer Martinez Wormser, Library Director, and Sally Preston Swan Librarian, Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College; Sophie Bridges, Archivist and Katharine Thomson, Archivist, Churchill Archives Centre, University of Cambridge; Diana Carey, Research Librarian, Schlesinger Library, Harvard University; Mary Haegart, Reproductions Coordinator, and Marouen Jedoui, Houghton Library, Harvard University; and Father Alan Rimmer, St Stephen’s Church, Gloucester Road, South Kensington, London.

I am particularly grateful to the Department of Special Collections at Princeton University for generously providing us with digital scans of their entire collection.

For permission to quote from unpublished letters and other material, we thank the following estates and individuals. George Barnes: Copyright © The Estate of George Reginald Barnes, by permission of Anthony Barnes. Elliott Martin Browne: Copyright © The Estate of Elliott Martin Browne, quoted by permission of Denis Browne. Nancy Cunard: © The Estate of Nancy Cunard, by permission of Robert Bell. Ashley Dukes: © The Estate of Ashley Dukes, by permission of Matilda Cockbain and Timothy Ellis. James Hanley: With the permission of The Estate of James Hanley. George Hoellering: © The Estate of George Hoellering, by permission of Andrew Hoellering. Letter from Aldous Huxley to T. S. Eliot. Copyright © 1931 by Aldous Huxley. Reprinted by permission of Georges Borchardt, Inc., on behalf of the Aldous and Laura Huxley Trust. All rights reserved. Letter from Leon M. Little quoted by permission of Herb Motley. Man Ray: © The Estate of Man Ray, with the permission of Roger Browner at the Man Ray Trust. Ottoline Morrell: © The Estate of Lady Ottoline Morrell by the permission of Adrian M. Goodman. Robert Nichols: © The Estate of Robert Nichols, by permission of Anne Charlton. Ezra Pound: © Ezra Pound to T. S. Eliot, 23 Nov. 1932, copyright © 2022 by Mary de Rachewiltz and the Estate of Omar S. Pound. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. Anne Ridler © The Estate of Anne Ridler, by permission of Colin Ridler. Janet Adam Roberts © The Estate of Janet Adam Roberts, by permission of Adam and Andrew Roberts. George Bernard Shaw: quoted with permission from The Society of Authors, on behalf of the Bernard Shaw Estate. Stephen Spender © The Estate of Stephen Spender, by permission of Matthew and Lizzie Spender. Geoffrey Tandy © The Estate of Geoffrey Tandy, by permission of Jenny McIntosh and Miles Tandy. Allen Tate © The Estate of Allen Tate, by permission of John Tate. Mary Trevelyan: Copyright © The Estate of Mary Trevelyan. Reproduced by permission of the Estate c/o Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd., 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN. Virginia Woolf: quoted with the permission of The Society of Authors as the Literary Representative of the Estate of Virginia Woolf.

Much of the initial editing of this volume of letters took place during pandemic lockdowns in London: archives, libraries and universities were closed down in the UK and in the USA, and I was unable to travel to the USA to pursue additional research arising from the letters. The consequence that I was all the more dependent on the help provided by many of the individuals, archivists and research centres mentioned above. All the same, several points of information have not been pinpointed even to this day – for instance, a number of drama reviews written by Emily Hale are mentioned in the letters, but I have not been able to ascertain whether they were actually published in local newspapers or college publications: any points of information relating to these and other cruces will be most welcome. Do please contact me through the website if you have knowledge or suggestions about these and other matters.

Jemma Walton has been the loving rock of my life for many years, and I am grateful for her support for this project, for her ribbing throughout the trying months of the pandemic – when I would find myself ranting about public incompetence – and for rousting me for walks and other necessary reminders of the kind world beyond my desk.

John Haffenden
November 2022