Eleanor Holmes Hinkley, June 1936.
Photographer unknown; from the collection of the T. S. Eliot Estate.

Eleanor Holmes Hinkley


Eleanor Holmes Hinkley (1891–1971): TSE’s first cousin, second daughter of Susan Heywood Stearns (1860–1948) – TSE’s maternal aunt – and Holmes Hinkley (1853–91), a scholar ‘of rare modesty and delicacy of temperament’. Eleanor studied at Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA. Among the advanced courses she took at Harvard was Professor George Pierce Baker’s ‘47 Workshop’. She went on to act with Baker’s group and to write a number of plays for it (see Plays of 47 Workshop, New York, 1920). Other productions included A Flitch of Bacon (1919) and Mrs Aphra Behn (1933). It was through amateur theatricals held at her family home, 1 Berkeley Place, Cambridge, Mass., that TSE met and fell in love with Emily Hale in 1912. Dear Jane, a comedy in three acts about Jane Austen written in 1919, was to be produced by Eva Le Gallienne at the Civic Repertory Theater, New York, for eleven performances in Nov. 1932.