[41 Brimmer St., Boston]

T. S.Eliot
The Criterion
26 February 1932
Emily dear,

I have no letter this week – nothing to-day to remind me that there is an American mail except a letter from a young man in New York who has written a novel: nothing out of the ordinary in that. So I feel as always, a little forlorn, and I think must postpone one or two things I had in mind to discuss until Monday, when I hope for some reassurances. As for the Photograph Portrait, I shall believe in that when I see it!

I am also feeling rather tired to-day: my'Preface' (to Bubu de Montparnasse);a1 Preface to Bubu de Montparnasse,1 my'George Herbert';a1 note on George Herbert for Evelyn Underhill for the Spectator,2 andCriterion, TheApril 1932;c1laborious 'Commentary';a1 my Commentary, although all short, all came out of my head with great effort; and now I have got to settle down seriously to my four broadcast talks, as they begin on Sunday Week. I'Modern Dilemma, The'being composed;a3 have written one and part of another, but they need revising: and the subject, ‘The Modern Dilemma’, is so vague and vast that they must be very well done to be worth doing at all. AndCharles Eliot Norton Lectures (afterwards The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism)a task for Lent;a2 by April I must really get to work on Norton lectures.

WeThorps, thegrow on TSE;b4 had a very pleasant evening with the Thorps, who become more congenial all the time. AtThorp, Willardteaches Ombre to the Eliots;a7 the end of the evening Willard tried to teach us how to play ombre, which he had just learnt from some old book; (at this point a Hindu came in to borrow ten shillings, which I sent down to him): and it not only makes much more admirable the passage about the game in The Rape of the Lock,3 but is a very good card game indeed; and we are going to play again at Lincolns [sic] Inn next week. RobertGeorge, Robert Esmonde Gordon ('Robert Sencourt');b2 Sencourt is again with us for a few nights before returning to Hyères to stay with his mother, and as always, is very welcome. The weather is cold and bitter, and Holy Week comes near. And no more have I to send to-day, my dear, except my constant thoughts which I hope your guardian angel may use in watching over you.


1.See TSE’s Preface to Charles-Louis Philippe, Bubu de Montparnasse, trans. Laurence Vail (Paris, 1932): CProse 4, 417–21. ‘There have been many novels of low life, of metropolitan vice and degradation. Novels of sentimentality, novels of satire, novels of indignation, novels of social reform, novels of prurience. Bubu de Montparnase succeeds in being none of these: emphatically not the last. Philippe certainly disturbs any lingering complacency that we may feel towards the world as it is; but he has no cure to advocate. He is both compassionate and dispassionate; in his book we blame no one, we blame not even a “social system”; and even the most virtuous, in reading it, may feel: I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed.’

2.‘George Herbert’, Spectator 148 (12 Mar. 1932), 360–1.

3.Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock, canto iii, 25–7:

Belinda now, whom Thirst of Fame invites,

Burns to encounter two adventurous Knights,

At Ombre singly to decide their doom …

Charles Eliot Norton Lectures (afterwards The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism), weekend spent meditating, a task for Lent, contemplated, stimulated by Mirsky, preoccupying TSE, hard-going, outlined, TSE yet to begin, unsatisfactory, 'The Relation of Criticism and Poetry' (afterwards 'Introduction'), TSE preparing, and the Charles Norton references, hard-going, a week's toil over, TSE on giving the lecture, EH promised copy, 'Poetry and Criticism in the Time of Elizabeth' (afterwards 'Apology for the Countess of Pembroke'), so far promising, finished, TSE on giving the lecture, 'The Classical Tradition: Dryden on Johnson' (afterwards 'The Age of Dryden'), TSE on the lecture itself, 'The Theories of Coleridge and Wordsworth' (afterwards 'Wordsworth and Coleridge'), TSE immersed in, TSE wonders at audience for, finished, TSE's jokes lost on audience, 'The practice of Shelley and Keats' (afterwards 'Shelley and Keats'), TSE on giving the lecture, 'Arnold and the Academic Mind' (afterwards 'Matthew Arnold'), unprepared with less than two weeks, completed the morning of lecture, 'The Modern Mind', as yet unfinished, TSE on giving the lecture, 'Conclusion', TSE on giving the lecture, TSE's immediate reflections on, being revised for publication, improved by Sheff's criticisms, in proof, copy inscribed to EH, Maritain on, seem intemperate on further reflection,
Criterion, The, its monthly meetings fatigue TSE, introduced TSE to Whibley, arrangements in TSE's absence, first contributors' meeting since Monro's death, 1932 contributors' gathering, first contributors' gathering of 1934, Russell Square gathering for, particularly heavy gathering, its gatherings dreaded, to be wound up, reflections on ending, shut up against contributions, lamented even in Brno, letters of condolence, reading poetry submissions for, July 1931, 'Commentary', April 1932, laborious 'Commentary', July 1932, 'Commentary', October 1932, 'Commentary', October 1933, 'Commentary' on Irving Babbitt, prepared on holiday, July 1934, 'Commentary', January 1935, TSE ordering, October 1935, 'Commentary', 'Commentary', which TSE regrets as too personal, July 1936, possibilities for 'Commentary', October 1936, being made up, being finalised, to be ordered, January 1937, prepared in August 1936, April 1937, 'Commentary', July 1937, 'Commentary', January 1938, 'Commentary' on Nuffield endowments, which is sparsely well received, April 1938, 'Commentary', July 1938, 'Commentary', January 1939, to be final issue, 'Last Words',
'George Herbert',
George, Robert Esmonde Gordon ('Robert Sencourt'), in thumbnail, staying with the Eliots, records TSE's argument with Koteliansky, recites chapter from new book, creates harmony between the Eliots, offers to lend TSE fur coat, relays gossip about VHE, stirs up situation, extends invitation to Cairo, and Stead visit Campden, forces himself on TSE, TSE's mixed feelings toward, The Life of Newman,

3.RobertGeorge, Robert Esmonde Gordon ('Robert Sencourt') Esmonde Gordon George – Robert Sencourt (1890–1969) – critic, historian, biographer: see Biographical Register.

'Modern Dilemma, The', and educational broadcasting generally, being composed, receives unlikely praise, TSE against turning into book, approved by EH, earns TSE 60 guineas,
'Preface' (to Bubu de Montparnasse),
Thorp, Willard, introduced by TSE to Dobrée, at the Criterion meeting, grows on TSE, teaches Ombre to the Eliots, EH thinks of entrusting letters to, seems lifeless, has stiffening effect on TSE, requests Paul More tribute, which he delivers to More, congratulates TSE on Family Reunion, invited TSE to Princeton, due to teach at Harvard, compared to Margaret, resembles Sweden's Crown Prince, formally notified of EH's bequest, objects to TSE's 50-year moratorium, and EH's 'recordings', seeks again to shorten moratorium, but again refused, invited to petition TSE directly, but shifts responsibility to Dix, makes transcript of EH's 'recording',
see also Thorps, the

1.Margaret Thorp, née Farrand (1891–1970), contemporary and close friend of EH; noted author and biographer. WillardThorp, Willard Thorp (1899–1990) was a Professor of English at Princeton University. See Biographical Register. See further Lyndall Gordon, Hyacinth Girl, 126–8, 158–9.

Thorps, the, EH brings to TSE's notice, to tea chez Eliot, take flat in Lincoln's Inn, attend TSE's Poetry Bookshop reading, VHE invites to party, host the Eliots to tea, grow on TSE, host the Eliots for claret, cheesecake and Ombre, invite VHE to supper, compared to the Noyeses, take offence where none intended, called on in Princeton, appear in Campden, worth discussing American politics with, TSE imagines living with, TSE against leaving letters to, likeness to the Webbs, EH on, differentiated, take in worthy Chaplin exhibition, unrelaxing hosts, advise EH over terms of Princeton bequest, and EH's 'recording', pushing EH to write autobiography,