[35A School St., Andover, Mass.]

T. S.Eliot
19 Carlyle Mansions
16 October 1955
Dearest Emily

I have written no letters for a fortnight, as I have been again in the Clinic, but this time for – athlete’s foot! LetBartók, PéterTSE records poems for;a1 me begin the story on the Monday on which I recorded some poems for Mr. Bartok (son of the composer)1 forAiken, Conrad;a3 anMoore, Marianne;a6 American firm named ‘Caedmon’ which is highly recommended by Conrad Aiken and Marianne Moore for verse recordings.2 ThisHoellering, George M.;c4 took place in George Hoellering’s film studio, which is, as you know, a disused church in Avenue Road St. John’s Wood. The day was fine and warm, but the studio was cold and damp. If I had been able to rest at once I should have got over it; butMirrlees, Hope;d7 I had two dinner engagements, on Tuesday and Thursday, withBelgion, Montgomery;c9 Montgomery Belgion & Hope Mirrlees respectively, another recording appointment on the Wednesday, and a television appointment on the Thursday. SoFabers, the;j1 when I saw my doctor (a regular appointment, not because of the cold) on Friday, he said I should go to bed instead of going to the Fabers for the week end. NowMme Amery;a7 the19 Carlyle Mansions, Londonredecorated;b5 bathroom at Carlyle Mansions was having some repairs, Madame’s bedroom was being redecorated (badly needed, but against her protests, because she dislikes the smell of paint and says she won’t be able to sleep there for two months[,] the place was in confusion with paintpots, cloths, testles [sc. trestles], and the usual coming and going of men in long white coats, so I went to a Clinic. And as I was there, my cotor [sc. doctor] seized the opportunity of giving me intensive treatment for this athlete’s foot, which I contracted 21 months ago at a chiropodist’s (which means that one cannot be too careful about chiropodists – you are warned) and which had responded to ordinary treatment up to a point, but had returned worse than ever this summer. And that took two weeks! And the cortisone (I don’t remember how to spell it – it’s not in the dictionary) produced a boil on one toe, and then that had to be treated. However, here I am again with clean feet: but an uneventful life for the past two weeks.

TelevisionMcKnight Kauffer, Edwardwhich involves television appearance;a8 is unpleasant, I would never have done it for any reason but a sense of duty. But I was to open this Kauffer exhibition; and they begged me to do a short (5 minute) chat about Kauffer in this medium, beforehand, as they said that it would bring three times as many people to the exhibition. It’s far worse than broadcasting, first, because you have to think of your expression of face, as on the stage; and second, because you have to memorise (as on the stage). Fortunately, this one was filmed, in order to be presented some days later: so that I was able to memorise each paragraph one at a time, and they put the bits of film together afterwards. If I had had to memorise all at once it would have been indeed an ordeal. One point that was rather amusing: when I had got through very successful [sic], as I thought, the man said ‘Mr. Eliot, would you mind – I’m afraid I shall have to ask you to take the last paragraph again: when you got to the last sentence, your face began to show such evident relief.’3

I was on [sc. in] the Clinic on the day the exhibition opened: but they sent a man with a recording machine and I made my opening speech onto the tape! I gather that the speech went down very well (I began by saying ‘this is my first experience of opening an exhibition in my own absence’) but I haven’t yet seen the exhibition.

Well, this is all I have to say about myself. ICrane, Mary Hinckley;a1 was happy to hear from you that Mrs. Crane4 is handling her job well. It must be much more pleasant for you in that respect. CuriousHearsey, Dr Marguerite Capen;a5 that Miss Hersey [sc. Hearsey] should immediately be dropped into oblivion! But it’s only when the successor is unpopular that the late Head is venerated; and the less popular the new one is, the more the late one is idolised. WhenApthorp, Harrison Otis;a1 I was at Milton, everyone said what a wonderful Headmaster Mr. Apthorp had been. PoorCobb, Richardas TSE's Milton headmaster;a1 Richard Cobb!5

IPerkins, Edith (EH's aunt);o2 will write to Aunt Edith soon.

MyTalcott, Priscilla Stearnsspeaks of 'dates';a4 grandniece is a very odd girl: I can’t make her out. And do well-bred young women nowadays refer to young men as dates? It sounds so very vulgar.

I hope I may soon have more news of the way this term is developing for you.

With much love

1.PéterBartók, Péter Bartók (1924–2020) – son of the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók – was a recording and sound engineer.

2.Caedmon Records was set up in New York City in 1952 by Barbara Ann Cohen (later Holdridge) and her college friend Marianne Roney (later Mantell): their hugely successful enterprise started with the recording of Dylan Thomas reading his story ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’, at Steinway Hall in Feb. 1952. Other authors they recorded over the years included Thomas Mann, E. E. Cummings, Ernest Hemingway and Marianne Moore.

3.See further headnote to ‘Address at the E. McKnight Kauffer Memorial Exhibition’, CProse 8, 101–3.

4.MaryCrane, Mary Hinckley Hinckley Crane (Mrs Alexander): Headmistress of Abbot Academy, 1955–66.

5.RichardCobb, Richard Cobb was Head of Milton Academy, 1904–10. HisApthorp, Harrison Otis immediate predecessor was Harrison Otis Apthorp (1857–1905), Head of Milton, 1887–1904.

19 Carlyle Mansions, London, TSE's tour of no. 14, its Chelsea environs, TSE on settling down at, its post-war condition, refurbishments to, described, almost habitable, TSE installed at, joined by JDH, TSE's first home for years, servant problems, redecorated, TSE's possessions remain at, no longer TSE's address,
Aiken, Conrad, TSE dreads seeing, his depressing bohemian existence,

1.ConradAiken, Conrad Aiken (1889–1973), American poet and critic: see Biographical Register.

Apthorp, Harrison Otis,

5.RichardCobb, Richard Cobb was Head of Milton Academy, 1904–10. HisApthorp, Harrison Otis immediate predecessor was Harrison Otis Apthorp (1857–1905), Head of Milton, 1887–1904.

Bartók, Péter, TSE records poems for,

1.PéterBartók, Péter Bartók (1924–2020) – son of the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók – was a recording and sound engineer.

Belgion, Montgomery, and Alida Monro dine chez Eliot, expensive club dinner with, accompanies TSE to Othello, and Charles Williams dine with TSE, accompanies TSE to Henry IV, Part II, to Garrigou-Lagrange lecture, takes TSE and Saurat to the Ivy, weekend's walking in Sussex with, in Criterion inner-circle, drink with Tom Burns and, accompanies TSE to Cranmer, and Mairet to lunch, accompanies TSE to Witch of Edmonton, arranges dinner for Murder, accompanies TSE to Uncle Vanya, to Measure for Measure, to Richard III, to Volpone, lonely, hosts dinner at Chinese restaurant, reviews Christian Society, on leave in London,

4.MontgomeryBelgion, Montgomery (‘Monty’) Belgion (1892–1973), author and journalist: see Biographical Register.

Cobb, Richard, as TSE's Milton headmaster,

5.RichardCobb, Richard Cobb was Head of Milton Academy, 1904–10. HisApthorp, Harrison Otis immediate predecessor was Harrison Otis Apthorp (1857–1905), Head of Milton, 1887–1904.

Crane, Mary Hinckley,

4.MaryCrane, Mary Hinckley Hinckley Crane (Mrs Alexander): Headmistress of Abbot Academy, 1955–66.

Fabers, the, model of happiness and respectability, their domestic situation, Faber children to tea chez Eliot, visit TSE at Pike's Farm, compared to the Morleys, closer to TSE than to VHE, 1933 summer holiday with, Ty Glyn Aeron described, request TSE to write play, too absorbed in their children, at the Morleys' party, give anti-Nazi party for author, host poker party, 1934 summer holiday with, take TSE to lunch in Oxford, 1935 summer holiday with, for which the children are bought tent, give party, 1936 summer holiday with, at Morleys' Thanksgiving Day party, sail model boats with TSE, and TSE's foggy adventure, cinema-going with TSE, take TSE to Witch of Edmonton, and Morleys take TSE to pantomime, and TSE attend opening of Ascent of F6, 1937 summer holiday with, and the Bradfield Greek play, School for Scandal with, take TSE to pantomime again, 1938 summer holiday with, 1939 summer holiday with, offer possible wartime refuge, 1940 summer holiday with, host TSE in Hampstead during war, TSE makes bread sauce for, brought vegetables from Shamley, move to Minsted, and TSE attend musical revue, 1941 summer holiday with, Minsted as substitute for nursing-home, trying to sell Welsh home, take TSE to International Squadron, invite TSE to Wales for Christmas, host TSE at Minsted, away fishing in Scotland, mourn TSE's post-war independence, 1947 Minsted summer stay, 1948 Minsted summer stay, host TSE for weekend, on 1950 South Africa trip, on TSE's 1951 Spain trip, 1951 Minsted summer stay, 1952 Minsted summer stay, 1953 Minsted summer stay, on 1953–4 South Africa trip, 35th wedding anniversary weekend,
Hearsey, Dr Marguerite Capen, offers EH permanent Abbot Academy position, TSE inscribes book for,

1.DrHearsey, Dr Marguerite Capen Marguerite Capen Hearsey (1893–1990) was 14th Principal of Abbot Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, 1936–55. Educated at Hollins College, Roanoke, Virginia, and at Radcliffe College, she taught French and English at Georgetown College in Kentucky; and English at both Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, and Wellesley College, 1924–5, 1927–9. In 1929 she earned a PhD at Yale, where she was a Sterling Fellow and specialised in Elizabethan literature; she studied too at the Sorbonne. Before moving on to Andover, she taught at Hollins, 1929–36. She served, too, as President of the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls.

Hoellering, George M., pitches for Murder film rights, TSE's fondness for, accompanies TSE on Canterbury recce, persists with TSE, encourages TSE over adaptation, sitting on TSE's scenario, commissioned to film Archbishop's enthronement, incommunicado, publicising Murder, on collaborating with TSE, tries to cast TSE as Becket, discovers Father Groser of Stepney, dressing set in disused church, peddling his Murder, and Murder's reception, Message from Canterbury,

3.GeorgeHoellering, George M. M. Hoellering (1898–1980), Austrian-born filmmaker and cinema manager: see Biographical Register.

McKnight Kauffer, Edward, gossiping at Clive Bell's, his cover for Triumphal March, as husband, takes Hitleresque photo, TSE dislikes photograph by, TSE opens Kauffer Memorial Exhibition, which involves television appearance,

2.EdwardMcKnight Kauffer, Edward McKnight Kauffer (1890–1954), American artist and illustrator: see Biographical Register. His partner was Marion Dorn (1896–1964), textile designer.

Mirrlees, Hope, sketched for EH, at the Eliots' tea-party, part of Bloomsbury society, VHE complains about TSE to, dinner in company with, and mother taken sightseeing, ordeal of a walk with, dinner and chess with, and her dachshund, exhausting but pitiable, her mother preferable, her religion, to Mappie as Eleanor Hinkley to Aunt Susie, irritates like Eleanor, indifferent to enlarging her acquaintance, at Shamley, researching in Worthing Public Library, bathing daily at Lee, and TSE judge fancy-dress parade, during TSE's final Shamley Christmas, suffers 'collapse', in Stellenbosch, visits London, go-between in TSE's second marriage,
see also Mirrleeses, the

2.HopeMirrlees, Hope Mirrlees (1887–1978), British poet, novelist, translator and biographer, was to become a close friend of TSE: see Biographical Register.

Mme Amery, tolerates TSE's lie-abed ways,

1.MadameMme Amery Amery: housekeeper at 19 Carlyle Mansions, Chelsea.

Moore, Marianne, scintillates at Bunny Wilson's, on meeting TSE, TSE's wish that EH meet, writes concernedly about TSE's health, for which TSE thanks her, EH makes proposal to, which Moore declines, Selected Poems,

6.MarianneMoore, Marianne Moore (1887–1972) contributed to The Egoist from 1915. She went on to become in 1925 acting editor of The Dial, editor, 1927–9, and an influential modern poet. Eliot found her ‘an extremely intelligent person, very shy … One of the most observant people I have ever met.’ Writing to her on 3 April 1921, he said her verse interested him ‘more than that of anyone now writing in America’. And in his introduction to Selected Poems (1935), which he brought out from Faber & Faber, he stated that her ‘poems form part of the small body of durable poetry written in our time’. TSE told Marion Dorn, 3 Jan. 1944, that he met Marianne Moore ‘once … in New York, but I took a great fancy to her: she and Bunny Wilson were the two people I liked best of those whom I met in New York in 1933. She is a very unusual person, as well as a good poet.’

Perkins, Edith (EH's aunt), her relationship to EH queried, to accompany EH to Scripps, asks TSE to dinner, at first Norton lecture, shares pew with TSE, accompanies TSE to Symphony Concert, in audience at Milton Academy, catches cold in Florence, in TSE's private opinion, TSE's occasional poem for, her relationship with EH analysed, dislikes Jeanette McPherrin, explains EH's breakdown to TSE, on the Harvard Murder, as Campden hostess, and TSE's wartime instructions to EH, gives lunch at American Women's Club, gives TSE balsam pillow, requests English edition of Cats, as horticulturalist, without Campden garden, compared to Irene Hale, gives TSE photograph of EH, attends Ada's funeral, reports on EH's Millbrook situation, pressed for ham and pineapple recipe, sight affected in one eye, gives lecture, sight failing, sight deteriorates in other eye, thanked for 1946 hospitality, gives to Books Across the Sea, according to EH, asks TSE to present slides to RHS, which TSE does, on EH and TSE's relationship, and Hidcote House, friendly with Marion, TSE pitches her book to publishers, depressed by the heat, somewhat recovered, approaching 80th, faced with husband's death, letter of condolence to, sent birthday poem, visited in Boston, has sciatica, reports on EH's dramatic activities, Miss Lavorgna on, in her old-age infirmity, suffers 'shock', sacks nurse, EH preserved from, sends funeral tribute to Cousin Will, and the Hale letters, nursing home sought for, moved into nursing home, where TSE writes to her, suffers stroke, deteriorating, relations with EH, her legacy to EH,
see also Perkinses, the
Talcott, Priscilla Stearns, speaks of 'dates',

4.PriscillaTalcott, Priscilla Stearns Stearns Talcott (b. 19 Feb. 1934), daughter of Agnew Talcott and Charlotte Stearns Smith.