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

T. S.Eliot
[19 Carlyle Mansions]
2 July 1956
DearestEliot, Margaret Dawes (TSE's sister)funeral;e3 Emily –

Thank you very much for your letter of the 24th and for going to Margaret’s funeral, and for reporting so fully about it.1 (IEliot, Theresa Garrett (TSE's sister-in-law);h3 did not know that Theresa did not go to such services; and unless she was ill, or unless she has a very serious neurosis about funerals I am really shocked by such negligence. Curiously, I have had no letter from her since Margaret’s death: can she be ill?) IHinkley, Eleanor Holmes (TSE's first cousin)reports on Margaret's funeral;e9 have also heard from Eleanor, andEliot, Revd Frederick May (TSE's first cousin)and Margaret's death;b3 from Frederick,2 whom I have written to thank for all he has done. IEliot, Marion Cushing (TSE's sister)in light of Margaret's death;h8 do not know what would have happened to Marian without him (I am glad to say that her doctor is complaining to the police about the brutal way in which she was notified[)]. It is providential (1) that Margaret seems to have died suddenly, probably of a stroke (2) that Frederick and Elizabeth were in Cambridge – a little before, he was in California; a month later, and they might have been away for the summer. And Marian appears to have stood the shock and strain very well. To tell the truth, I am greatly relieved. I was seriously alarmed by Margaret’s mental condition – her memory had failed badly, and while I was there she found she had mislaid not only her spectacles but her teeth – I only saw her once, for she kept postponing seeing me – I realised afterwards that probably the poor soul could not grasp the fact that my visit was of limited duration. And I knew that she was a constant anxiety to Marian, who felt that she could not leave Cambridge until Margaret went into a home – which she would have kept on postponing to the end.

ThankFitts, Dudley;a1 you also for the note about Dudley Fitts3 and for the poem (please explain – it has no heading and no author’s name).4 I shall write again shortly and tell you about the absurd drama of my return from Southampton and the intrusions of the press.5

I wish you were to get away sooner – I fear that it is now very hot indeed. And it has been very chilly here! MyEliot, William Greenleaf, Jr. (TSE's cousin)dies;a4 cousin Will has died, at 90, of a stroke.6 IPerkins, Edith (EH's aunt);o5 wonder if Aunt Edith has heard of this. Ide la Mare, Walterhis funeral;a7 caught a slight chill going to De la Mare’s funeral, soBeerbohm, MaxTSE misses funeral of;a2 did not go to Max Beerbohm’s the next day.7

I still have masses of letters to write, & to thank for notes of enquiry & of condolence.

With much love

1.MargaretEliot, Margaret Dawes (TSE's sister)death;e2n Dawes Eliot (1871–1956) had died in Cambridge, MA, on 10 June. Mary Trevelyan, ‘The Pope of Russell Square’: ‘26 June [1956]: WeEliot, Revd Frederick May (TSE's first cousin)and Margaret's death;b3 sat in the sun in the car while Tom read Marion’s letter to me about his sister Margaret’s death – how she had died alone and been found by the Rent Collector and Marion had been rung up by the police, then Cousin Frederick had come and taken charge and was the greatest help. Marion had had their sister cremated and put in a little box in a vault “store” with her name on it and a place to put flowers. She had left instructions that she wished to be buried at St. Louis – “I am sure she did,” said Tom, “she never really lived after she left there.”’

2.Revd Frederick May Eliot (1889–1958), Unitarian minister – first cousin – see Biographical Register.

3.DudleyFitts, Dudley Fitts (1903–68), American poet, translator and literary critic, won especial praise for his translations of Euripides’ Alcestis (1936) and Sophocles’ Antigone (1939), King Oedipus (with Robert Fitzgerald, 1949), and Aristophanes’ Lysistrata (1954), Frogs (1955) and Birds (1956). Other work includes Poems 1929–1936 (1937).

4.Details not known.

5.‘T. S. Eliot Recovers After Cardiac Attack’, Harvard Crimson, 13 June 1956: ‘Nobel Prize poet Thomas Stearns Eliot was reported resting comfortably in a London Hospital yesterday, after he had been removed from the liner Queen Mary at Southampton. Returning from an April lecture at the University of Minnesota and from visits to relatives in Cambridge, he was stricken with a coronary late last week while on the high seas.

‘A doctor at the French Hospital said that the 67-year old poet “won’t have to stay here too long – just a few days rest is all he needs now.”’

6.William Greenleaf Eliot Jr. (1866–1956), who had served as minister of the First Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon, 1906–34, died in Portland on 8 June 1956. See ‘Death Summons Dr Eliot: Funeral Set for Monday’, The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR), 10 June 1956, 43.

7.Walter de la Mare died on 22 June. Max Beerbohm died in Rapallo on 20 May and was cremated in Genoa: his ashes were interred in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, on 29 June.

Beerbohm, Max, TSE invited to dine with, TSE misses funeral of,
de la Mare, Walter, talks to TSE at tea-party, roped into Edith Sitwell poetry-reading, at which he reads, at which he is rated, exempt from public duties, his funeral,

4.Walterde la Mare, Walter de la Mare (1873–1956), poet, novelist, short story writer, worked for the Statistics Department of the Anglo-American Oil Company, 1890–1908, before being freed to become a freelance writer by a £200 royal bounty negotiated by Henry Newbolt. He wrote many popular works: poetry including The Listeners (1912) and Peacock Pie (1913); novels including Henry Brocken (1904) and Memoirs of a Midget (1921); anthologies including Come Hither (1923). Appointed OM, 1953; CH, 1948. F&F brought out several of his books including Collected Rhymes and Verses (1942) and Collected Poems (1948); and TSE wrote ‘To Walter de la Mare’ for A Tribute to Walter de la Mare (1948). See further Theresa Whistler, Imagination of the Heart: The Life of Walter de la Mare (1993).

Eliot, Margaret Dawes (TSE's sister), not a suitable confidant, scandalised by Henry's detective story, threatens to visit England, compared to VHE, wishes to arrange TSE's birthday party, remote from TSE, TSE and Henry visit, TSE dreads visiting Uncle Rob with, drains TSE, takes TSE to hear spirituals, her history, amazes TSE by attending Norton lecture, celebrates 61st birthday at Marion's, remembered in St. Louis, unwanted presence on holiday, reason for avoiding Boston, supported Landon over FDR, in response to 1930s controversies, compared to Irene Hale, imposes on Henry, tends to monologue, her reclusive hotel existence, Henry describes moving house for, her condition, TSE leaves money with, Thanksgiving with, efforts to support financially, death, funeral, TSE's final visit to,

6.MargaretEliot, Margaret Dawes (TSE's sister) Dawes Eliot (1871–1956), TSE's second-oldest sister sister, resident in Cambridge, Mass. In an undated letter (1952) to his Harvard friend Leon M. Little, TSE wrote: ‘Margaret is 83, deaf, eccentric, recluse (I don’t think she has bought any new clothes since 1900).’

Eliot, Marion Cushing (TSE's sister), described, her reading habits, not a suitable confidant, TSE reflects on reunion with, Symphony concerts with TSE, to the cinema with TSE, delighted with first Norton lecture, recommends TSE hairdresser for baldness, attends second Norton lecture, hosts birthday party for Margaret, remembered in St. Louis, worried by Dodo's manner, TSE's pride in, vigilant on TSE's health, on Randolph family holiday, congratulates TSE on separation, 1934 summer in England with Dodo, July arrival anticipated, arrangements for, visit to Chipping Campden, off to Salisbury, walks to Kelmscott, returns from Winchester, forces Regent's Park on TSE, excessively humble, next to Ada in TSE's affections, protects TSE from overbearing Hinkleys, supported Landon over FDR, co-hosts Murder party, 1939 summer in England with Dodo, trip in doubt, Southwold week planned, due 19 June, taken to Dulwich, ballet and dinner with, Southwold holiday with, given to post-lunch naps, sends Christmas supplies to Shamley, as correspondent, easiest Eliot in Ada's absence, experiences crisis, importance as sister, Henry's fondness for, devoutly Unitarian, ignorant of Henry's true condition, undernourished, abortive 1948 summer in England, cancelled, which comes as relief, hosts family dinner-party, letter about Nobel Prize to, TSE leaves money with, 1949 visit to England with Dodo, June arrival anticipated, plans for, EH bids 'bon voyage', visit to Cambridge, return from Southwold, Borders tour, Basil Street Hotel stay, Thanksgiving with, reports on Dr Perkins's funeral, efforts to support financially, tethered to Margaret, joins TSE in St. Louis, 1954 trip to England with Dodo, visit to Ely and Cambridge, in light of Margaret's death, invoked against EH, TSE to Theresa on,

1.Marian/MarionEliot, Marion Cushing (TSE's sister) Cushing Eliot (1877–1964), fourth child of Henry Ware Eliot and Charlotte Eliot: see Biographical Register.

Eliot, Revd Frederick May (TSE's first cousin), invites TSE to lecture in St. Paul, qua preacher, as TSE's St. Paul host, unChristian, compared to Martha, versus Dr Perkins's Unitarianism, less observant than older generation, conspicuously absent from church manifestoes, compared to Uncle Christopher, and Margaret's death,

2.RevdEliot, Revd Frederick May (TSE's first cousin) Frederick May Eliot (1889–1958) – first cousin – Unitarian clergyman and author: see Biographical Register.

Eliot, Theresa Garrett (TSE's sister-in-law), witness to the Eliots in 1926, draws TSE, co-hosts Murder party, remembers TSE's intention to marry EH, her immaturity, expresses solicitude for EH, careless of Henry's health, inflator of rumours, apparently ill, a 'lovely person', as correspondent, more agreeable than an Eliot, TSE on, unsuited to resist Margaret, and Henry's mania for Eliotana, wishes to take Henry on holiday following illness, made fretful by Henry, relationship with Henry, ignorant of Henry's true condition, on EH and TSE, after Henry's death, sends TSE Henry's old greatcoat, EH reports on, visits lawyer with TSE, avid for Eliotana, star-struck, undergoes operation on ear, for which TSE bears cost, hosts TSE in 1952, hosts TSE in 1955, custodian of Henry's collection, hosts TSE in 1956, visits England, on whether to return EH's letters, on TSE not marrying EH,
Eliot, William Greenleaf, Jr. (TSE's cousin), and TSE's great-grandfather's seal ring, delights TSE in London, dies, elegised, funeral tribute to,

3.WilliamEliot, William Greenleaf, Jr. (TSE's cousin) Greenleaf Eliot, Jr. (1866–1956), who was born in St. Louis, Missouri, served for twenty-eight years as Minister of the Church of Our Father (Unitarian), in Portland, Oregon, 1906–34.

Fitts, Dudley, his Frogs, his Lysistrata,

3.DudleyFitts, Dudley Fitts (1903–68), American poet, translator and literary critic, won especial praise for his translations of Euripides’ Alcestis (1936) and Sophocles’ Antigone (1939), King Oedipus (with Robert Fitzgerald, 1949), and Aristophanes’ Lysistrata (1954), Frogs (1955) and Birds (1956). Other work includes Poems 1929–1936 (1937).

Hinkley, Eleanor Holmes (TSE's first cousin), announces presence in London, TSE regrets speaking lightly of, un-deracinated, compared to TSE, TSE shares EH's frustrations with, less perceptive than her mother, gives party for Eva Le Gallienne, unworldly, theatrical success might improve, takes TSE to football match, dances with TSE, at second Norton lecture, as EH's friend, unflattering photograph of, and EH attend American Murder, suspected of writing by the book, to Aunt Susie as Hope Mirrlees to Mappie, pursues adult education, prejudices TSE against George Baker, cossetted, TSE feels remote from, explodes two Stearns family myths, reportedly writing novel, and life after Aunt Susie, turned carer, passes up EH's invitation, recollected as girl, TSE attempts to lure to England, her impersonality, invites TSE to stay in Boston, reports on Margaret's funeral, TSE's improved relations with, as 1956 hostess, reports on EH, informs EH of TSE's health, engineers correspondence between EVE and EH, adaptation of Emma, central to TSE falling for EH, Charlotte Brontë play, TSE presents to London Play Company, TSE's verdict on, compared to Dear Jane, Dear Jane, to be produced in New York, consumes her, TSE happy to dodge premiere, but hopes to catch over Christmas, well reviewed in certain quarters, White Violets,
see also Hinkleys, the

5.EleanorHinkley, Eleanor Holmes (TSE's first cousin) Holmes Hinkley (1891–1971), playwright; TSE’s first cousin; daughter of Susan Heywood Stearns – TSE’s maternal aunt – and Holmes Hinkley: see Biographical Register.

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