[41 Brimmer St., Boston]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
8 April 1932
My dear Lady,

I was cheered and grateful to get your little letter of Easter Day this morning with its message: I deserved none this week for having written such a scurvy short note on Tuesday. But I really have been very busy. MondayMattuck, Rabbi Israel Isidorhistory of the Jews discussed with;a2 morning took me out to Hampstead Heath to interview the head of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue – Rabbi Mattock [sc. Mattuck] who turned out to be quite a charming and intelligent Harvard man from Worcester Mass. with no American or American-Jewish accent whatever. He gave me all the information he could about books in existence on the later History of the Jews. Walked back over the heath to Heath Street Station. InOldham, Josephconvenes discussion of contemporary Christianity;a3 the afternoon had a meeting convened by J. H. Oldham at the Student Christian House in Russell Square which lasted from 4 to 10, with meals, to discuss Christianity and the world to-day. About a dozen people, parsons, laymen, professors etc. The discussion was resumed on Tuesday from 10 to 1; andNeedham, Joseph;a1 in the afternoon one of the members, Joseph Needham, a fellow of Caius, came to tea for a private discussion with me.1 Needless to say no conclusions were reached, but such discussions, if informal enough, are helpful by making personal contacts.

I have been feeling pretty tired before and since; and I shall feel a bewildered relief from the racket all round me when I am finally on a liner in September and safely away from land.

AlsoHinkley, Eleanor Holmes (TSE's first cousin)Charlotte Brontë play;g4TSE's verdict on;a2 Eleanor sent me her play about the Brontes – I think I told you of that – IHinkley, Eleanor Holmes (TSE's first cousin)Charlotte Brontë play;g4TSE presents to London Play Company;a1 read it and then took it to Dorothea Fassett at the London Play co.2 I could not feel very hopeful for it; it does not seem to me as effective as her Jane Austin [sic] play;3 it’s only once in a coon’s age4 that a play of this kind succeeds; it’s only of interest to people who know something about the Brontes already; and the play that really succeeds must be able to appeal to very very ignorant suburban people. There will be difficulties about the scenes, and the cast is enormous. I was surprised that with all her experience Eleanor had not done a more practical play. There is to me something suspicious about the material E. chooses; Jane and the Brontes; it is suffused with that rather starved and old-maidish feminism which has always pervaded Berkeley Place – that makes it to me very pathetic; it is a tone which belongs to the past, and which is less and less evident, I believe and hope, in modern women writers. EvenWoolf, VirginiaA Room of One's Own;e2 Virginia’s ‘Room of one’s own’ irritated me; andWoolf, Virginiaher feminism;b6 I have wanted to tell her that I have never had £500 a year of private (unearned) income or anything like it, andWaste Land, Thewhere it was mostly written;a5 that I have never had a room of my own except a bed-room at a Lausanne pension for a month where I wrote most of The Waste Land.5 Both men and women writers, are respected if they can make a good deal of money by writing; and not if they don’t.

IEliot, Henry Ware, Jr. (TSE's brother)The Rumble Murders;m6 have just been reading a detective story written by my brother ([sic] thisEliot, Margaret Dawes (TSE's sister)scandalised by Henry's detective story;a3 is a secret; my sister Margaret6 was so scandalised by a member of her family writing a detective story that he published it under a pseudonym[)].7 I am sure I couldn’t have written it, and the plot is most ingenious. WhatAmericaas depicted in Henry Eliot's Rumble Murders;a7 interests me is the description of a kind of society: the wealthier people in a residential suburb of, I imagine, some moderately large middle western industrial town; and the society puzzles me no end: the people are in some ways so much more barbaric in their social conventions, personal contacts, and ways of speech, than any people at all parallel here; and on the other hand so much more intelligent in some of their interests. These crude cocktail drinking people who talk like silly children and yet read Proust and collect incunabula and first editions are a mystery to me. I hope that I shall meet some.

My letters have been of poor quality lately, I know; and you may think that I live for weeks at a time with no spiritual life at all. It does I admit fluctuate, but I hope is always there below the surface. I hope that by Tuesday I shall have some time, and no busy activities to relate, and that I may write what I call a real letter.

With much love,

1.JosephNeedham, Joseph Needham (1900–95), biochemist, historian of science and civilisation in China, and Christian socialist, was educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (a Fellow for life, he served as Master for ten years from 1966). Works include The Sceptical Biologist (1929) and Chemical Embryology (3 vols, 1931); but his major project – conceived during WW2 when he set up the Sino-British scientific cooperation office and served as Scientific Counsellor at the British Embassy in Chongqing – was a huge history of Chinese science, technology and medicine. A polymath and a pro-Chinese witness (he was for some years persona non grata in the USA), he was ultimately regaled with honours. In 1992 he was made a Companion of Honour; and in 1994 he received the Einstein Medal from UNESCO.

2.Eleanor Hinkley had finished a play about Charlotte Brontë which she liked ‘so much better than anything I have ever done. I have sent it to five important offices … But I do think it is highly important to give it to a London agent, because it is more an English play than American really.’ She asked TSE to take it to Dorothea Fassett at the London Play Company.

3.Hinkley, Dear Jane (produced Nov. 1932).

4.The saying ‘a coon’s age’, first recorded in the southern USA in 1843, is an abbreviation of ‘a raccoon’s age’: it refers to the supposed longevity of the raccoon, and was not a racial slur.

5.Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (1929): ‘For my belief is that if we lived another century or so – I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals – and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think […] then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down.’

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).’

7.Mason Deal, The Rumble Murders (New York, 1932).

America, TSE on not returning in 1915, and TSE as transatlantic cultural conduit, dependence on Europe, TSE's sense of deracination from, and the Great Depression, TSE a self-styled 'Missourian', as depicted in Henry Eliot's Rumble Murders, its national coherence questioned, its religious and educational future, versus Canadian and colonial society, where age is not antiquity, drinks Scotland's whisky, and FDR's example to England, underrates Europe's influence on England, redeemed by experience with G. I.'s, TSE nervous at readjusting to, and post-war cost of living, more alien to TSE post-war, its glories, landscape, cheap shoes, its horrors, Hollywood, climate, lack of tea, overheated trains, over-social clubs, overheating in general, perplexities of dress code, food, especially salad-dressing, New England Gothic, earthquakes, heat, the whistle of its locomotives, 'Easter holidays' not including Easter, the cut of American shirts, television, Andover, Massachusetts, EH moves to, Ann Arbor, Michigan, TSE on visiting, Augusta, Maine, EH stops in, Baltimore, Maryland, and TSE's niece, TSE engaged to lecture in, TSE on visiting, Bangor, Maine, EH visits, Bay of Fundy, EH sailing in, Bedford, Massachusetts, its Stearns connections, Boston, Massachusetts, TSE tries to recollect society there, its influence on TSE, its Museum collection remembered, inspires homesickness, TSE and EH's experience of contrasted, described by Maclagan, suspected of dissipating EH's energies, EH's loneliness in, Scripps as EH's release from, possibly conducive to TSE's spiritual development, restores TSE's health, its society, TSE's relations preponderate, TSE's happiness in, as a substitute for EH's company, TSE's celebrity in, if TSE were there in EH's company, its theatregoing public, The Times on, on Labour Day, Brunswick, Maine, TSE to lecture in, TSE on visiting, California, as imagined by TSE, TSE's wish to visit, EH suggests trip to Yosemite, swimming in the Pacific, horrifies TSE, TSE finds soulless, land of earthquakes, TSE dreads its effect on EH, Wales's resemblance to, as inferno, and Californians, surfeit of oranges and films in, TSE's delight at EH leaving, land of kidnappings, Aldous Huxley seconds TSE's horror, the lesser of two evils, Cannes reminiscent of, TSE masters dislike of, land of monstrous churches, TSE regrets EH leaving, winterless, its southern suburbs like Cape Town, land of fabricated antiquities, Cambridge, Massachusetts, TSE's student days in, socially similar to Bloomsbury, TSE lonely there but for Ada, TSE's happiness in, exhausting, EH's 'group' in, road safety in, Casco Bay, Maine, TSE remembers, Castine, Maine, EH holidays in, Cataumet, Massachusetts, EH holidays in, Chicago, Illinois, EH visits, reportedly bankrupt, TSE on, TSE takes up lectureship in, its climate, land of fabricated antiquities, Chocurua, New Hampshire, EH stays in, Concord, Massachusetts, EH's househunting in, EH moves from, Connecticut, its countryside, and Boerre, TSE's end-of-tour stay in, Dorset, Vermont, EH holidays in, and the Dorset Players, Elizabeth, New Jersey, TSE on visiting, Farmington, Connecticut, place of EH's schooling, which TSE passes by, EH holidays in, Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, EH recuperates in, Gerrish Island, Maine, TSE revisits, Hollywood, perceived debauchery of its movies, TSE's dream of walk-on part, condemned by TSE to destruction, TSE trusts Murder will be safe from, Iowa City, Iowa, TSE invited to, Jonesport, Maine, remembered, Kittery, Maine, described, Lexington, Massachusetts, and the Stearns family home, Lyndeborough, New Hampshire, visited by EH, Madison, Wisconsin, Aurelia Bolliger hails from, Ralph Hodgson sails for, EH summers in, as conceived by TSE, who eventually visits, Maine, its coast remembered by TSE, TSE recalls swimming off, Minneapolis, on EH's 1952 itinerary, TSE lectures in, New Bedford, Massachusetts, EH's holidays in, TSE's family ties to, New England, and Unitarianism, more real to TSE than England, TSE homesick for, in TSE's holiday plans, architecturally, compared to California, and the New England conscience, TSE and EH's common inheritance, springless, TSE remembers returning from childhood holidays in, its countryside distinguished, and The Dry Salvages, New York (N.Y.C.), TSE's visits to, TSE encouraged to write play for, prospect of visiting appals TSE, as cultural influence, New York theatres, Newburyport, Maine, delights TSE, Northampton, Massachusetts, TSE on, EH settles in, TSE's 1936 visit to, autumn weather in, its spiritual atmosphere, EH moves house within, its elms, the Perkinses descend on, Aunt Irene visits, Boerre's imagined life in, TSE on hypothetical residence in, EH returns to, Peterborough, New Hampshire, visited by EH, TSE's vision of life at, Petersham, Massachusetts, EH holidays in, TSE visits with the Perkinses, EH spends birthday in, Edith Perkins gives lecture at, the Perkinses cease to visit, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, TSE on, and TSE's private Barnes Foundation tour, Independence Hall, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, surrounding countryside, Portsmouth, Maine, delights TSE, Randolph, New Hampshire, 1933 Eliot family holiday in, the Eliot siblings return to, Seattle, Washington State, EH summers in, EH's situation at, TSE prefers to California, EH repairs to post-Christmas, EH visits on 1952 tour, EH returns to, Sebasco, Maine, EH visits, South, the, TSE's first taste of, TSE's prejudices concerning, St. Louis, Missouri, TSE's childhood in, TSE's homesickness for, TSE styling himself a 'Missourian', possible destination for TSE's ashes, resting-place of TSE's parents, TSE on his return to, the Mississippi, compared to TSE's memory, TSE again revisits, TSE takes EVE to, St. Paul, Minnesota, TSE on visiting, the Furness house in, Tryon, North Carolina, EH's interest in, EH staying in, Virginia, scene of David Garnett's escapade, and the Page-Barbour Lectures, TSE on visiting, and the South, Washington, Connecticut, EH recuperates in, West Rindge, New Hampshire, EH holidays at, White Mountains, New Hampshire, possible TSE and EH excursion to, Woods Hole, Falmouth, Massachusetts, TSE and EH arrange holiday at, TSE and EH's holiday in recalled, and The Dry Salvages, TSE invited to, EH and TSE's 1947 stay in, EH learns of TSE's death at,
Eliot, Henry Ware, Jr. (TSE's brother), hears TSE's Dryden broadcast, as potential confidant, sibling most attuned to TSE's needs, witness to the Eliots in 1926, surprises TSE in Boston, his aura of futility, disputes New Yorker profile of TSE, at Eliot family Thanksgiving, attends second Norton lecture, his business in Chicago, hosts TSE in New York, TSE reads his second detective story, his immaturity, accuses TSE of wrath, writes TSE long critical letter, the favourite of TSE's parents, sends New York Murder clippings, writes again about religion, insensitive to European affairs, Peabody Museum employ as research associate, gives TSE pyjamas for Christmas, sends TSE luggage for Christmas, hosts Murder's Boston cast, sends present to Morley children, cables TSE on 50th birthday, given draft of Family Reunion, gives TSE portfolio, champions Kauffer's photograph of TSE, explains operation on ears, sends list of securities, takes pleasure in shouldering Margaret, undergoes serious operation, recovering at home, as curator of Eliotana, as curator of Eliotana, war imperils final reunion with, and TSE's rumoured Vatican audience, corresponds with TSE monthly, offers Tom Faber wartime refuge, nervous about TSE during Blitz, as described by Frank Morley, recalls The Dry Salvages, has appendix out, cautioned as to health, frail, condition worries TSE, as correspondent, friend to J. J. Sweeney, tries TSE's patience, reports on Ada, describes Ada's funeral, beleaguered by Margaret, sent Picture Post F&F photos, likened to Grandfather Stearns, goitre operated on, his archaeological endeavours, back in hospital, imagined in exclusively female company, ill again, as brother, has pneumonia, terminal leukaemia, prospect of his death versus Ada's, anxieties induced by deafness, writes to TSE despite illness, death, memorial service for, on EH's presumption, Michael Roberts's symptoms reminiscent of, his Chicago acquaintance, friends with Robert Lowell's father, invoked against EH, on TSE's love for EH, buried in Garrett family lot, The Rumble Murders,

3.HenryEliot, Henry Ware, Jr. (TSE's brother) Ware Eliot (1879–1947), TSE’s older brother: see Biographical Register.

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).’

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.

Mattuck, Rabbi Israel Isidor, history of the Jews discussed with,

7.RabbiMattuck, Rabbi Israel Isidor Israel I. Mattuck (1884–1954) was born in Lithuania and taken as a child to the USA, where he studied at Harvard and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College. On moving to London, he became Rabbi of the Liberal Synagogue, 28 St John’s Wood Road, 1911–47. He was the first chairman of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, 1926–54, and edited the Liberal prayer book (3 vols, 1923–6). Other works include The Essentials of Liberal Judaism (1947), What Are the Jews? (1949), Jewish Ethics (1953) and The Thought of the Prophets (1953). TSE hoped he might write a History of the Jews since the Dispersion.

Needham, Joseph,

1.JosephNeedham, Joseph Needham (1900–95), biochemist, historian of science and civilisation in China, and Christian socialist, was educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (a Fellow for life, he served as Master for ten years from 1966). Works include The Sceptical Biologist (1929) and Chemical Embryology (3 vols, 1931); but his major project – conceived during WW2 when he set up the Sino-British scientific cooperation office and served as Scientific Counsellor at the British Embassy in Chongqing – was a huge history of Chinese science, technology and medicine. A polymath and a pro-Chinese witness (he was for some years persona non grata in the USA), he was ultimately regaled with honours. In 1992 he was made a Companion of Honour; and in 1994 he received the Einstein Medal from UNESCO.

Oldham, Joseph, lunches with TSE, convenes discussion of contemporary Christianity, at the Unemployment Conference, éminence grise in Council for Life and Work, hearing improved, spearheading anti-Nazi Church movement, puts TSE up to BBC talk, sent TSE's Revelation contribution, which he prizes, organises Lambeth Council, initiates 'Moot', and the Moot, first Moot meeting, bewails mankind, anointed reader of Boutwood Lectures, founds new wartime committee, which meets, sent drafts for CNL, as editor of CNL, views diverge from those of TSE, pleased with TSE's education supplement, needs holiday, convenes education group meeting, propagates yet another religious body, his style, to meet Michael Roberts, Church, Community and State,
see also Oldhams, the

8.JosephOldham, Joseph (‘Joe’) Houldsworth Oldham (1874–1969), missionary, adviser, organiser: see Biographical Register.

Waste Land, The, once seemed like a consummation, those lines addressed to EH, the figure of 'Marie', and TSE's stay at Lausanne, where it was mostly written, TSE forced to recite at garden-party, TSE recites at Wellesley, TSE on his recording of, TSE relives 'Hyacinth girl' episode, compared to Burnt Norton, dramatised for broadcast, Bridson on 'dramatised' broadcast, referenced by Lord Halifax, TSE reads 'What the Thunder Said' before the Queen, read at Harvard,
Woolf, Virginia, the only woman TSE sees alone, characteristic letter from, her snobbery, TSE's most trusted female friend, TSE underrates, on the Eliots' Rodmell visit, as estate agent, her letters, as novelist, apparently drained by Lady Colefax, and Lytton Strachey's death, compared qua friend to OM, recounts TSE's practical jokes, her feminism, her anecdote of Bostonian snobbery, on 9 Grenville Place, TSE treasures but never reads, on TSE visiting Rodmell, EH taken to tea with, described by EH, on meeting EH, on Murder in the Cathedral, after 'long illness', represents TSE at OM's funeral, records TSE on Family Reunion, on TSE's wartime Sussex stay, on wartime dinner with TSE, her death, TSE strikes as conceited, TSE's scheduled final visit to, two journals vie for TSE's tribute to, TSE's tribute to, esteemed by Walpole, her absence at Rodmell, air-stewardess asks TSE about, A Room of One's Own, Jacob's Room, The Waves,

1.VirginiaWoolf, Virginia Woolf (1882–1941), novelist, essayist and critic: see Biographical Register.