[41 Brimmer St., Boston]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
17 May 1932
Dear Lady,

I hope that my last letter did not sound priggish. It was not meant so.

Tuesday morning, after three days in bed, for the most part a welcome torpor and isolation, but not of positive enough value to be worth continuing beyond the holiday. (Only one bank-holiday before I leave). I did no work and but very little reading. ICriterion, TheJuly 1932;c3'Commentary';a1 must try to do my June Commentary in the next few days. AsCharles Eliot Norton Lectures (afterwards The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism)stimulated by Mirsky;a4 for the public lectures, ICharles Eliot Norton Lectures (afterwards The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism)stimulated by Mirsky;a4 have been thinking of a subject (not a title): the conditions of poetic creation and enjoyment. Withpoetryas social construct;a3 the social changes which take place in our time, and with the thought of social change so much in the air – I mean that society no longer consists in a small number of ‘revolutionaries’ and a mass of people who take for granted that nothing can or will change; now the ordinary feeling is ‘what next’ and people differ chiefly in their views of what and the how of change – nowadays a sort of social-economic view of art and literature is more and more held. People see literature more as varying according to the social constitution of the society in which it is written; and are consequently inclined to see it as nothing more – and there seems to me to be a serious danger in that. Society, they think, alters according to laws, and moves towards a definite end; art, literature, religion even, belong not only in their forms but in their essence, to particular phases; and perhaps in the perfectly organised society there will be no place for literature at all. MyMirsky, Dmitri S.stimulates TSE's Norton Lectures;a4 ownMirsky, Dmitri S.'The End of Bourgeois Poetry';a6 vague notions have been stimulated by Mirsky’s ‘Fin de la poésie bourgeoise’; and, as you perceive, are still very vague. But without going too far into sociology, I might illustrate the function of poetry at several past times, and then try to assign it a function for the present or for any time – emphasising what seems to me the permanent things which make poetry more than merely the expression of a particular stage of society. In short, is it perhaps only in a more superficial, though neglected aspect, that poetry can ever be classified, as ‘aristocratic’, ‘bourgeois’ or [‘]proletarian’?

IHinkley, Susan Heywood (TSE's aunt, née Stearns)delighted at Dear Jane's acceptance;a5 had aHinkley, Eleanor Holmes (TSE's first cousin)Dear Jane;g5to be produced in New York;a1 very jubilant letter from Aunt Susie about Eleanor’s having ‘Dear Jane’ accepted in New York – IHinkley, Eleanor Holmes (TSE's first cousin)Charlotte Brontë play;g4compared to Dear Jane;a3 am very glad, as I feel that there is less chance for the Bronte play.1 They say nothing about their plans for this summer. PenelopeNoyes, Penelope Barkerin London, browner and thinner;a8 came in to tea yesterday with V. and came and saw me in bed for a few moments – looking very brown and very much thinner than two years ago – INoyes, James Atkins;a2 hope to see them again soon and I shall ask Pa to lunch – you were not mentioned. IEliot, Vivien (TSE's first wife, née Haigh-Wood)and TSE's departure for America;e9aggrieved at being left;a7 wondered what V. said to her about the American voyage – the fact that I will not take her is rather a grievance, I fear – in explanations to outsiders I emphasise the extra expense and the necessity for me to make money; the fatigue for her comes second; then my inability to look after her and do all that I shall have to do.

IThorp, Willard;a8 hadBeachcroft, Thomas Owen ('T. O.');a1 Willard Thorp to lunch with Tom Beachcroft2 to-day; I thought that they might find something in common in an interest in seventeenth literature; but I did not feel that it went very well. Perhaps they are both too shy; anyway, they both directed their remarks towards me rather than towards each other.

I wonder if I am to have my letter on Wednesday again this week.

toujours dévoué

1.DearHinkley, Eleanor Holmes (TSE's first cousin)Dear Jane;g5to be produced in New York;a1 Jane, a comedy in three acts about Jane Austen, written in 1919, was to be produced by Eva Le Gallienne at the Civic Repertory Theatre, New York, for eleven days from 14 Nov. 1932. See Arthur Ruhl, ‘“Dear Jane”: Civic Repertory Theatre Offers Play about Jane Austen’, New York Herald Tribune, 15 Nov. 1932; ‘Miss Hinkley: Local Playwright’, Boston Globe, 26 Jan. 1971, 37; Russell Clark and William Phillips, ‘Eleanor Holmes Hinkley’s “Lost” Play, Dear Jane: Jane Austen in the Theatre’, Sensibilities 45 (2012), 91–109.

2.T. O. BeachcroftBeachcroft, Thomas Owen ('T. O.') (1902–88), author and critic. A graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, he joined the BBC in 1924 but then worked for Unilevers Advertising Service until 1941. He was Chief Overseas Publicity Officer, BBC, 1941–61; General Editor of the British Council series ‘Writers and Their Work’, 1949–54. His writings include Collected Stories (1946).

Beachcroft, Thomas Owen ('T. O.'), last to leave Criterion gathering, accompanies TSE to Cranmer,

2.T. O. BeachcroftBeachcroft, Thomas Owen ('T. O.') (1902–88), author and critic. A graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, he joined the BBC in 1924 but then worked for Unilevers Advertising Service until 1941. He was Chief Overseas Publicity Officer, BBC, 1941–61; General Editor of the British Council series ‘Writers and Their Work’, 1949–54. His writings include Collected Stories (1946).

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',
Eliot, Vivien (TSE's first wife, née Haigh-Wood), takes a liking to EH, EH urged not to blame, relations with Charles Buckle, unbearable to holiday with, takes to Margaret Thorp, accompanies TSE to Poetry Bookshop, and 57 Chester Terrace, on TSE's religion, TSE declines invitations excluding, her driving, hosts various writers to tea, considers flat in Gordon Square, arranges large tea-party, as theatregoer, declares desire to make confession, taken to Eastbourne, recalls the Eliots' visit to Rodmell, Alida Monro reports on, in Alida Monro's opinion, falls out with Lucy Thayer, meets TSE for last time at solicitors, seeks TSE's whereabouts, haunts TSE in London, such that he forgoes the theatre, news of, inquires after Man Ray portrait, harries F&F office, on Mosley Albert Hall rally, dies, her funeral, Requiem Mass for, Theresa remembers, marriage to, TSE on entering into, alleged affair with Bertrand Russell, sexual relations, its morbidity, TSE on his own incapacity, its torments providential on reflection, in OM's opinion, its lessons, humiliating, TSE's father's reaction, unrecognised by TSE, to outsiders, TSE reflects on, painful yet stimulating, as an act of self-rupture, drug habits, sleeping draughts, in TSE's absence, 1926 bromidia delusions, mental state, childlike, benefits from active social life, compared to EH's mother's, at the Malmaison sanatorium, and dining in public, TSE's influence on, post-separation, the prospect of institutionalising, prompts institutionalisation crisis-meeting, and TSE's departure for America, against TSE going, adjusting to the prospect, might coordinate with a return to Malmaison, in denial as to, threatens to come, from which TSE tries to dissuade her, aggrieved at being left, possible arrangements in TSE's absence, still in denial as to, TSE dreads scene of departure, possibly beneficial to VHE, TSE describes the moment of departure, separation from, TSE, for and against, out of the question, obstructed by self-deception and responsibility, reasons for not having happened, Dr Miller's opinion on, contemplated, plotted, would necessitate TSE's sequestration, TSE encouraged in his determination, Alida Monro independently suggests, communication with solicitors on, TSE describes going through with, VHE's response before and after meeting at solicitors, impasse over financial settlement, which VHE misrepresents to friends, VHE in denial over, separation deed drawn up, which is yet unsigned, delayed by death of lawyer, general impasse, financial settlement put into force, complicated by VHE renewing lease on flat, efforts to retrieve TSE's property, which is eventually recovered, financial consequences, the possibility of divorcing, TSE's objections to, against what TSE symbolises, likened to Newman's conversion, in common and canon law, in Ada's opinion, how TSE's attitude might seem, would involve permanent division from Church, inimical to future TSE's happiness, her death, and Theresa on TSE remarrying, TSE's shifting response to, formerly wished for, EH reflects on,
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.

Hinkley, Susan Heywood (TSE's aunt, née Stearns), reports on I. A. Richards, writes to TSE about Hugh Walpole, delighted at Dear Jane's acceptance, retails TSE with ex-son-in-law's adulteries, possibly more perceptive than Eleanor, Eleanor's success might improve, at the second Norton lecture, TSE's occasional poem for, sympathises with TSE over separation, shares family drama with TSE, as correspondent, impediment to intimacy with Eleanor, eventually repelled Ada, reports daughter's reaction to Murder, writes innocently boastful letter, indifferent to war, writes in daughter's stead, in Ada's memory, overbearing mother, 'wambling', dependent on Eleanor,
see also Hinkleys, the
Mirsky, Dmitri S., TSE praises for article on TSE, which TSE responds to, compared qua Marxist to Rowse, stimulates TSE's Norton Lectures, his farewell lunch, 'The End of Bourgeois Poetry',

4.DmitriMirsky, Dmitri S. S. Mirsky (1890–1939), son of Prince P. D. Svyatopolk-Mirsky, army officer and civil servant. Educated at the University of St Petersburg, where he read Oriental Languages and Classics, he served as an army officer and was wounded during WW1 while fighting on the German front; later he served in the White Army. In 1921, he was appointed Lecturer in Russian at the School of Slavonic Studies, London (under Sir Bernard Pares), where his cultivation and command of languages brought him to the attention of a wide literary circle. His works include Contemporary Russian Literature (2 vols, 1926) and A History of Russian Literature from the Earliest Times to the Death of Dostoevsky, 1881 (1927). In 1931 he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (see ‘Why I became a Marxist’, Daily Worker, 30 June 1931), and in 1932 returned to Russia where he worked as a Soviet literary critic (and met Edmund Wilson and Malcolm Muggeridge). In 1937 he was arrested in the Stalinist purge, found guilty of ‘suspected espionage’, and sentenced to eight years of correctional labour: he died in a labour camp in Siberia. See G. S. Smith, D. S. Mirsky: A Russian–English Life, 1980–1939 (2000). Mirsky later did TSE this crude disservice: ‘The classicists led by T. S. Eliot, came forward as conscious supporters of the re-establishment of classical discipline, of a hierarchy, and as open enemies of democracy and liberalism – in short, as the organized vanguard of theoreticians of a capitalist class going fascist’ (The Intelligentsia of Great Britain, trans. Alec Brown [1935], 123).

Noyes, James Atkins, ailing, his condition,
see also Noyeses, the

6.JamesNoyes, James Atkins Atkins Noyes (1857–1945), mutual acquaintance in Cambridge, Mass., pursued library and genealogical work, 1895–1905; a great clubman. Father of EH’s friend Penelope Noyes.

Noyes, Penelope Barker, shows TSE familiar snapshot of EH, present when TSE fell for EH, in London, browner and thinner, intellectually inferior to Margaret Thorp, mentions EH to TSE, and the Folk Lore Society, at first Norton lecture, reports favourably of Dear Jane, TSE on, laments TSE's returning to VHE, hosts Eleanor, TSE and most boring woman ever, VHE cables for TSE's whereabouts, offers EH employment, EH's Cataumet summer holiday with, hosts party, potential host for Murder cast, sartorially speaking, and her father, EH visits, sails for England, distorted by wealth, TSE's dinner at the Connaught with,
see also Noyeses, the

12.PenelopeNoyes, Penelope Barker Barker Noyes (1891–1977), who was descended from settlers of the Plymouth Colony, lived in a historic colonial house (built in 1894 for her father James Atkins Noyes) at 1 Highland Street, Cambridge, MA. Unitarian. She was a close friend of EH.

poetry, the danger of illustrating, versus the law, as career path, as social construct, as against didacticism, as redefined by Sweeney Agonistes, TSE on his oeurvre, TSE's own reasons for writing, TSE doubts his own, TSE's unrecorded epigram on, TSE on his own, and the importance of models, relieves TSE's longing for EH, nonsense poetry, versus drama, and TSE's new drawing-desk, and theatre-going audiences, and the dissimulation of feeling, TSE on writing after long intermission, jealousy among poets, and personal experience, TSE's defended from EH's charge of 'futility', and emotion, and marriage to VHE, and varieties of audience,
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.