[Grace Toll Hall, Scripps College, Claremont]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
21 April 1934
Dearest Lady Emilie,

Not very much seems to have happened to be worth recording, but this is the first opportunity I have had of writing since a week ago. TheRock, Theon the point of completion;c3 chief reason is that after finishing up the pageant text under some pressure, I'Religion and Literature';a2 had to turn to and write my address for Demant’s series of talks at his church in Richmond, which I gave on Tuesday evening. ThenWoolfs, theKeynes and TSE dine with;b8 onKeynes, John Maynardimpressed by After Strange Gods;a2 Wednesday I had to dine at the Woolfs’ with Maynard Keynes, who, unexpectedly enough, has been rather impressed by ‘After Strange Gods’. I think my talk at Richmond (‘Religion and Literature’) went off well enough, but of course a small suburban audience is not the most inspiring; and at the moment I did not feel that I had anything especially new to say on the subject. WhatWinnington-Ingram, Arthur Foley, Bishop of Londonbut passes The Rock;a2 is more interesting is that the Lord Chamberlain’s Office (the censorship for plays)1 and the Bishop of London have passed my pageant text, which is a great relief, as now I know that I shall not have to write anything more for it except one little sermon. I am looking forward (though with some apprehensions) to hearing some rehearsals of the various parts, before long. OnCulpin, Johanna ('Aunt Johanna', née Staengel)'tiring';a5 Thursday I had to have supper with old Jan Culpin, who, like some old ladies, is tiring and rather exacting. And last night (Friday) I was again so tired that I was fit for nothing except to go to bed as early as possible. OhMorleys, the;c3 yes, I spent the weekend with the Morleys. GeoffreyTandy, Geoffreyat Pike's Farm;a1 Tandy2 came down too, and on the way down we speculated as to what varieties of manual labour Frank would give us. FrankMorley, Frank Vigoras châtelain;b7 is so passionately interested in his labours on his estate that he wants to be at it all the weekend – he is the sort who need a good deal of physical exercise – and in consequence his guests (male guests I mean) find themselves engaged in the same operations. On Saturday afternoon I found myself whitewashing the interior of a chicken-coop, while Tandy acted as bricklayer’s mate, preparing mortar for an entrance-gate that Frank is building, and a brick wall against which he proposes to grow fruit trees. On Sunday afternoon I mowed the lawn, and on both days pumped the gas, while Tandy was engaged in operations on a new punt which they have bought for the pond. This is all very pleasant; the only out is that Frank does not need so much sleep as I and some other people seem to, and we get to bed rather late. IMorleys, thereading Dickens aloud to;b1 haveDickens, Charlesread aloud to the Morleys;a2 nearlyDickens, CharlesThe Pickwick Papers;b1 finished reading Pickwick Papers to them aloud.

Now I feel in the doldrums for the moment, and uncommon lazy, not being under pressure to get anything in particular done. I wonder if you have got to do another play with the girls in the summer term, and how exhausted you will be before you say farewell to Claremont. I fidget, of course, for more precise news of your future plans for this summer and winter. Just as a year and a half and more ago, I find it hard really to believe that I shall actually see you again.

Toujours ton dévoué

1.TheRock, TheLord Chamberlain's Office pronounces on;c5n Rock was licensed for public performance at Sadler’s Wells by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, 12 Apr. 1934 (BL LCP 1934/12958). The reader was G. S. Street:

There are a multitude of scenes in this “pageant play” but they succeed one another without pause. A serious study of it would take a day’s hard reading, not that it is obscure – as I find much of the author’s other poetry – but because the incidents and characters and the ideas expressed by them are so numerous. It is partly in verse and partly in prose dialogue: in the case of the modern workmen introduced slangy and topical. It goes to and fro in time and I think T. S. Eliot has attempted to cram too much into it. The scene is an open space, we learn from inference on the banks of the Thames. A male and female chorus begin and resume at intervals: it expresses the poet’s point of view, I suppose. Then “The Rock” comes on. It is not until the end of the pageant that The Rock is identified with St Peter. He speaks of man’s labours. We then have some modern workmen who are building a church. Rahere, who built St Bartholomew, appears to them and his workmen lend a hand. I think that not to weary the Lord Chamberlain I had better from this point merely give a list of the personages who appear: he will readily imagine the ideas and arguments for which they stand. A Modern Agitator. The Jews rebuilding Jerusalem. A crowd incited by the Agitator against the workmen. The Danish invasion. Shock Troops and Black Shirts. A Plutocrat with a long speech to them. The Rock again. Part II The Chorus and The Rock. Bishop Blomfield. Young men setting out in Richard’s Crusade, with a Latin service for them and investment with their Crosses. An argument between modern people about art and religion. Very long sermons by a Reformation preacher, ending in a Priest’s going to be burnt. The Rock, or St Peter, again. A ballet of Dick Whittington and his Cat(!) Pepys, Evelyn and Wren conversing after dinner and Mr Eliot positively gets in the Chesterton [and E. C. (‘Clerihew’) Bentley] joke about Wren. St Peter again and a benediction by the Bishop – of London?

TheRock, Theits anti-fascism;c6n author’s religious view and the auspices of the Bishop of London guarantee the reverence of the religious portions of the pageant, nor would anyone object to the lighter passages. I think Mr Eliot goes out of his way to exaggerate the views of “The Blackshirts”, if he means the followers of Sir Oswald Mosley and this introduction of political animus seems a great pity. I should be inclined at least to suggest to the author the excision of these passages. See I, 34. There is a conversational bloody (I, 4) but I should not interfere with that. Recommended for Licence.

The Lord Chamberlain, the Earl of Cromer, comments at the foot: ‘This is a curious play to receive the blessing of the Bishop of London, but as it seems to be the case I hardly think any interference necessary.’

2.GeoffreyTandy, Geoffrey Tandy (1900–69), marine biologist; Assistant Keeper of Botany at the Natural History Museum, London, 1926–47; did broadcast readings for the BBC (including the first reading of TSE’s Practical Cats on Christmas Day 1937): see Biographical Register.

Culpin, Johanna ('Aunt Johanna', née Staengel), described, TSE's South Kensington neighbour, weekly chess opponent, 'tiring', reports Nazi horrors, her German refugees, whom TSE helps, quarrels with VHE, leaving for Germany, departure toasted with champagne, returned from Germany, taken to Murder, and TSE watch Show Boat, returns again to Germany, taken to the movies, and company taken to Escargot,
Dickens, Charles, his description of Rochester, read aloud to the Morleys, Miss Plunkett's dependence on, Ellis Roberts and Mr Chadband, TSE and Mrs Jellyby, Mrs Nickelby and Mrs Nef, Bleak House, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Nicholas Nickleby, The Pickwick Papers,
Keynes, John Maynard, rubbishes Marx, impressed by After Strange Gods, wishes to produce TSE's play, and Leonard Woolf discuss Abyssinia, in TSE's opinion, Auden and Isherwood neglect to thank, TSE's NEW memorial to, The Economic Consequences of the Peace,
see also Keyneses, the

4.JohnKeynes, John Maynard Maynard Keynes (1883–1946), economist; editor; patron of the arts; government adviser: see Biographical Register.

Morley, Frank Vigor, TSE on sharing an office with, Criterion monthly meeting regular, returns from New York, indispensable in proofing Selected Essays, Criterion lunch in company with, joins farewell lunch for Hodgson, offers TSE post-separation refuge, acts for TSE during separation, spirits TSE away to Surrey, on TSE at Pike's Farm, as châtelain, acting as TSE's courier, on TSE's relationship to children, music-hall evening with, suggests tour of Scotland, which he plans out, suggests trip to Paris, thanks Joyce for hospitality, on TSE's 1933 tour of Scotland, negotiating for Ulysses, his absence means more work, treasured and missed, gets on famously with Ada, mercifully returned to F&F, produces birthday-cake, peacekeeper between Rowse and Smyth, in on Sherlock Holmes prank, encourages TSE to go to Finland, on TSE's 1935 tour of Scotland, and TSE drink GCF's whisky, takes TSE to Wimbledon, monopolises typewriter for joint story, as tennis-player, overawes GCF, TSE and EH's elected emergency go-between, good with thrusting young authors, backs publication of Nightwood, helps deal with Joyce, naturally projects strength, his French, escapes Criterion gathering to catch last train home, unusually subdued among the French, submits his Johnson Society paper, depends on TSE, on TSE's 1937 tour of Scotland, which Morley describes, two nights' sleep in a caravan with, potential reader for Family Reunion, his father dies, Spender discussed with, sends TSE corrected Anabasis, heads for New York and Baltimore, his energy, returns from America, visiting dying mother, shoulders burden of EP, insufficiently honours EP, Boutwood Lectures submitted to, accepts Harcourt Brace position, what his leaving F&F will mean, taken to tea with Woolfs, remembers EH taking priority, first wartime letter from, which reports on TSE's family, sounds depressed in America, sounds less depressed to GCF, among TSE's closest friends, his conversation missed, on Christian Society's American reception, suspected of indiscretion, EH explains 'Defence of the Islands' to, indifferent to Cats, entrusted with emergency Dry Salvages, America's effect on, gives Henry MS of 'Yeats', suggests 'Night Music' over 'Kensington Quartets', Ada too ill to see, his use of 'poised', puts TSE up in New York, on TSE's 1947 New York stay, presently unemployed, but inherits Graham Greene's job,
see also Morleys, the

4.FrankMorley, Frank Vigor Vigor Morley (1899–1980), American publisher and author; a founding editor of F&F, 1929–39: see Biographical Register.

Morleys, the, join the Eliots in Eastbourne, TSE fears overburdening, go on holiday to Norway, more TSE's friend than VHE's, return from Norway, life at Pike's Farm among, reading Dickens aloud to, their Thanksgiving parties, suitable companions to Varsity Cricket Match, and TSE to Laughton's Macbeth, TSE's June 1934 fortnight with, and certain 'bathers' photographs', and TSE play 'GO', attend Richard II with EH, TSE's New Years celebrated with, take TSE to Evelyn Prentice and Laurel & Hardy, TSE's return from Wales with, TSE's September 1935 week with, leave for New York, one of two regular ports-of-call, see EH in Boston, safely returned from New York, TSE reads Dr Johnson to, compared to the Tandys, add to their menagerie, reiterate gratitude for EH's peppermints, in Paris with TSE, give TSE copy of Don Quixote, and Fabers take TSE to pantomime, and TSE's Salzburg expedition, join Dorothy Pound dinner, visit Hamburg, have Labrador puppies, dinner at Much Hadham for, TSE to see them off at Kings Cross, seem unhappy in America, Thanksgiving without, in New Canaan, return to Lingfield, remember TSE's birthday, difficulties of renewing friendship with,
'Religion and Literature',
Rock, The, TSE invited to write, outlined to the Martin Brownes, as TSE's theatrical apprenticeship, outlined for EH, TSE's motivation in undertaking, four choruses drafted, from which TSE quotes approvingly, TSE busy on the prose, its political, anti-Blackshirt scene, and its censors, its 'bastard' cockney, 'Rahere' scene sent to EH, its production, difficulties of composition, and Patricia Shaw-Page's 'prologue', awaiting final chorus, on the point of completion, cockney dialogue revised, Lord Chamberlain's Office pronounces on, its anti-fascism, in rehearsal, the dress-rehearsal, opening night and reception, cuts pondered, Tandy on cuts to, approaching finale, reception, two connected supper-parties, its choruses, Cornish schoolgirl recites chorus from, quoted by EH, EH on,
Tandy, Geoffrey, at Pike's Farm, on cuts to The Rock, playing on slot-machine with TSE, described for EH, plays golf with TSE, at Dobrée's farewell lunch, his film of TSE, on Speaight's Becket, in poor spirits, part of Criterion inner circle, gives Christmas Eve BBC address, Metaphysical readings prepared for, brings TSE sherry in bed, accompanies TSE to Cambridge and Wisbech, TSE's stylistic influence discerned in, and the original 'Cats' broadcast, repeats 'Cats' broadcast, away on war business, his conversation missed, his war work,
see also Tandys, the

2.GeoffreyTandy, Geoffrey Tandy (1900–69), marine biologist; Assistant Keeper of Botany at the Natural History Museum, London, 1926–47; did broadcast readings for the BBC (including the first reading of TSE’s Practical Cats on Christmas Day 1937): see Biographical Register.

Winnington-Ingram, Arthur Foley, Bishop of London, a dreaded censor, but passes The Rock,
Woolfs, the, at Clive Bell's for lunch, TSE's dearest London friends, company compared to that of Christians, host TSE and Elizabeth Bowen to tea, Rodmell described, closer to TSE than to VHE, visited on TSE's 1933 return, refreshingly childless, amazed by TSE's appearance, and Tomlin dine with TSE, Keynes and TSE dine with, TSE's Bloomsbury weekend with, described in their Tavistock Square domain, have TSE for tea, TSE dines with, and TSE argue about honours, compared to the de la Mares, host TSE for weekend, abandon London for Sussex, where they invite TSE, TSE's Sussex stay with, on their return from Sussex, host TSE, give dinner without mentioning war, TSE plans to visit in Sussex, 52 Tavistock Square bombed,