[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
26 January 1935
Dearest Lady Emilie

Thewinterin London;a2 last two days have been very cold, and to-day snowing and melting at once, very wet under foot, with a pretty gusty wind, which makes the trimming of umbrellas difficult. I tell you to console you for the bad weather in Rome, which ought to be drier and sunnier, though I know it can be piercingly cold in winter. I am longing to get some news contained in the missing letter: IMcPherrin, Jeanettewith EH in Rome;b7 should like to know whether Jeanie’s visit was a success, and without too much difficulty being made for you, and all sorts of other things. I wired to you yesterday, because of my rather whiney note, and I wanted you to know that I had had your letter, before you got my note. ICaetani, Marguerite (née Chapin)and EH's trip to Rome;b2 am glad that Marguerite has been nice, and hope she will continue to be; especiallyPraz, Mario;a2 as I don’t seem to know anyone else in Rome, except Professor Mario Praz, and I don’t know his English wife, and Praz himself, though a brilliant scholar, is rather common.

MyShakespeare Association CouncilTSE lectures to;a2 paper to the Shakespeare Association yesterday afternoon went off well enough, I think. They had the largest hall at Kings College, full, mostly with young people, students of the college I suppose. IShaw, George Bernarddiscusses poetic drama with TSE;a5 was a little disturbed on mounting the platform to find G. B. Shaw in the middle of the front row, and racked my brain uneasily to remember whether I had said anything uncomplimentary about him in the paper – he is the last person one would expect to turn out for such an occasion. It was allright, as my only reference to him was to say thatShaw, George Bernardwrites better prose than Noël Coward;a6 fineCoward, Noëlhis prose inferior to Shaw's;a3 prose like Mr. Shaw’s was almost as alien to the degraded contemporary stage (meaning Coward) as was Shakespeare’s verse. I had a chat with him afterwards – that is to say, it was like talking to any intelligent Irishman, they are very charming, they have a lot to say, and are not in the least interested to know what you think. Dramatically, he is most intelligent, and saw the possibilities in exploiting the mode of early Tudor and pre-Tudor drama; poetically he is hopeless, soBulwer-Lytton, Edwardoverpraised by Shaw;a1 when he began declaring that the verse of Lytton’s ‘Richelieu’1 was just as good as Shakespeare’s, I entered into meditation: besides, not being acquainted with Lytton’s ‘Richelieu’ I was not in a strong position to argue about it, though I have my convictions in advance.

TodayMurder in the CathedralTSE on writing;a4 IBrownes, the Martinpick over scenario for Murder;a2 lunched rather hastily with Mr. & Mrs. Martin Browne – whom I should like you to meet in the summer (spring). IMurder in the Cathedraltentatively, 'The Archbishop Murder Case';a5 had developed my scenario of Part I of ‘The Archbishop Murder Case’ according to his suggestions, and we discussed means of further improving it. We have got to a point at which I think I can go ahead and write in the rest of Part I; I should like to get that done in a fortnight. (WhenChurch Literature AssociationTSE reports on Book Committee to;a2 I have made my speech on Thursday at the C.L.A. meeting I shall have done with other engagements for the next six months).2 Part II is merely a Christmas sermon delivered to the audience by Becket; it is really an interlude; Part III (the murder itself) is easier to manage than Part I, and I shan’t tackle it any further until Part I is written in. IDoone, Rupertpossible Mercury Murder premiere;b3 nowBabington, Margaret A.and pre-Canterbury Murder negotiations;a1 haveCanterbury Cathedral Festival, 1935TSE flirts with premiering Murder elsewhere;a4 theMercury Theatre, Londonpossible Murder premiere at;a3 delicate task of writing to Miss Babington of Canterbury to say that I want Doone and the Mercurey [sic] Theatre to produce the complete version in May (before Canterbury’s); as Canterbury are not paying me anything, they have no legal or moral claim to the première, but knowing Miss Babington’s type, I expect trouble.3 ItDoone, Rupertand Yeats's Mercury Theatre season;a9 doesn’t make much difference to me, but it does to Doone: heYeats, William Butler ('W. B.')and abortive Mercury Theatre season;a7 wants to have a Yeats week, an Eliot week, andAuden, Wystan Hugh ('W. H.')and Yeats's Mercury Theatre plans;a6 an Auden week last, and he thinks that having a full play by me will make just the difference between setting him, and verse drama, on the map, and not. That may or may not be so; but I should like Doone to have his chance.

ITime & TideTSE's contributions prove controversial;a4 have written such a nice letter to Time & Tide about Rebecca West.4 That’s about all I have done since I wrote to you last.

I long for news. And I still hope to trace that present, if you will answer my questions.


1.EdwardBulwer-Lytton, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy (historical play, 1839).

2.TSE to Virginia Woolf, ‘Twelfth Night (Or What You Will)’, 6 Jan. 1935: ‘I have also got to make a Speech on the 30th as Secretary of the Standing Committee of the Book Committee of the Joint Council of the Book & Tract Committees of the Church Literature Association.’

3.See Letters 7, 496–7.

4.See Letters 7, 490–2 (letter written on 26 Jan., published in Time & Tide [2 Feb. 1935], 155).

Auden, Wystan Hugh ('W. H.'), and EP's 'Seafarer', TSE sends EH Poems, TSE recites 'To Gabriel Carritt', remembered by Ethel Swan, as dramatist, and Yeats's Mercury Theatre plans, Holmesian prank devised for, Doone wants for Westminster Theatre, collaborative efforts lamented by TSE, talks films at JDH's, strays from F&F, preoccupied with Byron and Barcelona, TSE on 'Letter to Lord Byron', as verse dramatist, away in Aragon for premiere, and Isherwood's plays versus Spender's, forgets to thank Keynes, TSE on his Isherwood plays, condoles TSE over Sandburg accusation, in bad odour, in America, circulating drollery on latest book-title, as pictured by TSE in America, Journey to a War (with Isherwood), Letters from Iceland (with MacNeice), New Year Letter, On the Frontier (with Isherwood), Paid on Both Sides, The Ascent of F6 (with Isherwood), The Dance of Death, The Dog Beneath the Skin (with Isherwood),

10.W. H. AudenAuden, Wystan Hugh ('W. H.') (1907–73), poet, playwright, librettist, translator, essayist, editor: see Biographical Register.

Babington, Margaret A., and pre-Canterbury Murder negotiations, officiates at Canterbury Cathedral Festival, greets TSE as of old,

1.MargaretBabington, Margaret A. A. Babington was from 1928 Hon. Steward and Treasurer, Friends of Canterbury Cathedral; Hon. Festival Manager for the Festival of Music and Drama, 15–22 June 1935. See The Canterbury Adventure: An Account of the Inception and Growth of the Friends of Canterbury Cathedral 1928–1959 (1960): Canterbury Papers no. 10. She negotiated with F&F the terms of the production of the first (abbreviated) performance of Murder in the Cathedral in the Chapter House, June 1935, and the publication of the theatre edition.

Brownes, the Martin, at TSE's theatrical tea-party, pick over scenario for Murder, TSE's fondness for, introduce TSE to Saint-Denis, both invited to Tenebrae, TSE reads Family Reunion to, and their Pilgrim Players, their sons, among TSE's intimates, encourage TSE over Cocktail Party, discuss Cocktail Party draft, Silver Wedding Party,
Bulwer-Lytton, Edward, overpraised by Shaw,

1.EdwardBulwer-Lytton, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy (historical play, 1839).

Caetani, Marguerite (née Chapin), described for EH, potential guardian for VHE, and TSE's 1933 Paris trip, saga of unsettled debts, pedigree, and EH's trip to Rome, lacks definite nationality, and TSE's abortive Italian mission,

4.MargueriteCaetani, Marguerite (née Chapin) Caetani, née Chapin (1880–1963) – Princesse di Bassiano – literary patron and editor: see Biographical Register. LéliaCaetani, Lélia Caetani (1913–77), sole daughter, was to marry Hubert Howard (1908–87), a scion of the English Catholic House of Howard, who worked to preserve the Caetani heritage at Rome and at the castle of Sermoneta.

Canterbury Cathedral Festival, 1935, approaches TSE, unremunerative, abbreviated Murder offered to, TSE flirts with premiering Murder elsewhere, but settles on Canterbury, TSE reflects on,
Church Literature Association, Archbishop requested at annual meeting of, TSE reports on Book Committee to, 'The Christian in the Modern World', Book Committee meeting, Book Committee plot against Harris, comments on 'The Church and Marriage', resignation from Book Committee intended, but illness prevents,
Coward, Noël, TSE's dislike for, compared to Shakespeare and Racine, his prose inferior to Shaw's, has two plays on, name dropped by Gilda Dahlberg, Blithe Spirit, Hay Fever, The Queen was in the Parlour,
Doone, Rupert, approaches TSE with Aristophanes commission, at TSE's theatrical Ritz tea-party, pitches the Group Theatre to TSE, discusses Sweeney Agonistes with TSE, TSE on his Sweeney, his own interpretation of Sweeney Agonistes, and Yeats's Mercury Theatre season, dismissed by Yeats, on Margot Collis, possible Mercury Murder premiere, dismayed by prose of Murder, resigns from Mercury Theatre season, resigns from Mercury Theatre season, offers Westminster Theatre production instead, craves TSE's next play, and troupe bemoaned, producing The Ascent of F6, surpasses himself with Spender, and his illustrious housekeeper,
see also Group Theatre

2.RupertDoone, Rupert Doone (1903–66), dancer, choreographer and producer, founded the Group Theatre, London, in 1932: see Biographical Register.

McPherrin, Jeanette, first mentioned, mentions 'shriners', TSE approves of, to accompany EH to Paris, and her first London visit, thanks TSE for Caetani introduction, TSE offers to rearrange studies at Cambridge, under I. A. Richards, encouraged to join EH in Rome, causes EH difficulty, joins EH in Florence, with EH in Rome, offered rare editions of Commerce, given introduction to the Maritains, whom she visits, shares TSE's Perkins concerns, sent stuffed plums, not to be mentioned at Campden, compared favourably to Margaret Thorp, disliked by Edith Perkins, EH job-seeking for, TSE confides EH's breakdown to, accompanied TSE and EH to Burford, taken to the Elsmiths, still persona non grata with the Perkinses, promised and receives East Coker, a Christian Scientist, recalls TSE's final day with Henry, hosts EH at Wellesley, now Lecturer in French at Wellesley, missed by EH, asks TSE to read at Wellesley,

2.JeanetteMcPherrin, Jeanette McPherrin (1911–92), postgraduate student at Scripps College; friend of EH: see Biographical Register.

Mercury Theatre, London, Yeats proposes season at, from the outside, possible Murder premiere at, season in financial straits, stage too small for Doone, to stage Murder revival, rehearsal at, Murder coming off at, hard to imagine Murder beyond, Dukes proposes new Mercury Theatre, Martin Browne's York Nativity Play, presents The Ascent of F6, Murder in re-rehearsal at, possible venue for Family Reunion, Dukes's La Mandragola, new Murder revival at, attempts season of miniature operas, 'initimate opera' at, its French equivalent, hosts New Plays by Poets, and 1946 Family Reunion revival, Martin Browne's proposal to stage revue at, presents Saroyan play, graced with royal visit, staging Playboy of the Western World, possible destination for Cocktail Party,
Murder in the Cathedral, idea for initially suggested by Laurence Irving, offered to Martin Browne, St. Thomas as TSE's muse, TSE on writing, tentatively, 'The Archbishop Murder Case', uncertainties over title, currently 'Fear in the Way', which proves unpopular, TSE on rewriting, title settled on, final revisions for printer, tentatively critiqued by EH, and EH on TSE as dramatist, chorus copied for EH, Virginia Woolf's aspersions on, the form of its choruses, defended from obscurity, did not test TSE's plotting, book-sales to-date, $1,000 offered for American rights, pays for 1936 American trip, Italian and Hungarian rights sold, and Whiggery, Savile Club dinner to celebrate, compared to next play, discrepancies of Canterbury Text, Martin Browne's initial response to, TSE recognised as author of, TSE on its cheerful title, EH on, abandoned Mercury Theatre premiere, suggested by Yeats and Doone, in the offing, and Doone's response to first draft, EH requested at, imperilled, text copied for Yeats, 1935 Canterbury Festival production, in rehearsal, opening night, reception, final performance, and EH's response, 1935–6 Mercury Theatre revival, Martin Browne pushing for, in rehearsal, which EH attends, compared to Canterbury original, at the box-office, its 100th performance, still running, proposed tour to end, 1936 BBC radio version, BBC bid to produce, broadcast fixed, BBC memo on, in rehearsal, TSE on, abortive 1936 New York transfer, Dukes visits America to arrange, blighted by Brace's actions, quashed by Federal Theatre production, its usurper founders, deferred to autumn, unsolicited 1936 New York production, licensed by Brace, to be directed by Rice, seemingly withdrawn, Rice resigns from, delights EH and Eleanor Hinkley, TSE sent press-cuttings for, EH reports on, TSE speculates as to textual discrepancies, attended by Eleanor Roosevelt, extended and potentially expanded, TSE to the Transcript on, may predispose immigration authorities favourably in future, royalties from, 1936 University College, Dublin student production, described by TSE, rumoured Australian and American productions, 1936 Gate Theatre touring production, TSE's long-held wish, scheduled, 1936 touring production, due at the Arts Theatre, Cambridge, as it was played in Cambridge, 1936 America pirate production, 1937 Duchess Theatre West End transfer, date fixed for, announced in Times, dress-rehearsal attended, reception, reviewed, royalties, still playing, ticket sales pick up, coming to an end, receives royal visit, 1937 touring production, scheduled post-Duchess, beginning in Leeds, then Manchester, going strong, 1937 Harvard University production, 1937 Amherst College production, singled out for praise, 1937 Old Vic production, touring production arrived at, in rehearsal, 1937 Tewkesbury Drama Festival production, 1938 American tour, projected for January 1937, said date seconded by Dukes, deferred to September 1937, confirmed again by Dukes, pre-tour dates in Golders Green, then Liverpool, opening in Boston in January, over which EH is consulted, tour itinerary, Family Reunion keeps TSE from, preparatory re-rehearsal for, pre-crossing Liverpool dates, EH's judgement desired, EH reports on first night, reviewed in The Times, EH sends New York cuttings, prematurely transferred to New York, Dukes reports on, Westminster Cathedral Hall charity performance, 1940 Latham Mercury revival, revival suggested in rep with Family Reunion, wartime modern-dress production suggested, ambushes TSE, in rehearsal, first night, reviewed, Browne's wartime Pilgrim Players' adaptation, Hoellering film, Hoellering's initial approach made, Hoellering's vision for, TSE adapting for screen, reconnoitre of Canterbury for, casting Becket, recording made for, development process described to NYT, non-actor found for Becket, screenings of Groser, set-dressing, screening, approaching release, still in the edit, final screening, and Venice Film Festival, seeking distribution, soon to premiere, opens, initial reception, circulating in shortened version, 1945 Théâtre du Vieux Colombier production, compared to Martin Browne's, royalties, apparently a hit, reviewed, reaches 150 performances, Fluchère's involvement, 1946 German production, 1947 Edinburgh Festival production, 1948 Milton Academy production, 1949 broadcast, 1949 Berlin production, politically resonant, 1952 University of Rennes, Grand Théâtre abridgment, 1952 Théatre National Populaire production, 1953 Old Vic revival, waiting on Donat, TSE on, 1954 Harvard production,
Praz, Mario,

7.MarioPraz, Mario Praz (1896–1982), scholar and critic of English literature; author of La carne, la morte e il diavolo nella letteratura romantica (1930; The Romantic Agony, 1933). Educated in Bologna, Rome and Florence, he came to England in 1923 to study for the title of libero docente. He was Senior Lecturer in Italian, Liverpool University, 1924–32; Professor of Italian Studies, Victoria University of Manchester, 1932–4; and Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Rome, 1934–66. Other works include Il giardino dei sensi (1975); ‘Dante in Inghilterra’, La Cultura, Jan. 1930, 65–6; ‘T. S. Eliot e Dante’, Letteratura 15 (July 1937), 12–28; ‘T. S. Eliot and Dante’, Southern Review 3 (Winter 1937), 525–48; The Flaming Heart (1958). Praz translated ‘Triumphal March’, in Solaria, Dec. 1930; repr. in Circoli (Genoa) 3: 6 (Nov./Dec. 1933), 54–7; The Waste Land, as ‘La Terra Desolata’, Circoli 2: 4 (July/Aug. 1932), 27–57; and ‘Fragment of an Agon’, as ‘Frammento di un agone’, Letteratura 1: 2 (Apr. 1937), 97–102. In 1952 he was awarded an honorary KBE.

Shakespeare Association Council, meeting of, TSE lectures to,
Shaw, George Bernard, and Shaw–Terry correspondence, TSE invited to lunch with, TSE on, chirologist compares TSE to, discusses poetic drama with TSE, writes better prose than Noël Coward, EH comments on, repudiates TSE's defence of EP, TSE against memorial tribute to, Heartbreak House, Methusaleh, Pygmalion, The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles,
Time & Tide, pays well, TSE's contributions prove controversial, EH objects to TSE's tone in,
winter, from Woburn Square window, in London, of fog and smoke, heavy snow, coldest in memory, skating on Serpentine possible, at Shamley, of 1947,
Yeats, William Butler ('W. B.'), known to TSE from 1916, at OM's tea-party, TSE to lunch with, TSE lectures on, gets away with more 'poetic' prose, discusses theatre companies, and abortive Mercury Theatre season, on Sweeney Agonistes, on Rupert Doone, TSE loyal to despite Doone, who records antipathy between TSE and, Murder copied out for, meeting up with TSE, and TSE discuss 'modern' poetry, presses Dorothy Wellesley on TSE, defended at UCD, qua writer of prose, in TSE's view, yet to master dramatic verse, TSE wonders how to mourn, stimulates East Coker, and 'Yeats', TSE unveils Woburn Walk plaque, At the Hawk's Well, Purgatory, Resurrection,

4.W. B. YeatsYeats, William Butler ('W. B.') (1865–1939), Irish poet and playwright: see Biographical Register.