[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
Crowhurst, Lingfield.
15 September 1935
Dearest Lady,

The afternoon post here comes in and goes out at the same time, so that my note of Friday afternoon had been posted, as you will have inferred, shortly before yours – your letter I mean – arrived. Thank you for writing at such length. The hospitality at Stamford House seems to be such, and the visitors, both expected and unexpected, so frequent, that you may be called upon at any moment, apparently, to make ready for a new guest. Thank you for the enclosures. IBenét, William Rose;a1 imagine that one Bill Benet, who I am told writes that column in the Saturday Review, was trying to pull his readers’ legs.1 Ialcoholerroneous belief about brandy;b6 have seen other reviews of Berry’s book (he is one of the firm of wine merchants in St. James’s Street) but not this one, or the book.2 What he says about brandy vintages seems misleading, as one never gets vintages to drink; brandy is always blended, like whisky, out of a number of years together. IHennessey, Jeanknown to Whibley;a1 believeWhibley, Charlesstayed in Cognac chez Hennessey;a8 that even what the Hennesseys drink themselves is a blend, because Charles Whibley used to know Jean Hennessey3 and told me of staying at Cognac with them. Mysterious Miss Eyre. AuntHinkley, Susan Heywood (TSE's aunt, née Stearns)as correspondent;b7 Susie’s note is nice enough, for her4 – I mean I felt, as I do when she writes to me, that she is trying to be nice – it’s as nice as she knows how to be: ISheffield, Ada Eliot (TSE's sister)on Aunt Susie;e2 have been told by Ada that she used to be very much more intelligent years ago, when her children were small. IHinkley, Eleanor Holmes (TSE's first cousin)theatrical success might improve;b2 wonder how Eleanor will seem, when one sees her: sometimes the people who stand still provide a good guage [sic] of the space one has covered oneself, when one sees them again. But I very much hope that the play will be a success, because I think that a little success might be very good for her, taking her out into worlds she does not know. I won’t say that I think it would be better if she came without her mother – but I wish I could think that she would prefer to come alone, and only brought her mother to give her mother pleasure.

IGough, Revd E. P.which TSE dreams of answering;a3 was all the more grateful to you for the support of your advice, just before I left, when a letter came from the Vicar of Tewksbury, repeating his plea; no conditions about subject matter etc. I shall tell him, I think, that I should be delighted in principle to have anything of mine produced there; but that I cannot undertake to write a play before July, in time for their festival, though glad to re-open the matter when I have a play written. LastMurder in the CathedralTSE on writing;a4 year meant very hard work, and I only just got the play ready in time for rehearsals; and I don’t want to have to work at that pace again. So far as my own interest is concerned, I am sure that it would not be to my advantage to turn out a play to order a year later than the last one, especially for ecclesiastical purposes. Furthermore, it does not seem to me that the conditions of production possible at Tewksbury, even with a really first rate producer would present a new play to best advantage: I had rather they did something which could get its chance elsewhere first. Do you not think so? AndEssays Ancient and Modern;a4 when I have got this volume of essays ready, and prepared papers for October–November delivery, ICollected Poems: 1909–1935additions to be written for;a2 have to prepare my poems for a new edition in the spring, and want to have a few new ones to add.

Thank you especially for the last two pages of your letter, ‘condensed’ as they had to be. (Though I don’t understand why I should be likely to ‘make a jest’ of your saying that half your difficulty is in ‘learning what life is’: however). Heaven help me if I ever adopt a ‘superior’ tone; that is a serious fault. I don’t so much mind being rather rough and knock-about in my manners.

As for pathos, I find in my own experience that people sometimes irritate me more for being pathetic. Pathos is an aspect of a great many, perhaps of all people; and one should be able to see them in that light; but I don’t regard it as fair to anyone, to see them always as pathetic – that is, to act always towards them in a special way – while one is seeing a person as pathetic one is ceasing to hold them responsible for their actions. There is an aspect in which none of us is responsible for his actions – and another in which we are all responsible for all of our actions: and our attitudes towards everyone have to shift between the two extremes in order to see them sanely. In some respects we both, I think, have begun to mature very late: perhaps it can be all the fuller maturity for that.

TheyMorleys, theTSE's September 1935 week with;f3 want me to stay here over Tuesday night – apparently that was the original scheme, but it was not made clear. But I think that I shall go back tomorrow morning nevertheless, as it is really more convenient; and as I may have said before, other people’s domestic lives become tiring to me after a short time. BesidesWoolfs, theTSE's Bloomsbury weekend with;c3, I have to go to the Woolfs from Saturday till Monday.


1.WilliamBenét, William Rose Rose Benét (1886–1950), poet and editor, was associate editor of the New York Evening Post Literary Review, 1920–4; co-founder and editor of the Saturday Review of Literature, 1924–9. His works include the Pulitzer-Prize-winning The Dust Which Is God (autobiography in verse, 1941), and The Reader’s Encyclopedia (1948).

2.Charles Walter Berry, Viniana (1934: second edn of book first published in 1929).

3.JeanHennessey, Jean Hennessey (1874–1944), French politician. The Hennessey family, of Irish descent, were proprietors of the Hennessey cognac business.

4.Not found.

alcohol, as pleasure, as temptation, as weakness, whisky as necessity, whisky as suppressant, as aid to sleep, and American Prohibition, the 'bedtime Guinness', too much sherry, whisky as medicine, at The Swan, Commercial Road, GCF's pillaged whisky, and buying cheap delicious wine, 'whisky' vs 'whiskey', erroneous belief about brandy, Guinness before Mass, asperity on port, at JDH and TSE's dinner, Château Latour 1874, Château Leoville-Poyferré 1915, fine wines at JDH's, wartime whisky, bottle of beer with wireless, 'dry sherry' and rationing,
Benét, William Rose,

1.WilliamBenét, William Rose Rose Benét (1886–1950), poet and editor, was associate editor of the New York Evening Post Literary Review, 1920–4; co-founder and editor of the Saturday Review of Literature, 1924–9. His works include the Pulitzer-Prize-winning The Dust Which Is God (autobiography in verse, 1941), and The Reader’s Encyclopedia (1948).

Collected Poems: 1909–1935, additions to be written for, Burnt Norton's signficance within, reviewed,
Essays Ancient and Modern, Pascal and Reformation essays revised for, TSE working on, reception,
Gough, Revd E. P., Tewkesbury Abbey Tower appeal, which TSE dreams of answering,

3.TheGough, Revd E. P. Revd E. P. Gough, vicar and Rural Dean of Tewkesbury Abbey.

Hennessey, Jean, known to Whibley,

3.JeanHennessey, Jean Hennessey (1874–1944), French politician. The Hennessey family, of Irish descent, were proprietors of the Hennessey cognac business.

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
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,
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,
Sheffield, Ada Eliot (TSE's sister), TSE's most likely family confidant, to host TSE on Boston return, TSE pictures his birthday-party with, Madison Street preferable to Eliot House, after seventeen years' separation, TSE begins to confide in, TSE and Henry visit together, accompanies TSE to Wellesley, counsels separation from VHE, speaks frankly with TSE about his domestic affairs, hosts post-Radcliffe Club reception, hosts the Eliot family Thanksgiving, attends second Norton lecture, hosts Wellesley English faculty and TSE, remembered in St. Louis, and TSE to discuss Yale lecture and VHE, hosts TSE for last time, informs the Hinkleys of TSE's separation, replies to EH on TSE and divorce, distinguishes her faith from TSE's, takes to Frank Morley, on the Perkinses, TSE advises on wines, on Aunt Susie, EH urged to be familial with, her struggles for independence, as sounding-board for EH's career, TSE's favourite sibling, shielded TSE from over-bearing Hinkleys, incompletely aware of TSE and EH's relationship, within the Eliot family dynamic, seems 'reserved' to EH, at Hinkley dinner, invites EH to lunch, reports improvement in EH's spirits, hosts TSE on 1936 arrival, and Marion and Theresa's Murder party, reassures TSE about Henry's ears, subscribed to CNL, her intellectual orbit, on Hastings's bust of TSE, war jeopardises TSE seeing again, apparently ill, recovering from major operation, has cancer, has second operation, ailing, in reportedly critical condition, her death contemplated, TSE's intimacy with, TSE's deathbed correspondence with, remembers TSE as boy, pursuing intellectual interests from deathbed, her place in the Eliot family, dies, in Henry's final report, EH describes her funeral, New York Times obituary, Boston Herald obituary, Sheff's memorial tribute to, TSE on her final illness, TSE's absence at death, wished for on VHE's death, invoked against EH,
see also Sheffields, the

2.AdaSheffield, Ada Eliot (TSE's sister) Eliot Sheffield (1869–1943), eldest of the seven Eliot children; author of The Social Case History: Its Construction and Content (1920) and Social Insight in Case Situations (1937): see Biographical Register.

Whibley, Charles, as friend, memorialised by TSE, his marriages, introduced TSE to GCF, disliked Lady Colefax, recalled by J. M. Barrie, introduced TSE to Pickthorn, stayed in Cognac chez Hennessey, as older male friend, his portrait remains on TSE's office wall,

7.CharlesWhibley, Charles Whibley (1859–1930), journalist and author: see Biographical Register.

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,