[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
23 April 1936
St. George; also
My Darling,

I was rather hurried yesterday, had no time to write. The Wednesday committee began in the morning at 12, instead of with lunch, and I had a couple of manuscripts to read beforehand – a poor novel, andreading (TSE's)Dr Goebbels for book committee;e9 an uninteresting discourse by Dr. Goebbels:1 we resumed at 3, and went on until quarter to six, whenSwabey, Henry;a1 a young man had to be interviewed who wants to write an essay on Lancelot Andrewes;2 andEvery, George;a2 I had Bro. George Every, S.S.M., who was up in London for a conference, to dinner with me. To-day I think I have a couple of appointments in the afternoon, andHuxleys, the;a8 dine with the Huxleys. Tomorrow night I shall be at home, and for the whole weekend. Tomorrow I shall write a line to catch the Europa: this letter was to have been for the ‘Washington’; but I think I might just miss it, so I will not name any boat on the envelope.

YouGwynne, M. Brooke;a8 didn’t enclose Miss Gwynne’s letter, but that doesn’t matter; ISeaverns, Helen;a7 have fixed a date early in May to dine with Mrs. Seaverns. I9 Grenville Place, Londonadorned with photos of EH;b6 meant to say again, in my last letter, how much I enjoy having your new photograph on my mantel, to look at the last thing as I go out before lunch, and the first thing when I come home at night. And whenever I look at this or any other portrait of you, my dear, I always have one thought that is always the same: of how strange it is that in my whole lifetime there has only been one face that has ever seemed to be really beautiful.

OneRoosevelt, Franklin D.TSE on prospect of his re-election;a2 needsAmerican Presidential Election1936;a1 everything that love can give, as well as all the strength that one can acquire from spiritual faith, and also the communion of congenial minds, to endure the gloom of the political world to-day. I don’t know whether there is any real enthusiasm in America for re-electing Roosevelt, or whether, as I suspect, people merely feel that there is no strong and trustworthy alternative – I don’t see how anyone could want Hoover3 back again. Certainly, unless Roosevelt hits on a longer sighted policy for the next four years than merely borrowing money from the banks, one is apprehensive of a fearful collapse at the end. And here, IEuropethrough the 1930s;a2 think people have fallen into almost apathy, because the European situation seems so hopelessly chaotic; and affairs seem to be directed not by human beings but by some frightful ‘infernal machine’4 of a deadly fate which has the fascination of a snake – something inhuman and impersonal, though it operate partly through individuals called dictators. And a dictator may be simply a man who has let a genie out of the bottle and doesn’t know how to get it back again. He is pushed on by circumstances which are partly brought about by himself; and it is the fate of a demagogic dictator never to be able to stand still – in order to keep his place he must always be doing something more. Party government hardly exists in Britain any longer, and we may eventually have the reality of dictatorship without the name – unless there is a war first, and the results of that will be incalculable. O dear …

I cling to you and to what there is between us as one real thing in this world which is not a disappointment and cheat – however we have been disappointed and cheated in this world.

My Emilie
from her Tom

Thank you again, Love, for your letter of the 13th.

1.Perhaps Joseph Goebbels (1897–1945), Vom Kaiserhof zur Reichskanzlei: eine historische Darstellung in Tagebuchblättern … (Munich, 1936), or Göbbels erobert die Welt (Paris, 1936).

2.HenrySwabey, Henry Swabey (1916–96) was studying at Durham University and preparing to take orders in the Anglican Church: see further A. David Moody, Ezra Pound: Poet: A Portrait of the Man and his Work, II: The Epic Years 1921–1939 (Oxford, 2014), 205–7.

3.Herbert Hoover (1874–1964), engineer, businessman, Republican politician; 31st President of the USA, 1929–33. Hoover, who was ousted by F. D. Roosevelt after failing to tackle the Great Depression, failed too in his bid to be Republican nominee for the presidency in 1936.

4.TSE had just been reading a translation into English, by J. Bayard Morris, of Jean Cocteau’s La Machine infernale.

9 Grenville Place, London, compared to Courtfield Road, TSE's rent for, described for EH, delights TSE, as refuge, and Burnt Norton, tea-party for Perkinses at, TSE's practical jokes at, in winter, as repository for TSE's books, EH's sojourns at, described by Virginia Woolf, sanctified by EH's presence, offered to Jeanie, adorned with photos of EH, evokes memories of childhood homecomings, likely to be sold,
American Presidential Election, 1936, TSE favours Roosevelt, 1944, 1952, TSE's English perspective on, 1956, and American foreign policy,
Europe, and Henry James, through the 1930s, its importance for America, potentially inspired by FDR, in the event of war, seems more alive than America, the effects of war on, its post-war future, its post-war condition, the possibility of Federal Union, TSE's sense of duty towards,
Every, George, TSE's affection for, invites TSE to Kelham, consulted on TSE's BBC talk, surprises TSE in London, possible reader of Boutwood Lectures, at Kelham,

4.GeorgeEvery, George Every, SSM (1909–2003), historian and poet: see Biographical Register.

Gwynne, M. Brooke, EH puts in TSE's way, TSE teaches 'Usk' and 'Rannoch' for, hosts EH in Yorkshire, hosts her again, importunes another reading from TSE, present at RHS bequest,

4.M. BrookeGwynne, M. Brooke Gwynne, University of London Institute of Education – ‘a Training College for Graduate students’ – invited TSE on 19 Jan. to participate in their Weds.-morning seminar: ‘Emily Hale suggested that you might possibly consent to come to the Institute to talk to our students; otherwise I should have not felt justified in asking you … The teaching of poetry is the subject most hotly discussed & the subject we should like you to choose if possible.’

Huxleys, the, TSE's wish that EH meet, and Sweeney Agonistes, host tea at Albany flat, host sherry party without Aldous, tempt TSE to visit Provence,
reading (TSE's), The Road Back, Hay Fever, sermons of Revd Dr William E. Channing, Racine's Bérénice, in general, the Bible, The Witch of Edmonton again, letters of other authors, a life of Mohammed, a life of Calvin, R. S. Wilson's life of Marcion the Heretic, Living My Life, French detective stories, French novels, recent books on economics and finance, the Epistles of St. Paul, The Lady of the Lake, Letters of Charles Eliot Norton, never deeply or widely enough, The Scarab Murder Case, translation of Dante, detective stories, Letters of Mrs Gaskell and Charles Eliot Norton, second-rate detective story, disinterestedly, for leisure, Vision of God, Faith of a Moralist, Newman's sermons, Birds of the Countryside, Modern Reader's Bible, The Face of Death, René Bazin's Charles de Foucauld, Charles Petrie's Monarchy, Thurber's My Life and Hard Times, Oliver's Endless Adventure (vol. 3), Madame Sorel's memoirs, book on French policing, detective story for committee, The League of Frightened Men, The Garden Murder Case, The Luck of the Bodkins, The House in Paris, The Life of Charles Gore, Middleton Murry's Shakespeare, Dr Goebbels for book committee, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, MS of German gunman in Chicago, Shakespeare, to replenish, Middlemarch, the Gospel, City of God, St. John of the Cross, psalm or two a day, Ibsen, Twenty Best Plays of the Modern American Theatre, poems submitted to Criterion, My Name is Million, psalms, especially Psalm 130, Edmund Burke, Lives of the Poets, Virgil,
Roosevelt, Franklin D., an inspriration to radicals, TSE on prospect of his re-election, TSE's preference in 1936 election, TSE's views on, makes appeal to Hitler, and Italy's declaration of war, re-elected, 'Day of Infamy' speech, compared to Truman,
see also First New Deal
Seaverns, Helen, finally dines with TSE, teaches TSE card games, bearer of EH's Christmas present, charms TSE, hosts TSE and the Perkinses, entertained by TSE, TSE hesitates to confide in, and Perkinses dine with TSE, to tea with TSE, seeks advice from TSE on transatlantic tourism, her comforts equivalent to Mappie's, houses EH on 1939 arrival, an old spoiled child, disburdens herself over tea, laments life in Hove, removed from grandchildren,

3.HelenSeaverns, Helen Seaverns, widow of the American-born businessman and Liberal MP, Joel Herbert Seaverns: see Biographical Register.

Swabey, Henry,

2.HenrySwabey, Henry Swabey (1916–96) was studying at Durham University and preparing to take orders in the Anglican Church: see further A. David Moody, Ezra Pound: Poet: A Portrait of the Man and his Work, II: The Epic Years 1921–1939 (Oxford, 2014), 205–7.