[240 Crescent St., Northampton, Mass.]

T. S.Eliot
The Criterion
4 December 1936

TheEdward VIIIand the Abdication Crisis;a3 events of the last few days have of course been extremely distressing and still keep one in a state of tension.1 This is the first evening that I have had for a week to sit down at home to write to you, and I had been looking forward to it for a long and personal letter; but it is hard at the moment to take one’s mind off public affairs – though this ‘public affair’ be also a private affair, and our private affairs are in a long view public affairs – and enter into our privacy for which I have been waiting since the end of last week. What with personal and public affairs I am so dazed that I can’t now remember on what day I wrote to You last. I should have to consult my office diary. ITatlow, Canon Tissingtonobliged with poetry reading;a1 remember that on Sunday I went to the City to meet Canon Tissington Tatlow’s London University undergraduates. OnWilliamses, theTSE dines with;a1Williams, OrloWilliamses, theWilliams, Alice Isabella (née Pollock)Williamses, the Monday (when the Crystal Palace burned down)2 I dined with Mr. and Mrs. Orlo Williams. OnHayward, Johnand TSE's Old Buffers' Dinner;f7 TuesdayFaber, GeoffreyOld Buffer's Dinner for;e8 IMeiklejohn, Sir RoderickOld Buffer's Dinner for;a1 dined with Hayward the Old Buffers’ Party, onCulpin, Johanna ('Aunt Johanna', née Staengel)and company taken to Escargot;c6 Wednesday IVassar College;a5 took Jan Culpin and her son and her friend Miss Campbell of Vassar to dine at the Escargot Bienvenu, lastWoolfs, theTSE dines with;c9 night (Thursday) I dined with the Woolfs: and the Bremen sails tomorrow. Next week will be almost as full. So I am compromising with myself (very unsatisfactorily) by sending this note tonight to catch the Bremen, and then sitting down to write another to catch the Queen Mary three days later. The enclosures will perhaps have only an antique interest by the time you receive them. We had been waiting for this to ‘break’ for a good many months: but we did not expect the explosion to come quite so soon. In a way, it is a relief from the suspense: and more largely it is a kind of mise au point of a bigger issue. The newspaper attitudes are interesting: the Liberal press seeks a compromise, having no moral standards; the Yellow press is ready to accept anything. TheAstor, Nancy, Viscountessand the Abdication Crisis;a3 TimesDawson, Christopherwrites Times's Abdication Crisis editorial;a5 has been so far pretty sound, and it is interesting to hear (by private and unsupported information) that Nancy Astor has been backing Dawson’s editorials. I shall post this as it is, and try to write to You tomorrow morning by the next boat. At the moment I am feeling very distracted. IBlunt, Alfred, Bishop of Bradfordon the Abdication Crisis;a1 think that the Bishop of Bradford went a little too far, but I believe that he had no intention of doing more than speak of religious observance.3 He may even not have known of the other matter.

Your devoted

1.The impending abdication of King Edward VIII, which was to occur on 11 Dec. On 12 Dec., his younger brother the Duke of York was to be proclaimed George VI (1895–1952).

2.The vast structure of the Crystal Palace – originally designed by Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition of 1851 and subsequently refashioned for a site at Penge Common on Sydenham Hill in south London – burned to the ground on the night of 30 Nov. 1936.

3.AlfredBlunt, Alfred, Bishop of Bradfordon the Abdication Crisis;a1 Blunt (1879–1957), Bishop of Bradford, 1931–55, had addressed his diocesan conference on 1 Dec.:

On this occasion the King holds an avowedly representative position. His personal views and opinions are his own, and as an individual he has the right of us all to be the keeper of his own private conscience. But in his public capacity at his Coronation, he stands for the English people’s idea of kingship. It has for long centuries been, and I hope still is, an essential part of that idea that the King needs the grace of God for his office. In the Coronation ceremony the nation definitely acknowledges that need. Whatever it may mean, much or little, to the individual who is crowned, to the people as a whole it means the dedication of the English monarchy to the care of God, in whose rule and governance are the hearts of kings.

Thus, in the second place, not only as important as but far more important than the King’s personal feelings are to his Coronation, is the feeling with which we – the people of England – view it. Our part of the ceremony is to fill it with reality, by the sincerity of our belief in the power of God to over-rule for good our national history, and by the sincerity with which we commend the King and nation to his Providence […]

[O]n the faith, prayer, and self-dedication of the King himself, and on that it would be improper for me to say anything except to commend him to God’s grace, which he will so abundantly need, as we all need it – for the King is a man like ourselves – if he is to do his duty faithfully. We hope that he is aware of his need. Some of us wish that he gave more positive signs of such awareness.

The Bishop’s words were relayed to the world by the Press Association.

Astor, Nancy, Viscountess, invites TSE to Bernard Shaw lunch, reputedly pro-German, and the Abdication Crisis,
Blunt, Alfred, Bishop of Bradford, on the Abdication Crisis,
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,
Dawson, Christopher, co-orchestrates BBC religious talks, signatory to Credit Reform letter, encouraged to expand Christianity and Sex, writes Times's Abdication Crisis editorial, anointed reader of Boutwood Lectures, promised article for Dublin Review, in Oxford, where he hosts TSE,

2.ChristopherDawson, Christopher Dawson (1889–1970), cultural historian: see Biographical Register.

Edward VIII, mysteriously unmarried, apparently partial to NEW, and the Abdication Crisis,
Faber, Geoffrey, made TSE's literary executor, described for EH, as friend, overawed by Joyce, recounts the Eliots' dinner-party, discusses international situation with TSE, his annual effort to diet, introduced to TSE by Whibley, favours TSE taking Norton Professorship, suggests garden-party for TSE, mislays key to Hale correspondence, writes to TSE about separation, which he helps TSE over, blesses Scotland tour with whisky, victim of Holmesian prank, favours 'The Archbishop Murder Case', Times articles on Newman, Russell Square proclaims his gentlemanly standards, forgives TSE and Morley's prank, as tennis-player, champion of Haig biography, social insecurities, and the Faber family fortune, advertises 'Pollicle Dogs and Jellicle Cats', at lavish lunch for Dukes, relieved that 'Work in Progress' progresses, and JDH, needs persuading over Nightwood, on Edward VIII's abdication, Old Buffer's Dinner for, wins at Monopoly, and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, thrilled by complimentary tickets, The Family Reunion described to, in line to read Family Reunion, has mumps, composes Alcaics from sickbed, at TSE and JDH's dinner, shares EH's Family Reunion criticism, on TSE's dinner-party bearing, discusses F&F's wartime plans, on meeting Ralph Hodgson, asks TSE to stay on during war, takes TSE to Oxford, argues with Major-General Swinton, and Purchase Tax exertions, and Literary Society membership, TSE's wartime intimacy with, drops teeth on beach, offers criticisms of 'Rudyard Kipling', falsely promised Literary Society membership, but eventually elected, helps revise TSE's Classical Association address, reports to Conversative Education Committee, deputed to America on publishing business, returned from America, Ada too ill to see, discusses National Service on BBC, depended on for breakfast, as fire-watching companion, and TSE rearrange attic at 23 Russell Square, recommends blind masseuse to TSE, in nursing home, and the Spender–Campbell spat, on TSE's Order of Merit, approached for essay on TSE, seeks to protect TSE's serenity, as Captain Kidd, wins fancy-dress prize, TSE's trip to Spain with, and National Book League, receives knighthood, on TSE's paroxysmal tachycardia, dies, his death,
see also Fabers, the

11.GeoffreyFaber, Geoffrey Faber (1889–1961), publisher and poet: see Biographical Register.

Hayward, John, in TSE's thumbnail description, his condition and character, what TSE represents to, VHE complains about TSE to, TSE's new chess-playing neighbour, meets EH over tea, hosts TSE, GCF and de la Mare, on EH, on EH (to TSE), gives TSE cigars for Christmas, calls EH TSE's 'sister', and the Dobrées on Boxing Day, and TSE play a prank on guests, backstage at The Times, taken for walk, on Jenny de Margerie, Empson, TSE and Sansoms call on, evening with Spender, Jennings and, exchanges Christmas presents with TSE, exchanges rare books with TSE, sends luxuries to convalescent TSE, TSE's only regular acquaintance, dines with TSE and Camerons, lent Williams's Cranmer, accompanied to the Fabers' party, hosts discussion about Parisian Murder, inspects French translation of Murder, and TSE's Old Buffers' Dinner, gives TSE bath-mitts, given wine for Christmas, one of TSE's dependents, at Savile Club Murder dinner, Empson takes TSE on to see, possible housemate, in second line of play-readers, walked round Earl's Court, and Bradfield Greek play, and TSE drive to Tandys, and TSE give another party, corrects TSE's Anabase translation, watches television with TSE, Christmas Day with, introduced to Djuna Barnes, meets Christina Morley, walk round Brompton Cemetery with, Hyde Park excursion with, moving house, at his birthday-party, honoured at F&F, displaced to the Rothschilds, where TSE visits him, among TSE's closest friends, his conversation missed, the prospect of Christmas without, excursions to Cambridge to visit, 'my best critic', gives TSE American toilet-paper, helps TSE finish Little Gidding, possible post-war housemate, protector of TSE's literary remains, foreseeably at Merton Hall, discusses plays with TSE, flat-hunting with, and Carlyle Mansions, his furniture, installed at Carlyle Mansions, further handicapped without telephone, undermines TSE's aura of poetic facility, irritates except in small doses, helps with adjustment of TSE's OM medal, at the Brighton Cocktail Party, hounded by Time, quid pro quo with TSE, arranges first-night party for Cocktail Party, arranges Confidential Clerk cast dinner, and TSE's Selected Prose, and TSE entertained by Yehudi Menuhin,

11.JohnHayward, John Davy Hayward (1905–65), editor and critic: see Biographical Register.

Meiklejohn, Sir Roderick, Old Buffer's Dinner for,

2.SirMeiklejohn, Sir Roderick Roderick Meiklejohn (1876–1962), distinguished civil servant.

Tatlow, Canon Tissington, obliged with poetry reading,

3.TissingtonTatlow, Canon Tissington Tatlow (1876–1957), Rector of All Hallows, Lombard Street, London, 1926–37; Hon. Chaplain to the Student Christian Movement of Great Britain and Ireland (of which he was founder and general secretary, 1903–29).

Vassar College, and Sweeney Agonistes, TSE's visit remembered and reported, and Hallie Flanagan's role at, TSE remembers his journey to, produces The Tempest,
Williamses, the, TSE dines with,
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,