[240 Crescent St., Northampton, Mass.]

T. S.Eliot
The Criterion
7 January 1937
Dearest Girl,

I have been at sixes and seven[s] ever since I wrote last. AfterSt. Stephen's Church, Gloucester Roadvestry goings-on;a2 all the fuss of Christmas and church collections was over (complicated by the illness of the head verger) IMorleys, theTSE's New Years celebrated with;d5 had to take three days out, when I could ill spare it, to go to the Morleys: on Thursday evening so as to see the New Year in, and had to stay over the weekend as the family were celebrating his birthday on Saturday (and if I had come back I should have had to go to Alison Tandy’s birthday party instead). They are so sweet and kind: yet it [is] always a trial to one’s weak spirit to do something for anybody which involves giving them the impression that it is they who are doing something for one – if you take my meaning. Then since my return my ‘spare’ time has been taken up by this perfectly impossible task of ‘The Church’s Message to the World’ in twenty minutes on the wireless – it does not come off until the 16th February but they want the ‘copy’ three weeks ahead – I'Church's Message to the World, The'submitted to D'Arcy, Every and Mairet;a2 have finished it but I may want to alter it after showing it to two or three people – ID'Arcy, Fr Martinconsulted on BBC talk;b2 shallEvery, Georgeconsulted on TSE's BBC talk;a4 sendMairet, Philipconsulted on BBC talk;a7 copies to Martin D’Arcy, George Every and Philip Mairet.1 AtNorth Kensington 'Community Centre'TSE to trumpet on wireless;a1 the end of this afternoon I had to go to the ‘Community Centre’ in North Kensington with Chancellor Vaisey,2 because I had promised him to give a 5-minute ‘good cause’ talk about it on the wireless on the 24th, and I wanted to see it first. ThatWilliams, CharlesSeed of Adam;b6 talk has to be ready by Monday, and meanwhile I have to prepare a fifteen minute chat and deliver it at Chelmsford on Saturday afternoon, after Charles Williams’s Epiphany Play. And'Introduction' (to Revelation);a4 when these things are cleared up, I shall try to get my ‘Revelation’ essay done by the end of the month: 3 and after that perhaps I may be free to do some work. OhBabbitt, Irvingposthumous note on;a8 yesBabbitt, Dora D.obliged with note on late husband;a2, and I have to try incidentally to write a note about Irving Babbitt to please Mrs. Babbitt,4 andMore, Paul Elmernear death;b3 one about Paul More to send to Willard Thorp – apparently, from the joint letter I had from Willard and Asher Hinds, More is not expected to last very long.5

I dare say you will scold me for being so weak as to undertake all these things, and if you do I shall have little to say in my defence. I hope that I shall learn better in time. It has been this Church Community and State business which has given so much trouble this year. And I do refuse a good many more invitations than I accept, and intend to refuse more and more. As things turn up at short notice that are difficult to refuse, it is best to decline everything which there is no personal reason and no moral obligation to accept.

So this is merely a very poor note indeed. I have not heard from you since Christmas, and I miss your letters sorely: but I did not really expect you to be able to write while you were visiting about, and now I suppose you are back again, and that’s when I want to hear from you, to know how you feel on returning, and whether you feel any more at home there than you did at first.

I kiss your feet, and am in 1937, as in every other year
Emily’s Tom

1.‘Church Community and State’: no. VI: ‘The Church’s Message to the World’, The Listener 17: 423 (17 Feb. 1937), 293–4, 326; repr. as Appendix to The Idea of a Christian Society. ‘Here is the perpetual message of the Church: to affirm, to teach and to apply, true theology … The Church has perpetually to answer this question: to what purpose were we born? What is the end of Man?’ (326).

2.HarryVaisey, Harry Bevir, KC Bevir Vaisey, KC (1877–1965), barrister-at-law; later a senior judge in the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice in England and Wales. Author of The Canon Law of the Church of England: Being a Report of the Archbishops’ Commission on Canon Law (1947). He had the title ‘Chancellor’ as the legal representative of various Church of England dioceses.

3.Revelation, ed. John Baillie (Professor of Divinity, University of Edinburgh) and Hugh Martin (F&F, 1937) – a symposium on the foundations of Christian theology – comprised contributions from TSE; Karl Barth, Professor of Dogmatic Theology, University of Basle; William Temple, Archbishop of York; Sergius Bulgakoff, Professor of Theology at the Orthodox Institute, Paris, and formerly Professor of Economics at Moscow University; M. C. D’Arcy, Master of Campion Hall, Oxford; Walter M. Horton, Professor of Theology, Oberlin Graduate School of Theology; and Gustaf Aulén, Bishop in Strängnäs, Sweden.

4.‘XIII By T. S. Eliot’, in Irving Babbitt: Man and Teacher, ed. Frederick Manchester and Odell Shepard (New York, 1941), 101–4. See CProse 6, 186–9.

5.WillardThorp, Willardrequests Paul More tribute;b4n Thorp and Asher E. Hinds (his colleague in the English Department) requested TSE to write something – ‘about 1500 words’ – in honour of the long association with Princeton University of Paul Elmer More (who was rapidly failing in health), in his capacity as lecturer in Greek philosophy and the History of Christianity. They hoped for TSE, with all his sympathy and distinction, to write of More’s life and work in a way that might even be read by More himself, if he should happily live longer. They concluded: ‘It would give us the deepest satisfaction to feel that the importance of his life and writing had been presented to a Princeton audience by the man whom we know he would most delight to have honor him.’

Babbitt, Dora D., TSE has sombre lunch with, obliged with note on late husband, ruled by late husband's tastes, EH attends reading-party of,
see also Babbitts, the

1.DoraBabbitt, Dora D. D. Babbitt (1877–1944), wife of Irving Babbitt (1865–1933).

Babbitt, Irving, compared to Paul More, 'considerably mellowed', ailing in bed, dies, More and TSE elegise, commemorated in Criterion, posthumous note on, likened to Reinhold Niebuhr, his attitude to TSE's poetry, compared to Maurras,
see also Babbitts, the

2.IrvingBabbitt, Irving Babbitt (1865–1933), American academic and literary and cultural critic; Harvard University Professor of French Literature (TSE had taken his course on literary criticism in France); antagonist of Rousseau and romanticism; promulgator (with Paul Elmer More) of ‘New Humanism’. His publications include Literature and the American College (1908); Rousseau and Romanticism (1919); Democracy and Leadership (1924). See TSE, ‘The Humanism of Irving Babbitt’ (1928), in Selected Essays (1950); ‘XIII by T. S. Eliot’, in Irving Babbitt: Man and Teacher, ed. F. Manchester and Odell Shepard (1941): CProse 6, 186–9.

'Church's Message to the World, The', commissioned by BBC, submitted to D'Arcy, Every and Mairet, revised in light of criticisms, fee donated to St. Stephen's, broadcast, moves George Barnes,
D'Arcy, Fr Martin, 'cleverest Jesuit in England', approves After Strange Gods, discusses 'Pro Fide' scheme, lent galoshes, compared to TSE qua Christian, compared to Freddie Ayer, consulted on BBC talk, recommended to EH, at Bishop Bell's conference,

3.MartinD'Arcy, Fr Martin D’Arcy (1888–1976), Jesuit priest and theologian: see Biographical Register.

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.

'Introduction' (to Revelation),
Mairet, Philip, approaches TSE over NEW, at Chandos Group, at heavy Criterion gathering, consulted on BBC talk, approves TSE's NEW note, takes Criterion closure symbolically, anointed reader of Boutwood Lectures, on Oldham's new wartime committee, often editorially opposed to TSE, especially missed during war, and 'Culture Class', and Notes towards the Definition of Culture,

8.PhilipMairet, Philip Mairet (1886–1975): designer; journalist; editor of the New English Weekly: see Biographical Register.

More, Paul Elmer, greatly preferred to Irving Babbitt, the prospect of Madeira and theology with, TSE's Princeton sojourn with, his importance since Whibley's death, quoted on the virtues, TSE's two days in Oxford with, discusses Anglicanism with TSE, TSE hopes to pay final visit, near death, TSE finishes note on, important older male friend, posthumous work reviewed, his letters returned to executors,

4.PaulMore, Paul Elmer Elmer More (1864–1937), critic, scholar, philosopher: 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,
North Kensington 'Community Centre', TSE to trumpet on wireless, visited, TSE's wireless broadcast accepted, TSE makes appeal on behalf of,
St. Stephen's Church, Gloucester Road, EH encouraged to visit, vestry goings-on, churchwarding at, Christmas at, receives TSE's BBC fee, two days' continuous prayer at, Christmas without, Lent without, wartime Easter at, in wartime, wartime Holy Week, TSE reduced to Sundays at, fundraising for,
Thorp, Willard, introduced by TSE to Dobrée, at the Criterion meeting, grows on TSE, teaches Ombre to the Eliots, EH thinks of entrusting letters to, seems lifeless, has stiffening effect on TSE, requests Paul More tribute, which he delivers to More, congratulates TSE on Family Reunion, invited TSE to Princeton, due to teach at Harvard, compared to Margaret, resembles Sweden's Crown Prince, formally notified of EH's bequest, objects to TSE's 50-year moratorium, and EH's 'recordings', seeks again to shorten moratorium, but again refused, invited to petition TSE directly, but shifts responsibility to Dix, makes transcript of EH's 'recording',
see also Thorps, the

1.Margaret Thorp, née Farrand (1891–1970), contemporary and close friend of EH; noted author and biographer. WillardThorp, Willard Thorp (1899–1990) was a Professor of English at Princeton University. See Biographical Register. See further Lyndall Gordon, Hyacinth Girl, 126–8, 158–9.

Vaisey, Harry Bevir, KC,

2.HarryVaisey, Harry Bevir, KC Bevir Vaisey, KC (1877–1965), barrister-at-law; later a senior judge in the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice in England and Wales. Author of The Canon Law of the Church of England: Being a Report of the Archbishops’ Commission on Canon Law (1947). He had the title ‘Chancellor’ as the legal representative of various Church of England dioceses.

Williams, Charles, described for EH, at Guthrie's Measure for Measure, on Family Reunion, reviewed by TSE, visited by TSE at OUP, and C. S. Lewis lunch with TSE, dies, 'une âme pure', TSE's eulogy on, TSE writes introduction to promote, All Hallow's Eve, Cranmer, Descent of the Dove, Seed of Adam,

5.CharlesWilliams, Charles Williams (1886–1945), novelist, poet, playwright, writer on religion and theology; biographer; member of the Inklings: see Biographical Register.