[22 Paradise Rd., Northampton, Mass.]

T. S.Eliot
The Criterion
28 October 1938
Dearest Love,

I have had a very busy week. Idogs'Boerre' (Norwegian Elkhound);b7;a7 dinedPerkinses, the;h8 with the Perkins’s on Monday, read them your very amusing account of the Education of Boerre and Gregory, which they very much enjoyed, and looked at a good many lantern slides. I hope that the lecture at Rochester will be very successful. I had a letter this morning from ‘Cousin Mary Day’ (sic)1 [sic] asking me down for lunch on Sunday. I was able to say that I had another engagement (withCheetham, Revd Eric;d4 the Vicar, to meet the Rural Dean). It struck me as odd (not owning a car) to be asked to Rochester just for lunch! ISeaverns, Helenand Perkinses dine with TSE;c2 amPerkinses, the;h9 to dine with Mrs. Seaverns and the Perkins’s on the 9th.

I hope you received my cable and also some flowers, at the right time. Your birthday has been very much in my thoughts.

NewsFamily Reunion, Thepossible John Gielgud production;e5: theBrowne, Elliott Martin1939 production of The Family Reunion;c1TSE throws over Gielgud for;b6 Gielgud business is off, as he wanted to produce it himself, and I didn’t feel that I wanted him as producer, though I would have put up with him as Harry.2 WeDonat, Robertnegotiating over Family Reunion;a1 areFamily Reunion, TheDonat and Saint-Denis interested;f1 nowSaint-Denis, Michelinterested in Family Reunion;a7 negotiating, apparently, with Robert Donat; 3 and I lunched to-day with Michel St. Denis, who is interested. AlsoBrowne, Elliott Martinand Tewkesbury pageant;c6, I have received from Martin an outline of the projected Tewkesbury pageant: I have kept it in front of me for two or three days, but I mean to answer it as you advised. I don’t know whether it is that you foresaw how I should feel when the time came to decide, or whether it is simply that I have been directed by your advice – perhaps it is both! – but it doesn’t matter, I am going to decline as you advised.

IWestminster Theatre, The, Londonpresents Troilus and Cressida;a6 shouldShakespeare, WilliamTroilus and Cressida;d2 likeShakespeare, WilliamHamlet;b6 to comment at length on ‘Troilus and Cressida’ in modern dress,4 andGuinness, Alecas Hamlet;a1 on ‘Hamlet’ in modern dress (a very ugly young man named Alec Guinness,5 who acted the part brilliantly)6 butShakespeare, Williampreferable in modern dress;a6 I can only say that to judge from these two productions I prefer Shakespeare in modern dress: I enjoyed them both immensely.

ICriterion, TheJanuary 1939;d8 shall have a busy weekend, with the Criterion: after this week I expect to have a little more leisure.

Your devoted

1.Not identified.

2.Richard Clowes, ‘NewFamily Reunion, Thepossible John Gielgud production;e5 Work by T. S. Eliot: Mr. Gielgud’s Interest’, Sunday Times, 23 Oct. 1938: ‘John Gielgud tells me that he has read with great interest and admiration a new dramatic work by T. S. Eliot. The play is called The Family Reunion; it is in verse, and has a modern setting. A series of matinée performances will be given after Christmas. Mr. Gielgud hopes to appear in the play, and to direct it in association with Martin Browne, who produced Mr. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral.’

Gielgud’sGielgud, Johnon Family Reunion;a4n developingFamily Reunion, Thepossible John Gielgud production;e5 interest in becoming involved with The Family Reunion is evidenced by a letter he wrote to E. Martin Browne on 30 Sept. 1938: ‘I am enormously interested in the Eliot play. I think it will be better if we don’t discuss it in greater detail until the final revision has been done, as I agree with the letter I found in the back (which you may or may not have meant me to read) that the play is far more lucid and easy to understand in the early part. I do certainly think the thing needs a good deal of clearing up, and I am very troubled about the Furies, as I cannot quite see them, as he has conceived them, making anything but a comic effect. But as soon as you have talked again with him, and had the revised script, do let me have it and we can talk in detail about the play. Meanwhile I will read it again more carefully … It seems to me that if the financial aspect could be arranged it is the kind of play which would do better for a series of matinées than in an evening bill, but of course Eliot may feel that this is not giving him much chance of making any money out of it. But if it has to be kept for a regular run you might have to wait till next autumn, which does seem rather a pity. From my own point of view it would amuse me very much to do it for matinées while this present play is running, because (a) I should love the interest of the extra work and (b) I am sure it would be fun to point the contrast between the two plays; this one of Dodie’s has so many of the same main characteristics – the family theme, and the return of the prodigal etc. – but how differently treated. I think this would intrigue people very much’ (quoted in Browne, The Making of T. S. Eliot’s Plays, 145–6).

SeeCampbell, Mrs Patrick (née Beatrice Tanner)Gielgud describes Family Reunion to;a2n too Gielgud’s Letters, ed. Richard Mangan (2004), 51–2: [To Mrs Patrick Campbell, 11 Oct. 1938] ‘There are not many interesting plays to see, but I have a play by T. S. Eliot which I am hoping to do for matinées after Christmas, very original and lovely poetry, I think. Quite a modern setting almost in the manner of Aldous Huxley, but with choruses and a sort of Greek tragedy analogy, only much better than [Eugene] O’Neill’s. I saw Mourning Becomes Electra last year and thought it very pretentious and unreal.’

Gielgud’s Letters, 344: To Browne, 6 Aug. 1968: ‘Perhaps you never heard the full story. I agreed with T. S. Eliot to co-direct the play [The Family Reunion] with you. We lunched – twice, I think – at the Reform Club – surely you were there on one of the occasions. WeWhitty, Dame Maylined up for Dowager;a3n hadThorndike, Sybillined up for Agatha;a3n a fine cast lined up – May Whitty (Dowager), Sybil [Thorndike] (Agatha), Martita Hunt, Freddie Lloyd for two of the chorus. All seemed to be going very amicably. Suddenly one day I met Sybil who said gaily “You know Eliot won’t let you do his play. He says you have no Faith, and therefore are not right to play it.” I was amazed. I don’t know how he told Binkie Beaumont but the upshot was that we did The Importance instead! Later I met Eliot and he was nice but vague. I sent him a record I had made of “The Journey of the Magi” and he said he had wanted to hear me do Family Reunion on the air but he had missed it. He was quite ill already, so I never really found out what tactless thing I may have said or done, and of course I was sorry never to have played Harry. I think he got alarmed at the idea of Shaftesbury Avenue and feared I should put a vulgar commercial smear on his writing and force him to accept it.’

Browne comments in The Making of T. S. Eliot’s Plays (146), whether forgetfully or disingenuously: ‘This opened up a most attractive prospect. Gielgud agreed to co-direct the play with me. He was to play Harry; and he pencilled into my draft his suggested casting for other parts: May Whitty as Amy, Sybil Thorndike as Agatha, Margaret Rutherford, Martita Hunt, Frederick Lloyd as aunts and uncles, Ernest Thesiger as Downing. I do not know why it never came to anything.’

AshleyBrowne, Elliott Martin1939 production of The Family Reunion;c1TSE throws over Gielgud for;b6 DukesDukes, Ashleyon Gielgud and Family Reunion;e8n to TSE, 14 Feb. 1945: ‘When any proposals are made about a copyright which do not materialize, any announcement about them is damaging to the copyright. This happened in the case of The Family Reunion, which John Gielgud announced he was going to produce; a paragraph to that effect that was put prominently into a Sunday paper. I must remind you that you took strong exception to this, and asked me on your behalf to point out to Gielgud that your essential condition for the proposed production (the direction of Martin Browne) had not yet been agreed. Gielgud then made many apologies for the indiscretion, and gave up the project for the play forthwith. He was well aware that no announcement should have been made before the exchange of contracts. The eventual production was made at the Westminster; the prospects of the play were not improved by everybody’s knowledge that Gielgud had announced the play and changed his mind.’

John Gielgud to Peter Quennell, 5 Oct. 1982: ‘[Eliot] I met one day for lunch at the Reform Club, when he seemed very conventional in his black coat and striped trousers. We discussed “The Family Reunion” which had rather intrigued me, and I had tentatively engaged a distinguished cast to present some matinees of the play at the Globe where I was then acting. But a few days later, Sybil Thorndike, who was to have played the Dowager, met me in the street and said “You know, Eliot won’t let you do his play because he says you have no Faith.” I was naturally disappointed, but as we substituted a production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” which was to be a huge success, and stood me in good luck for several years, I managed to survive the snub, though first rather surprised that Eliot had never written to me himself.’

3.RobertDonat, Robert Donat (1905–58), stage and screen actor; starred in Alfred Hitchcocks’s The 39 Steps (1935); and won an Academy Award for Best Actor in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939).

4.Michael MacOwan directed Troilus and Cressida at the Westminster Theatre, with Max Adrian as Pindarus.

5.AlecGuinness, Alec Guinness (1914–2000), distinguished English actor: see Biographical Register.

6.ThisOld Vic, TheAlec Guinness's Hamlet;b4 modern-dress production of Hamlet was directed at the Old Vic by Tyrone Guthrie.

Browne, Elliott Martin, meets TSE at Chichester, production of The Rock, meets TSE over possible collaboration, talks over outline of play, meets TSE with Martin Shaw, delighted with Rock choruses, discusses unwritten pageant scenes with TSE, predicament as The Rock's director, well connected in amateur circles, revising into the night with TSE, argues with Shaw at dress-rehearsal, presented to Prince Arthur, honoured by Rock cast-supper, producing Gordon Bottomley's play, speaks at Londonderry House with TSE, 1935 Canterbury Murder in the Cathedral, approached by TSE to 'produce', consulted throughout composition, goes silent, lunches with TSE and Speaight, directs and acts despite illness, pursues London Murder revival, 1935–6 Mercury Theatre Murder revival, engaged as producer by Dukes, keen that EH attend rehearsals, simultaneously part of BBC production, agrees about Speaight's decline, preferred as producer for TSE's next play, and Charles Williams's Cranmer, in which he plays 'the Skeleton', and TSE attend Tenebrae, taken to Cambridge after-feast, producing York Nativity Play, which TSE thinks Giottoesque, at Savile Club Murder dinner, producing Shakespeare's Dream, and Ascent of F6, and Tewkesbury Festival Murder confusion, 1939 production of The Family Reunion, due to be sent script, weighing TSE's proposal that he produce, enthused by script, suggests TSE see Mourning Becomes Electra, against Family Reunion as title, pleased with draft, quizzed on fire-safety, typescript prepared for, new draft submitted to, rewrite waits on, receives new draft, criticisms thereof, reports John Gielgud interest, mediates between Gielgud and TSE, TSE throws over Gielgud for, secures Westminster Theatre production, steps into company breach, then into still-greater breach, and the play's weaknesses, direction of Family Reunion, receives TSE's Shakespeare lectures, 1938 American Murder tour, re-rehearsing actors for, suffers fit of pre-tour gloom, yet to report from Boston, and Tewkesbury pageant, accompanies TSE to La Mandragola, on Family Reunion's future prospects, and possible Orson Welles interest, war leaves at loose end, advises TSE over next play, war work with Pilgrim Players, unavailable for modern-dress Murder, compared to tempter/knight successor, requests Pilgrim Players' play from TSE, New Plays by Poets series, as director, and This Way to the Tomb, and Family Reunion revival, urges TSE to concentrate on theatre, 1946 Mercury Family Reunion revival, in rehearsal, possible revue for Mercury Theatre, and The Lady's Not for Burning, Chairman of the Drama League, 1949 Edinburgh Cocktail Party, to produce, TSE's intended first reader for, receives beginning, approves first act, receives TSE's revisions, communciates Alec Guinness's enthusiasm, arranges reading, surpasses himself with production, in Florence, EH suggests moving on from, and the Poets' Theatre Guild, 1950 Cocktail Party New York transfer, compares Rex Harrison and Alec Guinness, TSE debates whether to continue collaboration with, suggests three-play TSE repertory, 1953 Edinburgh Confidential Clerk, receives first two acts, designing sets, 1953 Lyric Theatre Confidential Clerk, attends with TSE, 1954 American Confidential Clerk, 1954 touring Confidential Clerk, TSE and Martin Browne catch in Golders Green, seeks Family Reunion MS from EH,

4.E. MartinBrowne, Elliott Martin Browne (1900–80), English director and producer, was to direct the first production of Murder in the Cathedral: see Biographical Register.

Campbell, Mrs Patrick (née Beatrice Tanner), Gielgud describes Family Reunion to,

7.MrsCampbell, Mrs Patrick (née Beatrice Tanner) Patrick Campbell, née Beatrice Tanner (1865–1940), English stage actor, famous for her performances in plays by Shakespeare, J. M. Barrie and Bernard Shaw (who adored her).

Cheetham, Revd Eric, TSE's rent to, as landlord at 9 Grenville Place, asks TSE to be churchwarden, to which TSE agrees, invited to Sweeney Agonistes, taken ill, offers prayers for EH's passage, his pageant for Mothers' Union, on London colds, given wine for Christmas, possible flatmate, pleased to welcome EH, advice in case of fire, unfolds tale of French holiday, and St. Stephen's wartime finances, remembers TSE's birthday, indifferent to rationing, during Blitz, paid to house TSE's books, starts lending library in tube, living in modern penthouse, TSE drafts testimonial letter for, hosts TSE in penthouse, his testimonial, requests TSE's presence for Bishop of London, by whom he is chastened, and Elvaston Place, exhausted by war, prevented from giving TSE customary birthday greeting, one of TSE's few intimates, TSE on, hounded by Time, and the Bishop of Tokyo, retires under doctor's orders, TSE's outgoing tribute and succession, apparently in Hong Kong, leaves affairs in a mess, insouciant letter to parishioners,

4.RevdCheetham, Revd Eric Eric Cheetham (1892–1957): vicar of St Stephen’s Church, Gloucester Road, London, 1929–56 – ‘a fine ecclesiastical showman’, as E. W. F. Tomlin dubbed him. TSE’s landlord and friend at presbytery-houses in S. Kensington, 1934–9. See Letters 7, 34–8.

Criterion, The, its monthly meetings fatigue TSE, introduced TSE to Whibley, arrangements in TSE's absence, first contributors' meeting since Monro's death, 1932 contributors' gathering, first contributors' gathering of 1934, Russell Square gathering for, particularly heavy gathering, its gatherings dreaded, to be wound up, reflections on ending, shut up against contributions, lamented even in Brno, letters of condolence, reading poetry submissions for, July 1931, 'Commentary', April 1932, laborious 'Commentary', July 1932, 'Commentary', October 1932, 'Commentary', October 1933, 'Commentary' on Irving Babbitt, prepared on holiday, July 1934, 'Commentary', January 1935, TSE ordering, October 1935, 'Commentary', 'Commentary', which TSE regrets as too personal, July 1936, possibilities for 'Commentary', October 1936, being made up, being finalised, to be ordered, January 1937, prepared in August 1936, April 1937, 'Commentary', July 1937, 'Commentary', January 1938, 'Commentary' on Nuffield endowments, which is sparsely well received, April 1938, 'Commentary', July 1938, 'Commentary', January 1939, to be final issue, 'Last Words',
dogs, TSE imagines himself as EH's dog, Pollicle, endear Hodgson to TSE, EH fond of, TSE wishes to give EH, TSE enthuses over with Ambassador Stimson's wife, death of Lord Lisburne's gun-dog, wish to buy EH dog reaffirmed, James Thurber's dog, wish to buy EH dog develops, TSE's wish that EH choose dog for him, of Shamley Wood, Aberdeen Terrier, belonging to Gerald Graham, TSE against, Alsatian, bites F&F sales manager in Cheltenham, Blue Bedlington Terrier, TSE wishes to bring EH, related to the Kerry Blue, TSE fantasises with Hodgson about breeding, TSE wishes EH might have, 'Boerre' (Norwegian Elkhound), travels to America, described, and right-hand traffic, TSE receives photo of, affords EH exercise, envied by TSE, scourge of Northampton, cuts foot, when chasing squirrel, suspected attempt to abduct, 'disorderly', 'cantankerous', taking unaccompanied exercise, decorated at dog-show, goes missing, not taken to Maine, EH decides to give up, poignant photograph of, dies, Bull Terrier, Ralph Hodgson's 'Picky' bites cat, home found for 'Picky', Hodgson fantasises with TSE about breeding, Dachshund, among TSE's preferred short-legged breeds, Hope Mirrlees's 'Mary', elkhound, belonging to Mrs Eames, as breed for EH, Jack Russell, among TSE's preferred short-legged breeds, possible replacement for Boerre, Kerry Blue, related to Blue Bedlington Terrier, at Army and Navy stores, Labrador, the Morleys' eight puppies, the Morleys', Pekingese, TSE averse to, belonging to Mrs Behrens, 'Polly' (the Eliots' Yorkshire Terrier), falls off roof, taken to have wound dressed, barks at Hungarian language, Poodle, as breed for EH, 'Rag Doll' (Scottish Terrier), travels to Grand Manan, TSE receives photo of, EH gives up, Samoyed, considered for EH, spaniel, belonging to the Fabers, Staffordshire Terrier, Hodgson advises Miss Wilberforce on,
Donat, Robert, negotiating over Family Reunion, reading Family Reunion, keen on Becket, as Becket,

3.RobertDonat, Robert Donat (1905–58), stage and screen actor; starred in Alfred Hitchcocks’s The 39 Steps (1935); and won an Academy Award for Best Actor in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939).

Dukes, Ashley, described by Yeats to TSE, approaches Doone over Mercury Theatre season, lines up Mercury Murder revival, with which he is pleased, his ambitions for Murder, which Brace upsets, instructed as to Murder New York negotiations, hustling in New York, from where he reports, agrees about Speaight's decline, explains miscarriage of 1936 American production, at 100th performance of Murder, latest plans for Murder, revised plans for New York, dares to call TSE in morning, TSE's royalty arrangement with, policing pirate productions of Murder, discusses Murder's America rights, full of grand desgins, takes Browne into partnership, on Murder's Abdication Crisis resonance, among Family Reunion's first readers, plans for Murder, American Murder tour, against Family Reunion as title, pleased with Family Reunion fragment, sent full Family Reunion draft, lets EH down, consulted over Gielgud contract, on Gielgud and Family Reunion, negotiating with Saint-Denis, less persuaded by Family Reunion, optimistic on Family Reunion transfer, instructed on Family Reunion licensing, fields Orson Welles enquiry, suggests wartime Murder revival, which he mounts without consulting TSE, attempting season of miniature operas, submits theatrical reminiscences to TSE, and Murder film rights, book launch for memoirs, reports on TSE's continental productions, gives Garrick Club dinner for TSE, takes full control of Mercury, accompanies TSE to Germany, La Mandragola, The Scene is Changed, Too Many Twins,
see also Dukes, the

4.AshleyDukes, Ashley Dukes (1885–1959), theatre manager, playwright, critic, translator, adapter, author; from 1933, owner of the Mercury Theatre, London: see Biographical Register.

Family Reunion, The, and TSE as Orestes, plot sought for, progress stalled, referred to as 'Orestes play', written against countdown to war, should be artistically a stretch, plot still not settled on, begun, compared to Murder, TSE on writing, described (mid-composition), and Gunn's Carmina Gadelica, described to GCF, EH questions Harry's entrance, draft read to Martin Brownes, projected autumn 1938 production, depletes TSE, and Mourning Becomes Electra, its Greek inheritance, alternatively 'Follow the Furies', first draft promised to EH, as inspired by Tenebrae, being rewritten, work suspended till summer, fair copy being typed, waiting on Browne and Dukes, 'Follow the Furies' quashed by EH, aspires to be Chekhovian, Dukes keen to produce, criticised by Martin Browne, under revision, submitted to EH's theatrical wisdom, for which TSE credits her, possible John Gielgud production, Gielgud-level casting, Browne's final revisions, with the printers, Henry loaned draft, Donat and Saint-Denis interested, in proof, progress towards staging stalled, Saint-Denis interest tempered, possible Tyrone Guthrie production, possible limited Mercury run, its defects, publication scheduled, first draft sent to EH, Michael Redgrave interested in, March 1939 Westminster Theatre production, waits on terms, rehearsals for, which are photographed, opening night contemplated without EH, last-minute flutters, opening night, reception, coming off, TSE's final visit to, Dukes bullish on New York transfer, EH spurs TSE's reflections on, and Otway's Venice Preserv'd, American reception, and Orson Welles, F&F's sales, 1940 American production, Henry harps on the personal aspect, its cheerfulness, EH acknowledges part in, 1943 ADC production, in Dadie Rylands's hands, described, certain lines expressing TSE's frustrations, EH discusses with pupils, plays in Zurich, 1946 Birmingham production, 1946 Mercury revival, rehearsals for, opening night, TSE attends again in company, Spanish translation of, VHE's death calls to mind, its deficiencies, BBC Gielgud broadcast version, first aired, to be repeated, goes nominally with The Cocktail Party, Swedish National Theatre production, compared to Cocktail Party, EH's response to, more 'personal' than Cocktail Party, performed in Göttingen, 1950 Düsseldorf production, 1953 New York production vetoed, 1956 Phoenix Theatre revival, described, Peter Brook congratulated on, Martin Browne seeks MS of,
Gielgud, John, TSE takes against, declares interest in Family Reunion, subsequent negotiations with, on Family Reunion, renews interest in Family Reunion, in The Duchess of Malfi, as Harry in BBC broadcast, as Harry again,

2.JohnGielgud, John Gielgud (1904–2000), distinguished actor and theatre director. Knighted in 1953; awarded Legion of Honour, 1960; created Companion of Honour, 1977; Order of Merit, 1996.

Guinness, Alec, as Hamlet, in Martin Browne's Coriolanus, desires to act for TSE, keen on Cocktail Party, at Cocktail Party reading, praised by The Times, in The Cocktail Party, 'most intelligent' British actor, desires London Cocktail Party production, superior to Rex Harrison, at TSE's Cocktail Party buffet, would turn down anyone for TSE, presses TSE for new play, wouldn't work for Sherek,

5.AlecGuinness, Alec Guinness (1914–2000), distinguished English actor: see Biographical Register.

Old Vic, The, relationship to Sadler's Wells, presents Laughton's Macbeth, presents Othello, presents Henry IV, Part II, presents The Witch of Edmonton, Olivier's (complete) Hamlet, presents Murder, Guthrie's Measure for Measure, Emlyn Williams's Richard III, Alec Guinness's Hamlet, considers Family Reunion, presents Midsummer Night's Dream, TSE's fellow air-warden involved with, Hamlet starring Robert Helpmann at, engages Martin Browne to produce Coriolanus, Wolfit's Tamburlaine, wants to revive Murder, to produce The Confidential Clerk,
Perkinses, the, likely to be interested in An Adventure, compared to Mary Ware, enjoyable dinner at the Ludlow with, take to TSE, TSE desires parental intimacy with, their dinner-guests dismissed by TSE, who repents of seeming ingratitude, TSE confides separation plans to, too polite, questioned as companions for EH, offered English introductions, entertained on arrival in London, seek residence in Chichester, given introduction to G. C. Coulton, take house at Chipping Camden, as Chipping Campden hosts, given introduction to Bishop Bell, TSE entertains at Oxford and Cambridge Club, TSE's private opinion on, TSE encourages EH's independence from, their repressive influence on EH, buy TSE gloves for Christmas, sent Lapsang Souchong on arrival in England, invite TSE to Campden, move apartment, anticipate 1938 English summer, descend on EH in Northampton, and EH's wartime return to America, temporarily homeless, enfeebled, EH forwards TSE teenage letter to, their health, which is a burden, approve EH's permanent Abbot position,
Saint-Denis, Michel, counsels Doone against Mercury venture, has proposal for TSE, his Three Sisters, his White Guard, interested in Family Reunion, negotiating with Dukes, his Twelfth Night, his Family Reunion interest checked,

2.CompagnieSaint-Denis, Michel des Quinze: theatre production company organised by Michel Saint-Denis (nephew of Jacques Copeau), together with the playwright André Obey, at the Théatre du Vieux-Colombier, Paris, 1929–34.

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.

Shakespeare, William, Bunny Wilson and TSE discuss, writing Murder increases TSE's admiration for, but equally wariness of, spiritually 'helpful', preferable in modern dress, EH imagined as Lady Macbeth, later as Hermione, All's Well that Ends Well, Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It, Coriolanus, Cymbeline, Hamlet, Henry VIII, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Richard II, Richard III, 'Sonnet CXXXII', The Tempest, Timon of Athens, Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night, The Winter's Tale,
Thorndike, Sybil, ideal Family Reunion casting, courted by TSE, lined up for Agatha, exerts influence on Gielgud, again, ideal casting for Confidential Clerk, TSE apologises to, praised in The Sacred Wood, eventually plays Amy,

9.SybilThorndike, Sybil Thorndike (1882–1976): acclaimed British actor of stage and screen, she was a dominant presence in productions of Shakespeare and the Classics – arguably the greatest tragedienne of the twentieth century. George Bernard Shaw felt such a regard for her talent that he wrote Saint Joan (1924) specifically for her. In 1938–9 there were discussions with a view to staging the premiere of The Family Reunion, to be directed by John Gielgud (who was eager to play the hero, the tormented Harry), with Thorndike as Agatha. But Thorndike is reported to have advised Gielgud, ‘You know, Eliot’s not going to let you have his play – he says you have no faith.’ In Peter Brooks’s revival of the play at the Phoenix Theatre, London, in June 1956, she was the matriarch Amy (with Paul Scofield as Harry). Thorndike to TSE, 8 June 1956: ‘My ambition is fulfilled – to be in one of your plays …’ Created a Dame of the British Empire in 1931, in 1970 she was appointed as a Companion of Honour.

Westminster Theatre, The, London, The Moon in the Yellow River, presents Uncle Vanya, presents Volpone, their Volpone versus Phoenix Society's, presents Troilus and Cressida, and The Family Reunion, presents Distant Point: A Soviet Play,
Whitty, Dame May, considered for The Family Reunion, Gielgud potentially able to cast, lined up for Dowager,

6.TheWhitty, Dame May part of Mrs Bramson, in Emlyn Williams’s thriller Night Must Fall (which premiered at the Duchess Theatre, London, in 1935), was played by Dame May Whitty (1865–1948).