[22 Paradise Rd., Northampton, Mass.]

T. S.Eliot
The Criterion
28 April 1939
Dearest Lady,

I was happy to get your long letter of the 18th, but distressed to hear that no letter, only enclosures, had arrived from me during ten days. It appears to suggest that I did not write during Holy Week, but I could have sworn that I had written every Friday. I hope that your next letter will contain the date of letters received from me since. I have now put down in my diary, in to-day’s space, the word ‘Bremen’, and must try to continue to record the dates on which I have written. ThankFamily Reunion, TheAmerican reception;g8 you for all that you say about the notices and about the play itself. It is obvious that the literary critics, on the whole, have been more favourable than the dramatic critics, and for this there are two possible reasons: first, that they are better educated to understand poetry and any plays with literary pretensions, and second, that the play is better to read than to see. TheBogan, Louisereviews Family Reunion;a1 American notices that I have received from Brace are mostly very good: particularly interesting to me is one in the New Yorker by a Louise Bogan, unknown to me.1 AndJack, Peter Monrofulsomely reviews Family Reunion;a1 Peter Monro Jack (whom I remember as an undergraduate at Trinity Hall) is as usual almost shrill in praise.2 Aswritingas taught by the book;c9 for reading books about technique, I have always been very skeptical of them, and believed that the only way to learn was in action and by trial and error; but perhaps you will persuade me, if you recommend anything as exceptionally good. IHinkley, Eleanor Holmes (TSE's first cousin)suspected of writing by the book;c3 can’t help suspecting that Eleanor has read all the books on technique, as well as listened to everything that George Pierce Baker 3 had to say. I am glad that you like the photograph, which is certainly less objectionable than any of those that have appeared in public; but I was disappointed by Elliott & Fry’s work: this profile was the only good portrait they made, and it doesn’t require any great skill to make a good profile. IMorgan, CharlesFlashing Stream;a1 was much interested to hear of the failure of the Flashing Stream (as I had been by the review you previously sent me) and recognise your prophetic gift.4 EvenPriestley, J. B.;a3 Priestley (who is vastly superior to Morgan in every way) has not been very successful in New York, has he?

IMorleys, the;j5 had four days at the Morleys’, but was unlucky in weather. It had been very warm and June-like, but turned cold the night I went down, and has been cold, with sunny intervals, ever since: I am now back in my winter clothing and don’t know when I shall be able to wear my new spring suit. However, it was pleasant and idle.

WeRoosevelt, Franklin D.makes appeal to Hitler;a5 shallHitler, Adolfreplies to Roosevelt;a9 seeSecond World Warprognostications as to its outbreak;a4 by the evening editions what Hitler has said. It is difficult to know at this stage whether Roosevelt’s appeal was a good thing to make or not.5 IGermanyits territorial ambitions under Hitler;b2 don’t feel that it is likely to do anything but irritate the Germans, and I am not sure that the tendency of such attempts to interfere from the New World is not to push us nearer to a conflict in which America is not committed to taking an active part. I can see that Roosevelt’s words may help him in domestic politics, and may possibly have the effect of keeping Japan quiet – which is perhaps the chief thing that America can do at present for our benefit. InEuropein the event of war;a5 the event of a European war, we should be unable to defend the East, and only America could exercise any check on Japanese depredations at the expense of Britain, France and Holland. On the other hand, as I said before, I am uneasy about our getting too involved with Russia: it will give the Germans a stronger grievance, the smaller Central European countries may well wonder whether the fire isn’t worse for them than the frying-pan, and I don’t trust Russia any more than she trusts us. But I think that somehow we shall peg along until the autumn: and if I am quite mistaken, here it is in black and white. If there is a crisis before then, I only hope it will come in May and not in June.

But I see no serious attempt on any side to reconcile conflicting interests – only reciprocal efforts to get the better of each other, directed by the craving for foreign trade: and the struggle for markets is more important than the struggle for raw materials. The whole system is wrong and there is no attempt to change it: the difference between totalitarianism and democracy is a minor aspect.

I will gladly send the books for Georgiana [sc. Giorganna] Powell, but as the date is so far ahead I suppose, though you don’t say so, that I had best send the books to you to present when the occasion comes. I will inscribe them as from myself.

Idogs'Boerre' (Norwegian Elkhound);b7suspected attempt to abduct;b8 don’t take in your mysterious reference to what appears to have been an attempt to abduct Boerre: I should have thought it difficult to steal such a powerful animal, unless he is really an utter fool. He has no business to get lost, at his age. What pleases me is to be informed that your health is holding out, and now it is hardly more than six weeks before you are free. But what about PLANS?

Your devoted

1.Louise Bogan, ‘Verse’, New Yorker, 15 Apr. 1939, 83.

2.Peter Monro Jack, ‘T. S. Eliot’s Modern Variation on the Eumenides Myth’, New York Times Book Review, 9 Apr. 1939, 2, 20. Jack (1896–1944), born in Scotland, graduated from Aberdeen University before becoming a doctoral research student at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where E. M. W. Tillyard was to supervise his thesis on the ‘Aesthetic teaching of Walter Pater’ – and where TSE was retained as his adviser (see Letters 3). He edited The Gownsman, and in 1926–7 was ‘Skipper’ (Literary Editor) of The Granta. In the late 1920s he taught at Michigan University before moving in 1930 to New York, where he became a lecturer and freelance writer. He was a regular reviewer for the New York Times Book Review.

3.GeorgeBaker, George Pierce Pierce Baker (1866–1935) taught English at Harvard, where from 1905 he developed a pioneering playwriting course known as ‘Workshop 47’ that concentrated on performance and production rather than the literary text. This course extended, from 1914 to 1924, to an extracurricular practical workshop for playwrights called ‘47 Workshop’. From 1925 to 1933, he taught at Yale as professor of the history and technique of drama. Students included Hallie Flanagan, Eugene O’Neill and Thomas Wolfe. His influential publications include The Development of Shakespeare as a Dramatist (1907) and Dramatic Technique (1919). See Wisner Payne Kinne, George Pierce Baker and the American Theatre (1954).

4.Charles Morgan, The Flashing Stream (play, 1938).

5.In a sarcastic speech in the Reichstag, Hitler dismissed Roosevelt’s ‘curious’ appeal for a ten-year moratorium on invasions. Germany did not propose to attack others, but she did want the restoration of colonies lost in WW1 (including Danzig). Hitler abrogated the non-aggression pact with Poland, the Anglo-German Naval Treaty and the Munich Agreement with the UK.

Baker, George Pierce, his Yale theatre-group,

3.GeorgeBaker, George Pierce Pierce Baker (1866–1935) taught English at Harvard, where from 1905 he developed a pioneering playwriting course known as ‘Workshop 47’ that concentrated on performance and production rather than the literary text. This course extended, from 1914 to 1924, to an extracurricular practical workshop for playwrights called ‘47 Workshop’. From 1925 to 1933, he taught at Yale as professor of the history and technique of drama. Students included Hallie Flanagan, Eugene O’Neill and Thomas Wolfe. His influential publications include The Development of Shakespeare as a Dramatist (1907) and Dramatic Technique (1919). See Wisner Payne Kinne, George Pierce Baker and the American Theatre (1954).

Bogan, Louise, reviews Family Reunion,
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,
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,
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,
Germany, and The Road Back, and Triumphal March, needs to cooperate with Britain and France, and TSE's Lloyds war-work, TSE listening to speeches from, its actresses, and its Jewish population, in light of Versailles, Oldham reports on religious resistance in, remilitarises the Rhineland, its territorial ambitions under Hitler, Germans compared to Austrians, under Nazism, Duncan-Jones on religious persecution in, German conduct in warfare, Germans compared to Swedes, TSE's post-war sense of duty to, TSE diagnoses its totalitarian slide, TSE urges renewed cultural relations with, TSE on visiting,
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.

Hitler, Adolf, Bishop Bell on, occupies the Rhineland, post-Anschluss, and Mussolini, and Vansittart, Kauffer's photo of TSE resembles, and appeasement, and the future of Europe, replies to Roosevelt, his Reichstag speech on Poland,
Jack, Peter Monro, fulsomely reviews Family Reunion,
Morgan, Charles, Flashing Stream, TSE's obiter dictum on, EVE's quondam employer,
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,
Priestley, J. B., meets TSE as theatre proprietor, and Family Reunion's unsuccess, invites TSE to dinner, speaks at Purchase Tax meeting, as radio broadcaster, as playwright, Dangerous Corner, I Have Been Here Before, Time and the Conways,

1.J. B. PriestleyPriestley, J. B. (1894–1984), novelist, playwright, social commentator, broadcaster; author of bestselling novels including The Good Companions (1929) and Angel Pavement (1930); and plays including Time and the Conways (1937) and An Inspector Calls (1945).

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
Second World War, the prospect of, F&F plans in the event of, Britain's preparations for, prognostications as to its outbreak, and The Family Reunion, and the policy of appeasement, and transatlantic tourism, evacuation imminent, TSE discusses its outbreak with Dutchman, TSE refrains from commenting on, TSE's thoughts on, its effect on TSE, the 'Winter War', the 'Phoney War', Molotov–Ribbentrop pact, rationing, evacuation, seems continuous with First World War, invasion of Poland, invasion of Denmark and Norway, Chamberlain's resignation, Italy's declaration of war, Dunkirk, The Blitz, Battle of Cape Matapan, Operation Barbarossa, Greece enters war, Pearl Harbor, the Pacific War, Libyan campaign, North African campaign, and TSE's decision to remain in England, in relation to the First, prospect of its end unsettles, and returning to London, bombing of German cities, its effect on TSE's work, prognostications as to its end, the Little Blitz, Operation Overlord, V-1 Cruise Missile strikes, Operation Market Garden, and continental privations, and post-war European prospects, The Battle of the Bulge, possibility of post-war pandemic, V-2 Bombs, concentration camps, Germany's surrender, VE Day, and post-war Anglo-American relations, VJ Day, atomic bomb, its long-term economic consequences,
writing, and routine, to EH, like talking to the deaf, development and development in the writer, and 're-creative thought', TSE's pace of working, correspondence, and Beethoven, and whether to keep a notebook, dialogue, and loving one's characters, and the necessity for reinvention, to someone as against speaking, plays written chiefly for EH, prose between poems, poetry versus prose, and originality, poetry three hours every morning, plot, and obscurity, blurbs, letters of rejection, requires periods of fruitful latency, on new typewriter, TSE's 'old Corona', the effect of war on, and reading, as taught by the book, prize-day addresses, weekly articles, concisely, from imagination, from experience, for broadcast, out of doors, rewriting old work, and public-speaking, by hand,