[22 Paradise Rd., Northampton, Mass.]

T. S.Eliot
Air Mail
4 January 1940
Dearest Girl,

I think that this is letter No. 21! I know I forgot to number my last letter, a week ago, but I numbered it in my diary; but my 1939 Diary is put away at Russell Square, and I must get it out to verify. If 21 isn’t right I will correct in the next letter.

I have not expected a letter from you this week, because I knew you were in New Bedford: a letter might take longer, and still more likely that you would not have time to yourself for writing. I hope that you have been resting well there: you are now back in Northampton, in the middle of work. I hope that the weather in New England has not been so arctic, relatively, as that in Europe. It has been very cold here; with one light snowfall in London, but mostly too cold for that. But cold weather on the continent is to be wished for.

ITandys, thehost TSE in Dorset;b3 went rather unwillingly to the Tandys last weekend, as I did not relish leaving London in such cold weather – thoughEnglandDorset;e6TSE's Tandy weekend in;a3, once one got west of Wiltshire, the temperature was distinctly milder; west of Wiltshire there were no traces of snow. It was a tedious journey too: there was just not time for lunch in the train before reaching Salisbury, where I had to change for Axminster; the train was standing in the station, and nobody knew when it was supposed to leave, so there seemed to be no time for a sandwitch [sic]. In fact, the train did not leave for half an hour, and then was a non-corridor train stopping everywhere. Four and a half hours from London to Axminster (where they met me with a car) and still longer back on Monday, as the train was three quarters of an hour late: the Monday train was supposed to have a restaurant car (from Templecombe) but it didn’t, so again no lunch. However, as I said before, their cottage is in the loveliest country imaginable, and the weather there was fine. ITandy, Alisonher birthday in Dorset;a5 went because they particularly wanted me for the New Year, because it was Alison’s birthday, because I had presents which the children were expecting, because Tandy may not get another leave for six months, and because they are dear people. Well, it did me no harm, and my cold is gone, though I am always left with lingering catarrh for weeks after a cold, especially when the weather is so bitter.

IRodrigues, AgostinhoTSE sitting for;a1 have had to give a couple of sittings to a Portuguese sculptor, who is doing busts to exhibit in a World’s Fair at Lisbon in the spring.1 He came to me with an introduction from the Portuguese Ambassador here; and I thought, well, it will be bad if a man like that comes to London and can’t get any distinguished sitters – Portugal our oldest ally etc. and susceptibilities easily offended; so I thought that I ought to be one of the sacrifices. I don’t know that he is a very good sculptor; he seems to have specialised in doing sharks and other fishes, which he does very well according to his photographs, and anyway the bust is going to Lisbon: but he has said something about wanting to present me with it afterwards, which is very alarming. What could I do with a bust of myself? You can’t even send it to a church Jumble Sale.

TheFaber and Faber (F&F)on war footing;e2 publishing business is quiet at this time, as always, andFaber, Geoffrey;h2 Faber is in Wales. AOld Possum’s Book of Practical Catsselling strongly;d1 goodBoutwood Lectures (afterwards The Idea of a Christian Society)selling strongly;b5 many of my books were sold during the week before Christmas, bringing the total up to 4100 Cats, and 3100 Society, which is good.

This weekend I have to go to a theological conference at Jordan’s; and after that I hope to remain at home for some time to come, and, I hope, start some private work. AllSecond World Warthe 'Phoney War';b5 the more because I do not feel at the moment that I have anything to say in print about public affairs at the present time. It would be unsafe, in such a situation, to predict one’s feelings even from week to week; but for some time past I have felt so long as this deadlock endures there is nothing to say about it.2 ThereSecond World WarMolotov–Ribbentrop pact;b6 may be great social changes to come, but it is quite impossible to discern their outlines; and the forms they take may depend very much upon events which have yet to occur and which cannot be predicted. I thought last year – as I daresay other people thought – that Germany and Russia would eventually draw together: but I did not expect that to happen so soon as last September,3 so my foresight was not very helpful. So many things have been different from expectation – nobodySecond World Warthe 'Winter War';b4, at least without private information, could have anticipated the invasion of Finland – and even then, it has been a surprise that the Finns have done so well. EuropeEuropethe effects of war on;a7 seems at present like a kaleidoscope of unforeseeable configurations. One is content to let publicists like H. G. Wells go on talking, as they always will; while chimaeras like the Federal Union occupy the minds of those whose minds have remained in 1918. In any case, comment on passing events is not my forte – certainly not on events on this scale. What one has to try to do, is to keep oneself alert to the significance of social changes within the country, and not give too much time to international affairs, of which one has no direct knowledge. I sometimes turn on my wireless to hear a piece of music, orMurry, John Middleton;b2 if someone I know, like Middleton Murry, is speaking: but rarely to hear the news. That is not what I expected when I bought it.

I must stop now – ISt. Stephen's Church, Gloucester Roadvestry goings-on;a2 had a lot of New Year vestry correspondence to start the morning with, writing to people who haven’t paid the subscriptions – not a congenial task: andBelgion, Montgomerylonely;c3 now I see it is time I went to lunch with Belgion, whom I lunch with about once a fortnight merely because he is a lonely creature. This is a poor letter: there will be a better and more personal one when I get back from Jordan’s: but I cannot write properly when I am pressed for time. My dear, with all my devotion,

Your very loving
in 1940 as in every past year

1.AgostinhoRodrigues, Agostinho Rodrigues (?1912–95), sculptor, was born in Madeira; worked for a while in London before leaving in 1940 to study in the USA, where he passed the rest of his life.

2.There was so little fighting between the Anglo-French and German armies deployed along the Franco-German border that the period became known as the Phoney War from Sept. 1939 until May 1940.

3.Signed in Moscow on 23 Aug. 1939, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact – a Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – cleared the way for their joint conquest and partition of Poland.

Belgion, Montgomery, and Alida Monro dine chez Eliot, expensive club dinner with, accompanies TSE to Othello, and Charles Williams dine with TSE, accompanies TSE to Henry IV, Part II, to Garrigou-Lagrange lecture, takes TSE and Saurat to the Ivy, weekend's walking in Sussex with, in Criterion inner-circle, drink with Tom Burns and, accompanies TSE to Cranmer, and Mairet to lunch, accompanies TSE to Witch of Edmonton, arranges dinner for Murder, accompanies TSE to Uncle Vanya, to Measure for Measure, to Richard III, to Volpone, lonely, hosts dinner at Chinese restaurant, reviews Christian Society, on leave in London,

4.MontgomeryBelgion, Montgomery (‘Monty’) Belgion (1892–1973), author and journalist: see Biographical Register.

Boutwood Lectures (afterwards The Idea of a Christian Society), Spens invites TSE to deliver, being prepared, and Oldham's Times letter, TSE on delivering, being rewritten for publication, approaching publication, published as Christian Society, sent to EH, reception, selling strongly, apparently stimulating to others,
England, TSE as transatlantic cultural conduit for, discomforts of its larger houses, and Henry James, at times unreal, TSE's patriotic homesickness for, which is not a repudiation of America, TSE's want of relations in, encourages superiority in Americans familiar with, reposeful, natural ally of France, compared to Wales, much more intimate with Europe than America, TSE on his 'exile' in, undone by 'Dividend morality', in wartime, war binds TSE to, post-war, post-war privations, the English, initially strange to TSE, contortions of upward mobility, comparatively rooted as a people, TSE more comfortable distinguishing, the two kinds of duke, TSE's vision of wealthy provincials, its Tories, more blunt than Americans, as congregants, considered racially superior, a relief from the Scottish, don't talk in poetry, compared to the Irish, English countryside, around Hindhead, distinguished, the West Country, compared to New England's, fen country, in primrose season, the English weather, cursed by Joyce, suits mistiness, preferred to America's, distinguished for America's by repose, relaxes TSE, not rainy enough, English traditions, Derby Day, Order of Merit, shooting, Varsity Cricket Match, TSE's dislike of talking cricket, rugby match enthralls, the death of George V, knighthood, the English language, Adlestrop, Gloucestershire, visited by EH and TSE, Amberley, West Sussex, ruined castle at, Arundel, West Sussex, TSE's guide to, Bath, Somerset, TSE 'ravished' by, EH visits, Bemerton, Wiltshire, visited on Herbert pilgrimage, Blockley, Gloucestershire, tea at the Crown, Bosham, West Sussex, EH introduced to, Bridport, Dorset, Tandys settled near, Burford, Oxfordshire, EH staying in, too hallowed to revisit, Burnt Norton, Gloucestershire, TSE remembers visiting, and the Cotswolds, its imagined fate, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, less oppressive than Oxford, TSE's vision of life in, possible refuge during Blitz, Charlbury, Oxfordshire, visited by EH and TSE, Chester, Cheshire, TSE's plans in, TSE on, Chichester, West Sussex, the Perkinses encouraged to visit, EH celebrates birthday in, TSE's guide to, 'The Church and the Artist', TSE gives EH ring in, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, Perkinses take house at, shockingly remote, TSE's first weekend at, likened to Florence, TSE jealous of memories associated with, its Arts & Crafts associations, its attractions to Dr Perkins, forever associated with TSE and EH, sound of the Angelus, without EH, treasured in TSE's memory, excursions from, EH on 'our' garden at, Stamford House passes into new hands, EH's fleeting return to, Cornwall, TSE's visit to, compared to North Devon, Cotswolds, sacred in TSE's memory, Derbyshire, as seen from Swanwick, Devon ('Devonshire'), likened to American South, the Eliots pre-Somerset home, its scenery, Dorset, highly civilised, TSE feels at home in, TSE's Tandy weekend in, Durham, TSE's visit to, East Anglia, its churches, TSE now feels at home in, East Coker, Somerset, visited by Uncle Chris and Abby, TSE conceives desire to visit, reasons for visiting, described, visited again, and the Shamley Cokers, now within Father Underhill's diocese, photographs of, Finchampstead, Berkshire, visited by TSE and EH, specifically the Queen's Head, Framlingham, Suffolk, visited, Garsington, Oxfordshire, recalled, Glastonbury, Somerset, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, highly civilised, its beautiful edge, its countryside associated with EH, TSE at home in, its domestic architecture, Hadsleigh, Suffolk, visited, Hampshire, journey through, TSE's New Forest holiday, Hereford, highly civilised, Hull, Yorkshire, and 'Literature and the Modern World', Ilfracombe, Devon, and the Field Marshal, hideous, Knole Park, Kent, Lavenham, Suffolk, visited, Leeds, Yorkshire, TSE lectures in, touring Murder opens in, the Dobrées visited in, home to EVE's family, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, TSE's visit to, especially the Bishop's Palace, Lincolnshire, arouses TSE's curiosity, unknown to EH, Lingfield, Surrey, Little Gidding, Cambridgeshire, TSE's long-intended expedition to, London, in TSE's experience, TSE's isolation within, affords solitude and anonymity, contrasted to country life, its fogs, socially freer than Boston and Paris, eternally misty, its lionhunters, rain preferable in, more 'home' to TSE than America, socially more legible than Boston, its society compared to Boston's, TSE's desire to live among cockneys, South Kensington too respectable, Clerkenwell, Camberwell, Blackheath, Greenwich scouted for lodging, its comparatively vigorous religious life, Camberwell lodging sought, Clerkenwell lodging sought, and music-hall nostalgia, abandoned by society in August, the varieties of cockney, TSE's East End sojourn, South Kensington grows on TSE, prepares for Silver Jubilee, South Kensington street names, Dulwich hallowed in memory, so too Greenwich, during 1937 Coronation, preparing for war, Dulwich revisited with family, in wartime, TSE as air-raid warden in, Long Melford, Suffolk, Lowestoft, Suffolk, Lyme Regis, Dorset, with the Morleys, Marlborough, Wiltshire, scene of a happy drink, Needham Market, Suffolk, Newcastle, Northumberland, TSE's visit to, Norfolk, appeals to TSE, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, dreary, Nottinghamshire, described for EH, Oxford, Oxfordshire, as recollected by TSE, past and present, EH takes lodgings in, haunted for TSE, in July, compared to Cambridge, Peacehaven, Sussex, amazing sermon preached in, Penrith, TSE's visit to, Rochester, as Dickens described, Salisbury, Wiltshire, in the Richmonds' company, Shamley Green, Surrey, TSE's ARP work in, its post office, Pilgrim Players due at, Somerset, highly civilised, TSE at home in, Southwold, Suffolk, TSE visits with family, Stanton, Gloucestershire, on TSE and EH's walk, Stanway, Gloucestershire, on EH and TSE's walk, Suffolk, TSE visits with family, Surrey, Morley finds TSE lodging in, evening bitter at the Royal Oak, TSE misses, as it must have been, Sussex, commended to EH, TSE walking Stane Street and downs, EH remembers, Walberswick, Suffolk, Wells, Somerset, TSE on visiting, Whipsnade, Bedfordshire, EH and TSE visit, Whitchurch Canonicorum, Dorset, delightful name, Wiltshire, highly civilised, TSE at home in, Winchelsea, East Sussex, visited, Winchester, TSE on, Wisbech, Lincolnshire, TSE on visiting, Worcestershire, TSE feels at home in, Yeovil, Somerset, visited en route to East Coker, York, TSE's glimpse of, Yorkshire,
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,
Faber and Faber (F&F), TSE's office in, the garrulousness of publishing, refuge from home, in financial straits, future feared for, tranquil Saturday mornings at, TSE disenchanted with, hosts summer garden-party, as part of Bloomsbury, TSE considers 'home', VHE intrusion dreaded at, robbed, increases TSE's workload, TSE's editorial beat at, negotiate over Murder in the Cathedral, pay advance for Murder, VHE's appearances at, and Duff Cooper's Haig, 'blurbs' for, commission new letterhead from Eric Gill, give Ivy lunch for Dukes, TSE as talent-spotter and talent-counsellor, and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, mark TSE's 50th birthday, and the prospect of war, and closing The Criterion, lose Morley to America, on war footing, war ties TSE to, fire-watching duties at, wartime bookbinding issues, advertisements to write for, Picture Post photographs boardroom, offices damaged by V-1, consider moving to Grosvenor Place, lunch at Wednesday board-meetings, Christmas staff party,
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.

Murry, John Middleton, TSE's peculiar relationship with, dismissed qua Marxist by Mirsky and Rowse, attacks TSE over Social Credit, TSE delighted to praise his Shakespeare, taking orders, at first Moot meeting, anointed reader of Boutwood Lectures, Shakespeare,

1.JohnMurry, John Middleton Middleton Murry (1889–1957), English writer and critic; editor of the Athenaeum, 1919–21; The Adelphi, 1923–48. In 1918, he married Katherine Mansfield. He was friend and biographer of D. H. Lawrence. His first notable critical work was Dostoevsky (1916); his most influential study, The Problem of Style (1922). Though as a Romanticist he was an intellectual opponent of the avowedly ‘Classicist’ Eliot, Murry offered Eliot in 1919 the post of assistant editor on the Athenaeum (which Eliot had to decline); in addition, he recommended him to be Clark Lecturer at Cambridge in 1926, and was a steadfast friend to both TSE and his wife Vivien. See F. A. Lea, The Life of John Middleton Murry (1959); David Goldie, A Critical Difference: T. S. Eliot and John Middleton Murry in English Literary Criticism, 1919–1928 (1998).

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, conceived as money-spinner, written as jeu d'esprit, individual poems sent to EH, early fragment of 'Rumpuscat', as outlined to GCF, and 'the Heaviside layer', TSE despairs of finishing, provisionally Mr Eliot's Book of Pollicle Dogs and Jellicle Cats and Other Birds & Beasts, as advertised by GCF, delayed by Milton and Byron essays, written to relieve political gloom, written in tours de force, written occasionally, and Children's Hour, TSE asked to recite, TSE at leisure to write, Hodgson promises to illustrate, Hodgson as 'the Man in White Spats', to appear autumn 1939, TSE to design cover, published, read in the Roberts household, sent to EH, reception, selling strongly, being reprinted, published in America, EH receives, the illustrations, the original Cat Morgan, read to the Roberts children, 'Bustopher Jones: The St. James's Street Cat', 'Gus: The Theatre Cat', 'Marching Song of the Pollicle Dogs', 'Old Deuteronomy', 'Song of the Jellicles', 'The Naming of Cats', 'The Old Gumbie Cat', 'The Practical Cat', 'The Rum Tum Tugger',
Rodrigues, Agostinho, TSE sitting for, sculpts bust of TSE,

1.AgostinhoRodrigues, Agostinho Rodrigues (?1912–95), sculptor, was born in Madeira; worked for a while in London before leaving in 1940 to study in the USA, where he passed the rest of his life.

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,
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,
Tandy, Alison, thanks TSE, and 'The Naming of Cats', her birthday-party, TSE buys her watch for Christmas, her birthday in Dorset,
see also Tandys, the
Tandys, the, TSE's Hampton weekends with, TSE's weekend in Newhaven with, as family, welcome baby daughter, compared to the Morleys, move to new Hampton home, host TSE for Guy Fawkes night, give TSE pipes for Christmas, versus the de la Mares, take large Dorset cottage, host TSE in Dorset, their situation in Dorset, accompanied to Alice in Wonderland,