[41 Brimmer St.; forwarded to 1418 East 63d St., Seattle]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
16 September 1931
Dearest Lady

Although, of course, rather miserable at having no letter from you yesterday or to-day, I had prepared myself for the vacancy, as I expected that you would be in transit, either direct or by stages, between Seattle and Boston. I had become reconciled to Seattle, with the aid of the Air [Mail], though I prefer Boston; but I cannot help being a little uncomfortable while you are travelling about and quite inaccessible. It will be therefore a relief to learn that you have arrived at Brimmer Street, but I shall want a great deal of information from you about yourself as soon as you arrive, as you know.

This has been a confused and busy ten days. IWilson, R. S.his Marcion;a1 have readreading (TSE's)a life of Mohammed;a9: a Life of Mohammed (in German); areading (TSE's)a life of Calvin;b1 Life of Calvin (in French); areading (TSE's)R. S. Wilson's life of Marcion the Heretic;b2 Life of Marcion the Heretic (in Scotch, or at least by the Minister of Ecclefechan);1 a Life of Aimée Semple Macpherson (in American);2 an Autobiography of Judas Iscariot (in German); thereading (TSE's)Living My Life;b3 AutobiographyGoldman, EmmaLiving My Life of Emma Goldman (in her own Yiddish-American);3 fivereading (TSE's)French detective stories;b4 French detective stories; andreading (TSE's)French novels;b5 four other French novels. This is of course, work for Faber & Faber. Most of them I rejected at once; and thank heaven none of this reading remains in my memory. ThenPeters, Haroldspends weekend with the Eliots;a4 Harold Peters has been in London again, having completed both the Ocean Race and the Fastnet Race, in the ‘Highland Light’; spent the weekend with us, and has just left for Southampton to return to Boston. HePeters, Haroldhis tattoos;a5 is a particularly lovable fellow; but as his chief interests are yachting and nautical adventure of any kind, and getting himself tattooed (by the Tattooist to the Royal Family – some of the decorations on his torso are certainly very remarkable) it is not always easy for me to provide him with sufficient congenial society in London. So it was all a little tiring, though I am very glad he came. TonightJoyces, the;a1 IEliots, the T. S.host the Joyces;b3 believe the Joyces are coming to dinner, as they are returning to Paris in a few days; and MontgomeryBelgion, Montgomery;a1 Belgion4 andRead, Herbert;a4 Herbert Read tomorrow.

Miscellaneous correspondence: e.g. fromSiepmann, Charles Arthur;a3 Mr Siepmann of the B.B.C. asking if I had any objection to the Ceylon Station re-broadcasting my next talks in March. Of course I haven’t, if they want to; butBritish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)TSE on educational broadcasting in general;a5 I'Modern Dilemma, The'and educational broadcasting generally;a1 feel more and more that this educational broadcasting is bunkum. It is all very odd: you invent and perfect with immense toil and ingenuity and expense, some mechanical device like radio, you build up an immense organisation with all sorts of ‘vested interests’; and then a number of people are put to work to try to find some justification for the horrible machine, and Education is the word: Adult Education, and what is even worse, education of children; and I suppose television (a barbarous word that) will be brought in to the schoolroom, and the infants will be kept in close touch with everything that is going on in the world, and their minds will be more confused and untrained than ever. I don’t think my talks on poetry, Dryden, etcetera, do much harm, because I am sure only people who are already interested in the subjects listen; but when it comes to ‘broad discussions of modern problems’, The Modern Dilemma and so on, I fear that it is merely filling up empty minds just as the new bulletins and the ‘light classical music’ fill them up; andfinances (TSE's);a2 I feel that the £50 I shall earn will be tainted money unless I am pretty careful what I say.5 I must try very hard to think of enough that is firm, salutary and unwelcome. Thinking, after all, is an occupation to which most people should give themselves only in moderation, particularly thinking (or talking and listening) about ‘world problems’…

I loved your last letter. I am wondering what you will think of my answer to your enquiries about which you were so unnecessarily afraid of being ‘inquisitive’. I like you to be inquisitive. And you must remember that no doubt much that may puzzle another person may seem self evident to myself, and that I cannot know how much you understand or not, already, except by your going on asking questions: there are probably quite simple facts or considerations which merely have never occurred to my mind to put. And if I can make my mind clear to you I can probably make it clearer to myself. You understand me, I think, more or less intuitively; at any rate, essentially better than anyone else does; and I hope and believe that I understand you in the same way – and perhaps equally more than anyone understands you? But to understand a person is not necessarily to understand all the circumstances of their life; and these we need constantly to explain to each other.


1.R. S. Wilson, Marcion: A Study of a Second-Century Heretic; see Letters 5, 656.

2.Possibly ‘Aimee’: The Gospel Gold Digger, by the Revd John D. Goben (1932).

3.See Emma Goldman, Living My Life (2 vols, New York, 1931): autobiography of the renowned Lithuanian-born anarchist.

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

5.TSE was to contribute four talks to the radio series The Modern Dilemma: ‘Christianity and Communism’, The Listener 7: 166 (16 Mar. 1932), 382–3; ‘Religion and Science: A Phantom Dilemma’, The Listener 7: 167 (23 Mar. 1932), 428–9); ‘The Search for Moral Sanction’, The Listener 7: 168 (30 Mar. 1932), 445–6, 480; ‘Building up the Christian World’, The Listener 7: 169 (6 Apr. 1932), 501–2.

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.

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), TSE's committee service for, its future discussed, TSE working on autumn programme for, TSE on educational broadcasting in general, Barbara Burnham production of Murder, lobbies TSE for next play, 'The Need for Poetic Drama', Metaphyical poet broadcasts for, 'The Church's Message to the World', Christmas Day 'Cats' broadcast, dramatic Waste Land adaptation, which is censored for broadcast, repeats 'Cats', plays Parsifal on Good Friday, broadcasts Hawkins interview with TSE, 'Towards a Christian Britain', 1941 production of Murder, Eastern Service broadcasts East Coker, broadcasts Webster talk, Tennyson talk, Dry Salvages, Poe talk, Dryden talk, Joyce talk, European Service broadcasts TSE's talk, TSE declines Christmas broadcast for, wants to record 'Milton II', broadcasts TSE's personal poetry selection, broadcasts Gielgud's Family Reunion, marks TSE's 60th birthday, Gielgud Family Reunion repeated, solicits TSE post-Nobel Prize, TSE's EP broadcast for, records TSE reading Ash-Wednesday, floats Reith Lectures suggestion, approaches Marilyn Monroe to star in Fitts's Lysistrata,
Eliots, the T. S., receive Aldous Huxley, give tea to Nora Joyce, give dinner-party for Joyces, Fabers and Osbert Sitwell, described by Osbert Sitwell, give dinner for Philippa Whibley, host the Morleys, Joyces and Hutchinsons, take tea with OM, who describes their appearance, invite OM to meet Mrs Joyce, introduce TSE's nieces to Lucia Joyce and Barbara Hutchinson, host the Joyces, host the Thorps to tea, host Dorothy Pound to supper, again to OM's, have the Huxleys to tea, more harmonious for Gordon George's stay, host Maurice and Ahmé to dinner, host Ralph Hodgson, Aurelia Bolliger, Gordon George and Scott Moncrieff, to OM's tea-party for Yeats, host Ralph Hodgson despite his dog's behaviour, have the Hodgsons for the weekend, attend Derby Day with the Hodgsons, host the Faber children to tea, host OM and D'Arcy, host Mark Gertler and wife, at James Stephens's party, have fifteen to tea, Evelyn Underhill and Force Stead to lunch with, spend weekend with VHE's mother, join farewell dinner for the Hodgsons, in 1926, holiday in Eastbourne, where they dine with the Morleys, then visit the Woolfs at Rodmell,
finances (TSE's), TSE's Income Tax, American income, Norton Professorship, Grenville Place rent, costs of separation, TSE's desire to pay for EH, theatrical royalties, royalties from Cats, rent at Shamley, and retirement, apropos of The Cocktail Party, and post-war capital controls,
Goldman, Emma, Living My Life,
Joyces, the, business lunch in Paris with, dinner in Paris with,
'Modern Dilemma, The', and educational broadcasting generally, being composed, receives unlikely praise, TSE against turning into book, approved by EH, earns TSE 60 guineas,
Peters, Harold, in London, un-deracinated, compared to TSE, as TSE's quondam sailing companion, spends weekend with the Eliots, his tattoos, TSE longs to sail with, less estranged from TSE than expected, makes bizarre appearance, too old for American Navy, dies in accident, his death,

6.HaroldPeters, Harold Peters (1888–1943), close friend of TSE at Harvard, 1906–9. After graduation, he worked in real estate, and saw active service in the Massachusetts Naval Militia during WW1, and on leaving the navy he spent most of the rest of his life at sea. Leon M. Little, ‘Eliot: A Reminiscence’, Harvard Advocate, 100: 3.4 (Fall 1966), 33: ‘[TSE’sPeters, Haroldas TSE's quondam sailing companion;a2n] really closest friend was Harold Peters, and they were an odd but a very interesting pair. Peters and Eliot spent happy hours sailing together, sometimes in thick fog, off the Dry Salvages. In 1932 Peters sailed round the world for two years as skipper of an 85-foot auxiliary schooner, Pilgrim, having previously participated in the transatlantic race from Newport to Plymouth, and in the Fastnet Race. In 1943 he died after falling from a motor-boat that was in process of being hoisted into a dry dock at Marblehead.

Read, Herbert, indebted to Hulme, on Wilfred Owen, part of Criterion inner circle, his divorce, on TSE and children, TSE formulates his dislike for, hosts TSE in Hampstead, his dismal birthday-party, and his old ladies object of TSE and JDH's practical jokes, at Dobrée's farewell lunch, begrudged contribution to Milton volume, clashes with TSE in Criterion, discusses Anglo-French relations with TSE and Saurat, TSE spends weekend with, hosts TSE in Bucks, and Bukhari to lunch with TSE, his political persuasions, wheeled out at Norwegian dinner, on Canterbury excursion,
see also Reads, the

3.Herbert ReadRead, Herbert (1893–1968), English poet and literary critic: see Biographical Register.

reading (TSE's), The Road Back, Hay Fever, sermons of Revd Dr William E. Channing, Racine's Bérénice, in general, the Bible, The Witch of Edmonton again, letters of other authors, a life of Mohammed, a life of Calvin, R. S. Wilson's life of Marcion the Heretic, Living My Life, French detective stories, French novels, recent books on economics and finance, the Epistles of St. Paul, The Lady of the Lake, Letters of Charles Eliot Norton, never deeply or widely enough, The Scarab Murder Case, translation of Dante, detective stories, Letters of Mrs Gaskell and Charles Eliot Norton, second-rate detective story, disinterestedly, for leisure, Vision of God, Faith of a Moralist, Newman's sermons, Birds of the Countryside, Modern Reader's Bible, The Face of Death, René Bazin's Charles de Foucauld, Charles Petrie's Monarchy, Thurber's My Life and Hard Times, Oliver's Endless Adventure (vol. 3), Madame Sorel's memoirs, book on French policing, detective story for committee, The League of Frightened Men, The Garden Murder Case, The Luck of the Bodkins, The House in Paris, The Life of Charles Gore, Middleton Murry's Shakespeare, Dr Goebbels for book committee, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, MS of German gunman in Chicago, Shakespeare, to replenish, Middlemarch, the Gospel, City of God, St. John of the Cross, psalm or two a day, Ibsen, Twenty Best Plays of the Modern American Theatre, poems submitted to Criterion, My Name is Million, psalms, especially Psalm 130, Edmund Burke, Lives of the Poets, Virgil,
Siepmann, Charles Arthur,

2.CharlesSiepmann, Charles Arthur Arthur Siepmann (1899–1985), radio producer and educator, was awarded the Military Cross in WW1. He joined the BBC in 1927, and became Director of Talks, 1932–5; Regional Relations, 1935–6; Programme Planning, 1936–9. He was University Lecturer, Harvard, 1939–42; worked for the Office of War Information, 1942–5; and was Professor of Education, New York University, 1946–67. Works include Radio’s Second Chance (1946), Radio, Television and Society (1950), TV and Our School Crisis (1959). See Richard J. Meyer, ‘Charles A. Siepmann and Educational Broadcasting’, Educational Technology Research and Development 12: 4 (Winter 1964), 413–30.

Wilson, R. S., his Marcion,