[22 Paradise Rd., Northampton, Mass.]

T. S.Eliot
[Shamley Wood, Shamley Green]
No. 60
15 October 1940
Dearest Girl,

IShamley Wood, Surreydaily and weekly life at;a3 have not much to report about myself since a week ago: this is the second week that has been carried out according to something like a plan. I find the three days a week in town pretty tiring, and spend Saturday and most of Sunday resting: Monday and Tuesday are my best days for resting. I have not yet arranged, but hope to arrange, to be in town only two nights instead of three: which would give me one more day for work. OfFaber and Faber (F&F)on war footing;e2 course, there is plenty to occupy me at the office when I am there, in the way of correspondence, interviews, and manuscripts which do not require close study. Any manuscripts needing more attention I can bring down to the country with me. Here there are a certain number of visitors at the weekend, from driving or walking distance; and as society in London is limited to meeting a friend at lunch once or twice a week, I welcome meeting anybody. Of course it is not so easy to work in other people’s houses, and the book one wants is never at hand: but I have breakfast in my room, work there throughout the morning, usually have a nap after lunch, and do a little more work between tea and 8 o’clock dinner. Indeed, I get more rest, and more fresh air, during the part of the week that I spend in the country, than in my normal life; so that, on the balance, I ought to keep about as well as in any past winter. How much work I shall do, or what its quality will be, it is too early to predict; but I have composed a paper for a conference which has been postponed and when I have got more into the rhythm of this routine I may begin to think of verse. The whole situation is unique, of course; but the matter-of-factness of the majority of people helps very much. The steadiness of the office staff, for instance, in turning up to work punctually, and sticking at it, has been admirable: and I believe our staff is typical of all.

ThereChrist Church, Shamley Green;a1 is a charming little parish church within walking distance, where I go on Sunday before breakfast. I have not got to Mass regularly while in London; because when my night’s duty is over I want to get to bed, instead of waiting up for the earliest service; but I try to look in every day for prayer. ICheetham, Revd Ericduring Blitz;e4 see Cheetham for a moment perhaps once a week.

I have had no letter from you since I last wrote, so I shall hope to find one, at least, awaiting me at the office tomorrow. Either that, or Shamley Wood, Shamley Green, near Guildford, Surrey, is the best address. TheSecond World Warits effect on TSE;b3 general effect is of life having shrunk: one sees fewer people, goes to fewer places, and has a more restricted range of activities; and one does not make plans far ahead. I hope to get to Oxford and to Cambridge occasionally during the winter, to expand my horizon a bit.

It is next summer that will seem strangest of all: though, looking back, I find that when I say ‘last summer’, I am apt to mean the summer of 1939, which is so much more vivid in my memory than the summer of 1940. The last year is difficult to remember; and I dare say that all the events of my private life during this war will come to be very dim in my mind. I hope that afterwards will be as real as before! And meanwhile you have a harder life to live than I have.

Your loving
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.

Christ Church, Shamley Green, nice but low, midwinter morning services at, Pilgrim Players' 'Way of the Cross', Holy Week 1941 at, Christmas at, Pilgrim Players' Resurrection at, at Harvest Festival, Christmas Eve midnight-mass at,
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,
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,
Shamley Wood, Surrey, TSE issued standing invitation to, his situation as paying guest, daily and weekly life at, dramatis personae, Christmas at, ideal situation for illness, overheated, depressingly female, TSE leads fire practice at, TSE takes week's rest from, its melodramas, TSE quarantined from, its lack of music, and Reay's homecoming, TSE distributes food parcels at, TSE's gradual removal from, TSE's post-war week's holiday at, post-hernia convalescence at,