[22 Paradise Rd., Northampton, Mass.]

T. S.Eliot
Letter 105
1942 January 6th
Dearest Emily,

I am horrified to think how long it is since I have written. IRichmonds, theTSE's Netherhampton weekends with;a7 wrote after my visit to the Richmonds: thenMoot, The;c6 the following weekend was spent in Oxford, and I returned rather exhausted to do my small preparations for Christmas and write my letters with the usual small cash gifts. (TheRoberts, Andrewdelights in clockwork train;a1 Roberts child seems to have been delighted by the clockwork train I sent him – heRoberts, Andrewloves 'Skimbleshanks';a2 is the little boy with a passion for trains who particularly admires Skimbleshanks: Janet says by the way that her sister who went to New York with her children (not the one who lives in St. Louis, but one who went over in 1940) has died there. Some of the people who sent children to America or went with them have had unexpected problems in consequence: I never did approve of that emigration). ISeaverns, Helen;d8 also wrote to Mrs. Seaverns (to give myself a good mark[)]; toMrs Webster (Ada Janes's sister);a5 Janes’s sister in law, who was evacuated from Chelsea to a hospital in the Midlands and will no doubt die there alone, and various others. BeforeTrevelyan, Maryand Student Movement House;a2 goingStudent Movement House, Gower StreetChristmas Play;a1 to Oxford I had to attend a performance of a Christmas Play (a combination of the York and Wakefield) at Mary Trevelyan’s Student House in Gower Street: it was very touching, as the performers were students of mixed nationality: Germans, Czechs, Poles, Hindus and negros [sic] – the best, and very good he was, was the negro who did Herod – how he rolled his eyes and flashed his teeth. So that I got to Oxford after dark, missed my way to Norham Gardens in the darkness, and arrived at the end of dinner. But the house was comfortable and well heated, though the conference was tiring. I was triumphant in getting through all these ardours without catching cold: but got the cold immediately after Christmas, which is the reason for this long silence. While no doubt I was more susceptible from fatigue, the cause I am sure was infection, as I had no chill: Mrs. Flo Jones, sister of the housekeeper Miss James, who looks after my room, had a bad cold, and she indeed is still in bed, perhaps with influenza. My own cold was not a severe one, but kept me in bed with a slight temperature; it did not get very low in the chest. I am to go out this morning for the first time: if I had not got ill I should have been in Oxford tonight, and I am rather glad to be spared that. I go up to town for one night only, by the doctor’s permission: to attend my book committee and talk about religious education to a group of London clergy assembled by Demant after lunch on Thursday. If I suffer no ill effects from this short visit I go up again, on Monday next week, asMacCarthys, theTSE's Hampton stay with;a1 I have promised to spend that night with the Desmond Mac Carthys in Hampton – theyTandys, the;b7 live in Garrick’s Villa near where the Tandys used to be.

Your letter of the 22nd arrived this morning – I am sorry to think that if I had written the day after Christmas, when I meant to, you might have that in a day or two. This and your last letter are the only two I have had from anybody since the American war began. WhatSecond World Warrationing;b7 I am afraid of for you and for my family is a sharp rise in prices: in Britain they have been kept down fairly well, especially in foodstuffs, and with the rationing, the conversion of industry and the limitation of imports etc. there are not so many ways of spending money. (WhenSubercaseaux, Léon;a2 one has to take anybody to a restaurant and offer wine one’s purse notices it: I entertained the Subercazeaux (the charming Chilean) just before Christmas – they were extremely tactful and refused the more expensive food and drink, and have presented me with a lot of cigarettes and three boxes of Chilean matches for Christmas! I also received a box of cigars (good cigars are of course a rarity too), a blotter, a pot of honey, a honeycomb, and three ties! but I fear that there is only one lady who can choose ties, for of these one was green (a colour I dislike for myself) one yellow (impractical and only possible with a tropical light suit) one red with white dogs (ugly). And AT LAST I am able to give you the size of my foot: I was always remembering about it and forgetting just when there was an inchtape handy, and then after I did measure I remembered it always except when writing to you: it is not quite deserving of the name foot, because it is 11½ inches. IClement, Margotknits TSE socks;a3 am still wearing, by the way, two pairs which Margot Clement made me in 1933, andMorley, Christina (née Innes)knits TSE socks;a6 three pairs which Christina Morley made me in 1934 and 35: much darned now of course: but handmade ones do wear wonderfully compared to bought ones, and are also more comfortable. But, as I started to say, the keeping down of prices is probably a much bigger problem in a country like America; and the regulation is no doubt more difficult there because war does not come home to the imagination of the mass of people so quickly in so large a country so remote from the actual scenes of war, as in a country which might be invaded at any moment, and in which everyone has had experience of air raids. So I am afraid that people with modest incomes will feel the pinch, professional and academic folk and those with small private incomes. We have been distressed by the magnitude of the American losses on men in the Pacific. IWavell, General Archibaldappointed to ABDA;a2 hope that the appointment of Wavell is well received:1 you know I met him once and was very favourably impressed by him at the time, though I had no idea (in 1937) how important he was to become. (IHayward, Johngives TSE American toilet-paper;k6 also had a gift of some very superior American toilet paper from John Hayward).

Your last letter before Christmas gave me great pleasure. There are so many people whom one enjoys very much seeing a little of, a few whom one enjoys very much seeing a good deal of, but it is only one person whom one could bear to be with all the time. (That is why, when one is not living alone, it is better to move about regularly as I do). Not that friction would be out of the question: but it is one thing to be annoyed with someone sometimes about particular matters, and another thing altogether just to feel, without any cause for irritation whatever, that you just cannot bear that personality any longer – which is what I feel with everybody I know after a time, and I don’t except my relatives.

IChrist Church, Shamley GreenChristmas at;a7 have missed New Year’s Day and Epiphany for the second time: I got to church of course on Christmas morning (it is difficult to see a church so crowded on that day without being vexed by the thought of so many people who are there and could come at other times and don’t): the little village early communion all the more impressive by taking place in complete darkness except for the altar candles. There is twilight, but not dawn, on the way back. I hope you will be able to give a good report of yourself on your return, and not be overtired. The first effect of war is to make one want to undertake too much, and ignore the need for rest and recreation: but remember that this may go on for a long time, and you will need rest and care more than ever – and your regular work is more important in the long run than outside activities.

Lovingly for 1942

1.General Archibald Wavell had just been appointed to the so-called ABDA Command (American–British–Dutch–Australian) with the impossible task of resisting Japanese advances anywhere from Burma to Australia’s north coast. After repeated defeats of its inadequate forces, ABDA was dissolved in late February 1942.

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,
Clement, Margot, too Swiss for America, knits TSE socks, ministrates to TSE,
see also Clements, the

2.JamesClement, James Clement (1889–1973), Harvard Class of 1911, marriedClement, Margot Marguerite C. Burrel (who was Swiss by birth) in 1913. In later years, TSE liked visiting them at their home in Geneva.

Hayward, John, in TSE's thumbnail description, his condition and character, what TSE represents to, VHE complains about TSE to, TSE's new chess-playing neighbour, meets EH over tea, hosts TSE, GCF and de la Mare, on EH, on EH (to TSE), gives TSE cigars for Christmas, calls EH TSE's 'sister', and the Dobrées on Boxing Day, and TSE play a prank on guests, backstage at The Times, taken for walk, on Jenny de Margerie, Empson, TSE and Sansoms call on, evening with Spender, Jennings and, exchanges Christmas presents with TSE, exchanges rare books with TSE, sends luxuries to convalescent TSE, TSE's only regular acquaintance, dines with TSE and Camerons, lent Williams's Cranmer, accompanied to the Fabers' party, hosts discussion about Parisian Murder, inspects French translation of Murder, and TSE's Old Buffers' Dinner, gives TSE bath-mitts, given wine for Christmas, one of TSE's dependents, at Savile Club Murder dinner, Empson takes TSE on to see, possible housemate, in second line of play-readers, walked round Earl's Court, and Bradfield Greek play, and TSE drive to Tandys, and TSE give another party, corrects TSE's Anabase translation, watches television with TSE, Christmas Day with, introduced to Djuna Barnes, meets Christina Morley, walk round Brompton Cemetery with, Hyde Park excursion with, moving house, at his birthday-party, honoured at F&F, displaced to the Rothschilds, where TSE visits him, among TSE's closest friends, his conversation missed, the prospect of Christmas without, excursions to Cambridge to visit, 'my best critic', gives TSE American toilet-paper, helps TSE finish Little Gidding, possible post-war housemate, protector of TSE's literary remains, foreseeably at Merton Hall, discusses plays with TSE, flat-hunting with, and Carlyle Mansions, his furniture, installed at Carlyle Mansions, further handicapped without telephone, undermines TSE's aura of poetic facility, irritates except in small doses, helps with adjustment of TSE's OM medal, at the Brighton Cocktail Party, hounded by Time, quid pro quo with TSE, arranges first-night party for Cocktail Party, arranges Confidential Clerk cast dinner, and TSE's Selected Prose, and TSE entertained by Yehudi Menuhin,

11.JohnHayward, John Davy Hayward (1905–65), editor and critic: see Biographical Register.

MacCarthys, the, TSE's Hampton stay with,
Moot, The, first meeting, invited to TSE's Maritain dinner, no substitute for individual friendships, seems futile, welcomes Reinhold Niebuhr as guest, discusses TSE's paper,
Morley, Christina (née Innes), and country life, at Joyce dinner in Paris, taken to theatre in Morley's absence, again to Love for Love, knits TSE socks, her Celtic temperament, therefore special affinity with Donald, sleeping at Donald's school, as tennis-player, falls asleep at wheel, entertained at The Berkeley, accompanies TSE to Three Sisters, taken to meet JDH, accompanies TSE to Bulgakov's White Guard, brings Morley boys along to Shakespeare, faced with departure for America, America's effect on, sends Ada's New York Times obituary, TSE writes letter of condolence to, for which she thanks him, in Cambridge,
see also Morleys, the
Mrs Webster (Ada Janes's sister), monologues over Christmas dinner, ventriloquised, like Dickens's Mrs Gummidge, gives TSE sister's engagement ring, in poorhouse, which TSE visits, TSE overseeing burial arrangements for,
Richmonds, the, TSE's new South Kensington neighbours, TSE's alcholic weekend with, host TSE in Sussex, TSE's Netherhampton weekends with, make their home over to maternity hospital,
Roberts, Andrew, delights in clockwork train, loves 'Skimbleshanks',
see also Robertses, the
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.

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,
Student Movement House, Gower Street, Christmas Play, poetry reading for,
Subercaseaux, Léon,

1.LéonSubercaseaux, Léon Subercaseaux (1894–1956), Chilean consul in London, and his wife Paz Larrain de Subercaseaux (d. 1994). They had a house at Windlesham, Surrey.

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,
Trevelyan, Mary, recalling TSE's foggy adventure, and Student Movement House, describes situation in liberated Europe, reports from liberated Belgium, returns to London, smuggles TSE's whisky into hospital, significance of VHE's death explained to, TSE describes relationship with EH to, a 'kindly thorn',

2.MaryTrevelyan, Mary Trevelyan (1897–1983), Warden of Student Movement House, worked devotedly to support the needs of overseas students in London (her institution was based at 32 Russell Square, close to the offices of F&F; later at 103 Gower Street); founder and first governor of International Students House, London. Trevelyan left an unpublished memoir of her friendship with TSE – ‘The Pope of Russell Square’ – whom she long desired to marry. See further Biographical Register.

Wavell, General Archibald, met TSE at Winchester College, appointed to ABDA, Lady Colefax dinner for, described for EH, his one eye, dismissed as Viceroy of India, an intellectual, possible theatre-trip with, a 'pet', fond of Kipling, deserts TSE for golf, gossips with actresses, relays Cara Brocklebank's death,

5.GeneralWavell, General Archibald Archibald Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell (1883–1950), Commander-in-Chief Middle East in the early phase of WW2. He was later Commander-in-Chief in India and finally Viceroy of India until not long before Partition.