[41 Brimmer St., Boston]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
13 October 1931
Dearest Lady

I may have to interrupt this letter almost at once, because ISpender, StephenThe Temple;d7 am expecting Stephen Spender to come in at any moment in order that he may be told gently why I do not think his novel suitable for publication1 andDobrée, Bonamy;a4 then I have to lunch with Bonamy Dobrée who is in town for a few days; but I am coming back after lunch and so hope to get some sort of letter off to you to-day. TomorrowCriterion, The;a3 night we have a Criterion meeting at Harold Monro’s; andThorp, Willardintroduced by TSE to Dobrée;a4 I have asked Willard Thorp because he is working on Restoration Drama and would like to meet Dobrée who is rather an authority on that subject.

I am wondering whether to call this a ‘birthday’ letter or not; I think I will, as it is much in my mind; though I dare say my letter towards the end of the week will come nearer to hitting the date. I only hope that your birthday this year may be a wee bit happier, in some ways, than a year ago; because my own was so much happier and wholly, my dear, due to you. When I look back over the past year I feel how much more gratitude I have to express to you than I have succeeded in putting into words, more, perhaps than I ever can express in words. I am sure that there are many more people besides myself who have reason to feel gratitude towards you, many to whom you are important; but there can be no one whose life is so completely permeated by your influence as myself; and I like to think that it may mean much to you that there is one man to whom you are all-important, among human beings. A world without you in it would seem quite unreal to me! I should feel, as I did feel for a good many years, that I was exceptional among human beings merely in my incapacity to be in intimate sympathy with another. Of course there is an aspect in which the actual present, and the whole past year, seems very strange; my situation – may I say our situation – is so very different from that of any of my friends (I imagine); but I have felt so very much more alive than ever before – I am sure there should be no limit to my gratitude. May God help me to become more and more worthy in the future years; and to be of what little use to you that I can.

I am sure that I should not have a letter this week; but I hope I shall not have to wait quite until you get to Boston, because you are not there yet.

Je t’envoie, chère ami, mes meilleurs voeux pour ton jour de fête, à l’expression de mes sentiments les plus tendres. 2


1.SS’s novel The Temple – a roman à clef – was ultimately to be published by F&F in 1988.

2.Sentence added by hand.

Criterion, The, its monthly meetings fatigue TSE, introduced TSE to Whibley, arrangements in TSE's absence, first contributors' meeting since Monro's death, 1932 contributors' gathering, first contributors' gathering of 1934, Russell Square gathering for, particularly heavy gathering, its gatherings dreaded, to be wound up, reflections on ending, shut up against contributions, lamented even in Brno, letters of condolence, reading poetry submissions for, July 1931, 'Commentary', April 1932, laborious 'Commentary', July 1932, 'Commentary', October 1932, 'Commentary', October 1933, 'Commentary' on Irving Babbitt, prepared on holiday, July 1934, 'Commentary', January 1935, TSE ordering, October 1935, 'Commentary', 'Commentary', which TSE regrets as too personal, July 1936, possibilities for 'Commentary', October 1936, being made up, being finalised, to be ordered, January 1937, prepared in August 1936, April 1937, 'Commentary', July 1937, 'Commentary', January 1938, 'Commentary' on Nuffield endowments, which is sparsely well received, April 1938, 'Commentary', July 1938, 'Commentary', January 1939, to be final issue, 'Last Words',
Dobrée, Bonamy, Criterion monthly meeting regular, photograph of his home on TSE's mantel, in thumbnail, and Flint take TSE for farewell lunch, as country squire, promulgates Credit Reform, sings songs with TSE, shilling life of, and 'Byron', doomed to American lecture tour, reduced to doing his own gardening, detects life in Willard Thorp, farewell lunch for, training gunner officers, chairs TSE's reading,
see also Dobrées, the

3.Bonamy DobréeDobrée, Bonamy (1891–1974), scholar and editor: see Biographical Register.

Spender, Stephen, described for EH, poems published by F&F, what TSE represents to, attacks After Strange Gods, his objections to After Strange Gods, and Sweeney rehearsal, and lunching young men generally, evening with JDH, Jennings and TSE, TSE chairs his 'free verse' talk, at the Woolfs with TSE and EH, describes club lunch with TSE, his first marriage, 'Eclipse of the Highbrow' controversy, introduces new wife Natasha, gives musical party, at Lady Colefax's Wavell dinner, part of British contingent at Norwegian dinner, chairs TSE's Whitman talk, which he does in fireman's uniform, at poetry reading to Free Hungarians, takes issue with Roy Campbell, exchanges conciliatory sonnets with TSE, object of Rowse's anger, his German sensibility, an innocent fool, encomium for TSE's 75th, 'Four Poems', The Temple, Trial of a Judge, 'Vienna',

12.Stephen SpenderSpender, Stephen (1909–95), poet and critic: see Biographical Register.

Thorp, Willard, introduced by TSE to Dobrée, at the Criterion meeting, grows on TSE, teaches Ombre to the Eliots, EH thinks of entrusting letters to, seems lifeless, has stiffening effect on TSE, requests Paul More tribute, which he delivers to More, congratulates TSE on Family Reunion, invited TSE to Princeton, due to teach at Harvard, compared to Margaret, resembles Sweden's Crown Prince, formally notified of EH's bequest, objects to TSE's 50-year moratorium, and EH's 'recordings', seeks again to shorten moratorium, but again refused, invited to petition TSE directly, but shifts responsibility to Dix, makes transcript of EH's 'recording',
see also Thorps, the

1.Margaret Thorp, née Farrand (1891–1970), contemporary and close friend of EH; noted author and biographer. WillardThorp, Willard Thorp (1899–1990) was a Professor of English at Princeton University. See Biographical Register. See further Lyndall Gordon, Hyacinth Girl, 126–8, 158–9.