[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
Letter 17.
16 November 1942
My Dear,

I write this week as usual, though it is so long since I have had a word from you that, in spite of all allowances for distance and the delay of the change, recovery from the fatigue etc. I am beginning to be rather alarmed: but I do not like to worry you by cabling at this juncture, so I shall wait another week and try to be patient. I do hope that Grand Manan is proving to be what you hoped of it, and that your house is comfortable and the people congenial. I should expect it to be very very solitary at this time of year.

YesterdaySecond World WarNorth African campaign;d4 the church bells were rung, for the first time since the war,1 and I thought of Campden on Sunday morning. There has naturally been a great revival of cheerfulness (exceptingFaber, Annfiancé's death;a8 for some individuals: AnneWatt, Alankilled in North Africa;a1 [sc. Ann] Faber’s fiancé was killed early in these operations, just as she had had a letter from him expressing the hope of getting a period of leave within a reasonable future)2 but the general temper remains admirably sober everywhere – everyone is prepared for further stages of deadlock and difficulty – but if, we say, there are no unwanted reverses anywhere, two years may see us through. But the news have [sic] been a great help, and the war which seemed in danger of falling apart into two wars, one in the East and one in the West, has become one war again.

I have for the third time in succession to spend three nights in town: I hope, after this, that I may be able to spend three nights and two nights alternately, as the difference between three and four consecutive days of writing in the country, is considerable. TheFabers, themove into 23 Russell Square;f3 Fabers, as I may have said, are in town the same nights as myself. TheFaber and Faber (F&F)fire-watching duties at;e6 fire-watching is not, under present conditions, very arduous: indeed, in my first experience of it – and it means no more than getting up at 2.30 and staying up until 4.30 – the watcher who was supposed to call me must have dropped off to sleep – I waked of myself at 3.30 – and gave the young lady whom I had to call an extra three quarters of an hour’s sleep as her share. But I must see that this does not happen again. The flat is beautifully warmed by central heating, so that there is no need to take a chill.

LittleLittle Giddingpublished;c1 Gidding appears this week.3 IChoice of Kipling's Verse, Asent to EH;a9 have finally got a supply of Kipling, and have despatched some: yours I sent to Commonwealth Avenue – expeditions of that kind are often so slow that I feared it might not reach Grand Manan until after you left, or only in time to burden your luggage. This is a time of year, from the middle of November to January, which I wish to pass quickly.

your Tom

1.The bells were rung in celebration of the victory at El Alamein. Since the summer of 1940 it had been forbidden to ring church bells for any reason, except as a warning signal that a German invasion had begun.

2.AlanWatt, Alandescribed to JDH;a2n Watt was son of Geoffrey Faber’s contemporary and friend, the literary agent William (‘Bill’) Watt.

TSE to Hayward, 16 Nov. 1942: ‘Anne [sc. Ann] Faber’s fiancé, Alan Watt, has been killed in Egypt. A nice lad, who would no doubt have been a double Blue if he had ever got there; but having been superannuated at Rugby without ever (I believe) reaching the sixth form, was judged fit to be a literary agent – though eventually, I believe, intended for a family brewery in Cambs. (Fordham’s Ales) where he would have lived a quiet unambitious life with plenty of time off for shooting.’

SeeRidler, Anne (née Bradby)writes letter of condolence to GCF;b5n too Anne Ridler to Geoffrey Faber, 22 Mar. 1943: ‘I wanted to say, first, how very sorry I was to see of Alan Watt’s death. I have thought often of poor Ann, with her hopes cut off before they could be fulfilled; but I know that it must be a personal loss to you too, & the general rejoicing after El Alamein must have seemed bitter. It was very hard that he should have come safely through Dunkirk & through a wound in the summer, to fall then’ (Faber Archive E3/41/1).

3.Little Gidding (16,775 copies) was eventually to be published on 1 Dec. 1942.

Choice of Kipling's Verse, A, TSE's high and low motives for undertaking, selection made on rereading Kipling, approved by Kipling's daughter, delayed, TSE paid £250 for, sold out but unreviewed, sent to EH, reviewed,
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, Ann, promised play for puppet theatre, TSE pleased with photos of, organises holiday entertainments, shares TSE's box at Family Reunion premiere, engaged to Alan Watt, fiancé's death, completes preparations as Wren,
see also Fabers, the

AnnFaber, Ann Faber (1922–78) was born and registered in Hampshire: her mother would teasingly refer to her as a ‘Hampshire hog’. She was a boarder at Downe House School, Berkshire, and read history at Somerville College, Oxford (where she became engaged to Alan Watt, who was to be killed at El Alamein). After Oxford, she spent time with the Wrens in Liverpool. Following her military service Ann was employed as secretary by the classical scholar Gilbert Murray in Oxford. She then moved to London where she worked for the family firm in editorial and publicity, as well as writing and publishing a novel of her own, The Imago. However, in Aug. 1952 she suffered a life-changing accident when she crashed her motorcycle, which resulted in the loss of the use of her left arm. (In the mid-1960s she was still doing a little freelance work for Faber, reading manuscripts for Charles Monteith and – in 1967 – arranging a lunch party at her home for the science fiction writers James Blish and Brian Aldiss and their wives.) In Apr. 1958 she married John Corlett, who had two children – Anthony and Brione – from his first marriage, which had ended in divorce. Ann and John did not have children of their own. In the early to mid-1960s Ann and John spent some weeks or months of most years in the West Indies. John had launched and Ann helped with a business called Inter-Continental Air Guides: their firm sold advertising space to hotels and other tourist destinations for inclusion in guidebooks which Ann compiled. In 1966 Ann and John moved from their flat in Highgate to Wiltshire. In the late 1960s or early 1970s John contracted polio while on a work trip to Hong Kong. He became a paraplegic and for the remainder of Ann’s life she was his primary carer, with financial assistance from her mother. During all the years that she had her own property, whether in London or in Wiltshire, Ann’s great love was her garden. Ann died of cancer in March 1978. John survived her by two or three years.

Fabers, the, model of happiness and respectability, their domestic situation, Faber children to tea chez Eliot, visit TSE at Pike's Farm, compared to the Morleys, closer to TSE than to VHE, 1933 summer holiday with, Ty Glyn Aeron described, request TSE to write play, too absorbed in their children, at the Morleys' party, give anti-Nazi party for author, host poker party, 1934 summer holiday with, take TSE to lunch in Oxford, 1935 summer holiday with, for which the children are bought tent, give party, 1936 summer holiday with, at Morleys' Thanksgiving Day party, sail model boats with TSE, and TSE's foggy adventure, cinema-going with TSE, take TSE to Witch of Edmonton, and Morleys take TSE to pantomime, and TSE attend opening of Ascent of F6, 1937 summer holiday with, and the Bradfield Greek play, School for Scandal with, take TSE to pantomime again, 1938 summer holiday with, 1939 summer holiday with, offer possible wartime refuge, 1940 summer holiday with, host TSE in Hampstead during war, TSE makes bread sauce for, brought vegetables from Shamley, move to Minsted, and TSE attend musical revue, 1941 summer holiday with, Minsted as substitute for nursing-home, trying to sell Welsh home, take TSE to International Squadron, invite TSE to Wales for Christmas, host TSE at Minsted, away fishing in Scotland, mourn TSE's post-war independence, 1947 Minsted summer stay, 1948 Minsted summer stay, host TSE for weekend, on 1950 South Africa trip, on TSE's 1951 Spain trip, 1951 Minsted summer stay, 1952 Minsted summer stay, 1953 Minsted summer stay, on 1953–4 South Africa trip, 35th wedding anniversary weekend,
Little Gidding, things 'done to others' harm', and TSE's St. Kevin's cave excursion, TSE's pilgrimage to the eponymous, and John Inglesant, in the Four Quartets scheme, as TSE's war work, latent within TSE, being drafted, first draft finished, suspended, to be taken up again, partly redrafted at Buckler's Hard, further redrafting, seven lines from completion, redrafting finished, in which JDH proved indispensable, NEW version sent to EH, published, sales, ends hopefully,
Ridler, Anne (née Bradby), already favoured for F&F promotion, greatly preferred to O'Donovan, her secretarial duties, impresses TSE, her impending marriage, ill and engaged, invites TSE to be godfather, TSE writes preface for, TSE's blurb for, writes letter of condolence to GCF, presented to Edith Sitwell, 'une âme pure', Little Book of Modern Verse, The Shadow Factory,

3.AnneRidler, Anne (née Bradby) (Bradby) Ridler (30 July 1912–2001), poet, playwright, editor; worked as TSE’s secretary, 1936–40: 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,
Watt, Alan, killed in North Africa, described to JDH,