[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
Letter 18.
25 November 1942
Dearest Emily,

I was relieved to get, this morning, your second cable from Grand Manan. That is, it was taken down by the housekeeper, and she read it to me, and now I cannot well decipher her handwriting. But I gather that you are leaving for Sebasco on the 30th, and then going to Boston for Christmas; so I will send this to Boston. It was not quite clear from your previous cable whether you had received no letters since the middle of September or written one since then. ItCanadaGrand Manan Island, New Brunswick;a2;a4 is also comforting to infer from this cable that you received mine, because of the wrangle I had with the post-office girl over the existence of such a place as Grand Manan.

If I had gone to town to-day I should not have received your cable until my return. But as I was four days in London last week, andFabers, thehost TSE at Minsted;f4 from there went to spend the weekend at the Fabers’ new house in Sussex, coming up to Guildford via Haslemere yesterday, I am only going up for one night this week (WednesdayFaber and Faber (F&F)fire-watching duties at;e6 night is my fire-watching night: I arranged that because Wednesday is my board day, and by this arrangement I can be in London either the first half or the second half of the week as I prefer. I am hoping that this last weekend has provided a testimony in favour of the anti-cold inoculations: because Faber had a heavy cold all the week, contracted at Cambridge, and I found their house at Minsted pretty cold,1 both the Shamley Wood house and the Russell Square flat being very warm. Also, I got very cold on Sunday morning, walking a mile and a half to church and back before breakfast (and the vicar overslept and arrived at half past eight to make his apologies and say that he would only say a prayer instead of celebrating as he should have done: but he had been ill, and was so upset by oversleeping that he rather lost his presence of mind). ItFabers, thewhich TSE describes;f5 is a good house, not beautiful, though old; the country is good, being very agricultural with a view towards the South Downs. It is a much more genuine country life for them than Wales, for the estate has 600 acres: ofAll Souls College, Oxfordand the Fabers' property dealings;a5 course there is a bailiff to run it, but as it belongs to All Souls’ College, Geoffrey is the next thing to being a country gentleman, instead of merely having a house and land in the country, and is taking a great interest in soil, crops, and breeding Ayrshire cattle. AllFaber, Geoffreyreports to Conversative Education Committee;i7 this, and his work on the Education Committee of the Conservative Party, is very good for him.2

Having done with poetry for some time to come (for a new poem is not likely to germinate for a year at least – and if, by that time, the war should practically be over – I refuse, however, to believe that at present, but I entertain the idea – thenCocktail Party, Thedeferred by war;a9 perhaps the form that will take will be another play: I cannot see how such a big job as that can be undertaken until I have a place of my own again, and not moving about so much – having, as I said, done with poetry for the present (exceptFour Quartetsdeliberations over title;a3 for finding a title for the four poems, whichHarcourt, Brace & Co.and Four Quartets;a5 Harcourt Brace will publish together in the spring) INotes Towards the Definition of Culturesketched by TSE;a1 have started trying to block out a book about the meaning of Culture, to be at least the length of the Christian Society.3 I can do it chapter by chapter, and if it is necessary to interrupt it between chapters that won’t matter: interruptionsChurch of South India controversy;a1 are sure to come, including possibly the South India Scheme – an arrangement proposed for the Church in that part of the world, having important theological implications which might give rise to a grave situation – I won’t try to explain it now (and indeed I have yet to see the latest proposals) but wait until the storm, if any, blows up. AllMurder in the CathedralHoellering film;g1TSE adapting for screen;a3 this suggests, of course, that I am evading the task of adapting Murder for a film: and indeed, I find that my nature is very rebellious to this job. Bothwritingrewriting old work;d7 because it is uncongenial to return to tinker with something which belongs to one’s life eight years ago, when one was not quite the same person; and also because I find it hard to take the cinema seriously, and am always more aware of what is lost on the screen that can be done so well on the stage, than of the things that the film can do which the stage cannot – the latter interest me less. Can you take any interest in films? I should think the objections would be quite as serious from the actor’s point of view as from the dramatist’s.

I started to say, a paragraph ago, that I am sure that after my stay at Minsted I should have been in bed with a cold, but for those inoculations. For I have a slight cold, but this time no temperature with it, and think I shall recover without having to go to bed. And with the increasing difficulties of staff etc. I feel a responsibility not to be ill. Also, the news continues to be cheering, and that has been doing everybody much good.

I am longing to hear about Grand Manan, in the hope that it will have done you good.

Your loving

1.TSE visited the Fabers at Minsted House, Midhurst, Surrey, for the weekend of 20–22 Nov.

2.Geoffrey Faber spent a good part of 1942 drafting a Report on Education for the Conservative Party. In his diary he inserted a copy of this letter from Lord Halifax: ‘I think the Education Report is quite admirable. I have read it twice and have seldom read anything that carried greater conviction or more perfectly expressed feelings that one has struggled less adequately to translate into words. I hope you will publish it when it is finally approved, and take steps to have it well commented upon in the Times, distributed to Members of Parliament, and generally followed up. It is really most important. Let me see a final edition of it.’

3.Notes Towards the Definition of Culture (1948).

All Souls College, Oxford, and Isaiah Berlin's election to, evening with GCF at, over-represented in the Literary Society, lodges TSE, and the Fabers' property dealings, festivities at,
Canada, Campobello, New Brunswick, Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, in TSE's recollection, EH holidays on, EH spends autumn on, Montreal, TSE due to arrive at, relatives offer to collect TSE from,
Church of South India controversy, TSE chairs 'press conference on',
Cocktail Party, The, copy inscribed to Miss Swan, Martin Browne's preference for a popular play, plot ruminated, still a distant prospect, deferred by war, at last begun, being written, EH begs TSE to continue, stimulated by the Martin Brownes, titled and nearly drafted, interrupted, attempts to reconcile EH to title, to be discussed with Brownes, to be continued in Princeton, end in prospect, TSE rewriting, alternative titles, its star appeal, 1949 Edinburgh Festival production, Martin Browne to produce, production schedule, the Martin Browne collaboration, 'reading' for, reviewed, cuts made during rehearsal, TSE's opening-night impressions, stage-set for, copy to be sent to EH, EH on, TSE disavows autobiographical basis, post-Edinburgh prospects, 1949 Theatre Royal, Brighton run, its fate, closing, 1950 New York transfer, TSE skeptical of, its fate, being negotiated, fixed, revisions made in mind of, alarmingly successful, royalties from, prospects beyond 1 June 1950, final act still being rewritten, its reception, EH's second opinion on, 1950 New Theatre production, preliminary week in Southsea, its fate, opening night, to close with provinicial tour, comes off at New Theatre, Mrs Nef's reading-group reading, in which TSE reads Reilly, and casting for Confidential Clerk, its first draft, difficult to produce in France, 1954 Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier production, reception, Muriel Spark on, EH detects hidden meaning in,
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, Geoffrey, made TSE's literary executor, described for EH, as friend, overawed by Joyce, recounts the Eliots' dinner-party, discusses international situation with TSE, his annual effort to diet, introduced to TSE by Whibley, favours TSE taking Norton Professorship, suggests garden-party for TSE, mislays key to Hale correspondence, writes to TSE about separation, which he helps TSE over, blesses Scotland tour with whisky, victim of Holmesian prank, favours 'The Archbishop Murder Case', Times articles on Newman, Russell Square proclaims his gentlemanly standards, forgives TSE and Morley's prank, as tennis-player, champion of Haig biography, social insecurities, and the Faber family fortune, advertises 'Pollicle Dogs and Jellicle Cats', at lavish lunch for Dukes, relieved that 'Work in Progress' progresses, and JDH, needs persuading over Nightwood, on Edward VIII's abdication, Old Buffer's Dinner for, wins at Monopoly, and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, thrilled by complimentary tickets, The Family Reunion described to, in line to read Family Reunion, has mumps, composes Alcaics from sickbed, at TSE and JDH's dinner, shares EH's Family Reunion criticism, on TSE's dinner-party bearing, discusses F&F's wartime plans, on meeting Ralph Hodgson, asks TSE to stay on during war, takes TSE to Oxford, argues with Major-General Swinton, and Purchase Tax exertions, and Literary Society membership, TSE's wartime intimacy with, drops teeth on beach, offers criticisms of 'Rudyard Kipling', falsely promised Literary Society membership, but eventually elected, helps revise TSE's Classical Association address, reports to Conversative Education Committee, deputed to America on publishing business, returned from America, Ada too ill to see, discusses National Service on BBC, depended on for breakfast, as fire-watching companion, and TSE rearrange attic at 23 Russell Square, recommends blind masseuse to TSE, in nursing home, and the Spender–Campbell spat, on TSE's Order of Merit, approached for essay on TSE, seeks to protect TSE's serenity, as Captain Kidd, wins fancy-dress prize, TSE's trip to Spain with, and National Book League, receives knighthood, on TSE's paroxysmal tachycardia, dies, his death,
see also Fabers, the

11.GeoffreyFaber, Geoffrey Faber (1889–1961), publisher and poet: see Biographical Register.

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,
Four Quartets, as publishing proposition, as conceived by TSE, deliberations over title, published in America, whose first edition appals TSE, reviewed, English edition of, appearing in French in Africa, recorded by TSE, BBC broadcast TSE reading,
Harcourt, Brace & Co., and Selected Essays, poach Frank Morley, negotiations over New York Murder, refuse illustrated edition of Cats, and Four Quartets, which they print disappointingly, advance TSE money,
Murder in the Cathedral, idea for initially suggested by Laurence Irving, offered to Martin Browne, St. Thomas as TSE's muse, TSE on writing, tentatively, 'The Archbishop Murder Case', uncertainties over title, currently 'Fear in the Way', which proves unpopular, TSE on rewriting, title settled on, final revisions for printer, tentatively critiqued by EH, and EH on TSE as dramatist, chorus copied for EH, Virginia Woolf's aspersions on, the form of its choruses, defended from obscurity, did not test TSE's plotting, book-sales to-date, $1,000 offered for American rights, pays for 1936 American trip, Italian and Hungarian rights sold, and Whiggery, Savile Club dinner to celebrate, compared to next play, discrepancies of Canterbury Text, Martin Browne's initial response to, TSE recognised as author of, TSE on its cheerful title, EH on, abandoned Mercury Theatre premiere, suggested by Yeats and Doone, in the offing, and Doone's response to first draft, EH requested at, imperilled, text copied for Yeats, 1935 Canterbury Festival production, in rehearsal, opening night, reception, final performance, and EH's response, 1935–6 Mercury Theatre revival, Martin Browne pushing for, in rehearsal, which EH attends, compared to Canterbury original, at the box-office, its 100th performance, still running, proposed tour to end, 1936 BBC radio version, BBC bid to produce, broadcast fixed, BBC memo on, in rehearsal, TSE on, abortive 1936 New York transfer, Dukes visits America to arrange, blighted by Brace's actions, quashed by Federal Theatre production, its usurper founders, deferred to autumn, unsolicited 1936 New York production, licensed by Brace, to be directed by Rice, seemingly withdrawn, Rice resigns from, delights EH and Eleanor Hinkley, TSE sent press-cuttings for, EH reports on, TSE speculates as to textual discrepancies, attended by Eleanor Roosevelt, extended and potentially expanded, TSE to the Transcript on, may predispose immigration authorities favourably in future, royalties from, 1936 University College, Dublin student production, described by TSE, rumoured Australian and American productions, 1936 Gate Theatre touring production, TSE's long-held wish, scheduled, 1936 touring production, due at the Arts Theatre, Cambridge, as it was played in Cambridge, 1936 America pirate production, 1937 Duchess Theatre West End transfer, date fixed for, announced in Times, dress-rehearsal attended, reception, reviewed, royalties, still playing, ticket sales pick up, coming to an end, receives royal visit, 1937 touring production, scheduled post-Duchess, beginning in Leeds, then Manchester, going strong, 1937 Harvard University production, 1937 Amherst College production, singled out for praise, 1937 Old Vic production, touring production arrived at, in rehearsal, 1937 Tewkesbury Drama Festival production, 1938 American tour, projected for January 1937, said date seconded by Dukes, deferred to September 1937, confirmed again by Dukes, pre-tour dates in Golders Green, then Liverpool, opening in Boston in January, over which EH is consulted, tour itinerary, Family Reunion keeps TSE from, preparatory re-rehearsal for, pre-crossing Liverpool dates, EH's judgement desired, EH reports on first night, reviewed in The Times, EH sends New York cuttings, prematurely transferred to New York, Dukes reports on, Westminster Cathedral Hall charity performance, 1940 Latham Mercury revival, revival suggested in rep with Family Reunion, wartime modern-dress production suggested, ambushes TSE, in rehearsal, first night, reviewed, Browne's wartime Pilgrim Players' adaptation, Hoellering film, Hoellering's initial approach made, Hoellering's vision for, TSE adapting for screen, reconnoitre of Canterbury for, casting Becket, recording made for, development process described to NYT, non-actor found for Becket, screenings of Groser, set-dressing, screening, approaching release, still in the edit, final screening, and Venice Film Festival, seeking distribution, soon to premiere, opens, initial reception, circulating in shortened version, 1945 Théâtre du Vieux Colombier production, compared to Martin Browne's, royalties, apparently a hit, reviewed, reaches 150 performances, Fluchère's involvement, 1946 German production, 1947 Edinburgh Festival production, 1948 Milton Academy production, 1949 broadcast, 1949 Berlin production, politically resonant, 1952 University of Rennes, Grand Théâtre abridgment, 1952 Théatre National Populaire production, 1953 Old Vic revival, waiting on Donat, TSE on, 1954 Harvard production,
Notes Towards the Definition of Culture, sketched by TSE, interrupted, being worked up, TSE writing, stimulated by Christ Church symposium, last chapter to be rewritten, under revision, represents complete statement of TSE's beliefs, EH on, EH requests inscribed copy for Marguerite Hearsey,
writing, and routine, to EH, like talking to the deaf, development and development in the writer, and 're-creative thought', TSE's pace of working, correspondence, and Beethoven, and whether to keep a notebook, dialogue, and loving one's characters, and the necessity for reinvention, to someone as against speaking, plays written chiefly for EH, prose between poems, poetry versus prose, and originality, poetry three hours every morning, plot, and obscurity, blurbs, letters of rejection, requires periods of fruitful latency, on new typewriter, TSE's 'old Corona', the effect of war on, and reading, as taught by the book, prize-day addresses, weekly articles, concisely, from imagination, from experience, for broadcast, out of doors, rewriting old work, and public-speaking, by hand,