[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
Letter 48.
6 September 1943
My dear Emilie,

No letter from you since you last wrote: you may be now in Nova Scotia or anywhere in New England, but I hope not in Boston. So it was Vermont: I do hope that you have had a reply by now, and that it is a favourable one. I have nothing too particular to report about myself: the usual sort of engagements in town – lunchSpender, Stephen;c4 withYeh, George;a2 Stephen Spender and (by accident) Dr. George Yeh of the Chinese Embassy – teaSorabji, Cornelia;a6 with Miss Sorabji, MrVaisey, Harry Bevir, KC;a1. H. B. Vaisey K.C.,1 a pair of psychic researchers, andRichmond, Elena;a3 Elena Richmond2 – andMostyn Red Cross Clubsome of whom visit him;a3 five American soldiers in for the evening to talk and drink beer. Four had German names and one Italian – none officers – from fresh-water colleges and state universities I should think, but you can’t ask five visitors about themselves as you could at one time – all very well informed on contemporary literature and probably very little about any previous literature – very nice fellows, and what was marvellous and delightful, NONE OF THEM POETS.3 DealingAmericaredeemed by experience with G. I.'s;b6 so much with poets as I do, one tends to form a very low view of human nature; and I had assumed that their wanting to see [me] meant that each one wanted my opinion of his verse and assistance towards publication. Not at all: they seem to have come simply for the pleasure of conversation. That five young American conscripts should care to spend an evening with me in conversation, and with no axes to grind, gives me more hope for humanity, or at least for American humanity. I should like to meet more of the same sort. WhenBrown, Harry, Jr.dumps his verses on TSE;a3 I dined with Harry Brown last week (Sergeant Brown) I left with a wad of manuscript: but I knew he was a poet. IJoad, C. E. M.;a1 have also met Mr. Joad, who talked less, and seemed less at ease, in general company than I should have expected.4 AfterHuxley, Julianobjectionable;a5 all, he is not so objectionable as Julian Huxley: just common. NextPoetry Reading for Chinadreaded by TSE;a1 week comes the Poetry Reading for China and the National Council of Women: ISitwell, Edithat odds with Dorothy Wellesley;b4 hopeWellesley, Dorothy, Duchess of Wellingtonat odds with Edith Sitwell;a4 there will be no contretemps involving Edith Sitwell and Dorothy Wellesley, who are both reading and are not on the best of terms. INiebuhr, ReinholdHuman Nature;a9 have just read ReinholdNiebuhr, Reinholdreminds TSE of Babbitt;a7 Niebuhr’s ‘Human Nature’ (first volume of ‘The Nature and Destiny of Man’) with much admiration and approval. BabbittBabbitt, Irvinglikened to Reinhold Niebuhr;a9 might have reached something of this sort if he had been a Christian.

I have heard nothing from Cambridge for a fortnight, and the previous bulletins made me apprehensive. The fact that one does not want this to go on makes it no easier; but the composing of a letter a week to someone who may not be there to receive it (and if the unreceived letter has not yet been written, it is certain to be one of my future letters) leaves one rather racked. AndSecond World Warbombing of German cities;d9 the bombing of Germany is a deplorable necessity which is a continuous burden on one’s mind and conscience: these things cast a shadow over one’s most personal and private affairs, chill gaity [sic] and numb personal feelings. I hope I may have a letter, my dear, this week.

Your loving

WhatElsmith, Dorothy Olcott;a6 is Dorothy Ellsmiths’ address?

1.Harry Bevir Vaisey, barrister and judge, was Chairman of the Community Centre, Dalgarno Way, Dalgarno Gardens, North Kensington.

2.See TSE to Hayward, 10 Sept. 1943: ‘Tea with Miss Sorabji brought me a glimpse of my old friend Mr. H. B. Vaisey, K.C., a couple of Dick de la Mare’s psychic research authors, Phoebe Payne and her husband (the trouble with having psychic researchers is that it leads people to telling ghost stories) and Lady Richmond.’

3.TSE to Hayward, 10 Sept. 1943: ‘TheyMostyn Red Cross Clubsome of whom visit him;a3n turned up on time, Sergeant Fechheimer, Pte. Heinz Arnold, Cpl. Berman, Cpl. Habicke, And Pte. Giannino Pinnochio. One was unable to come – I dont know who it was, but perhaps Hymie Kaplan …’ (Hyman Kaplan featured in the comic stories of Leo Rosten, first published in the New Yorker in 1935 and then in The Education of H*Y*M*A*N*K*A*P*L*A*N.) T. S. Matthews, Great Tom, 128: ‘Besides his extracurricular fire-watching, Eliot put himself at the disposal of G.I.’s in London who wanted to see him, or were told they should want to. Sergeant James A. Fechheimer was one of five who visited him one evening in his office, taking along a copy of the American edition of Four Quartets – the first copy of the poem Eliot had seen in print, since the English edition was not yet out.’

4.C. E. M. JoadJoad, C. E. M. (1891–1953), philosopher, controversialist, socialist, pacifist, popular broadcaster and author; Head of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology, Birkbeck College, London; participant in the BBC wartime radio discussion series The Brains Trust.

America, TSE on not returning in 1915, and TSE as transatlantic cultural conduit, dependence on Europe, TSE's sense of deracination from, and the Great Depression, TSE a self-styled 'Missourian', as depicted in Henry Eliot's Rumble Murders, its national coherence questioned, its religious and educational future, versus Canadian and colonial society, where age is not antiquity, drinks Scotland's whisky, and FDR's example to England, underrates Europe's influence on England, redeemed by experience with G. I.'s, TSE nervous at readjusting to, and post-war cost of living, more alien to TSE post-war, its glories, landscape, cheap shoes, its horrors, Hollywood, climate, lack of tea, overheated trains, over-social clubs, overheating in general, perplexities of dress code, food, especially salad-dressing, New England Gothic, earthquakes, heat, the whistle of its locomotives, 'Easter holidays' not including Easter, the cut of American shirts, television, Andover, Massachusetts, EH moves to, Ann Arbor, Michigan, TSE on visiting, Augusta, Maine, EH stops in, Baltimore, Maryland, and TSE's niece, TSE engaged to lecture in, TSE on visiting, Bangor, Maine, EH visits, Bay of Fundy, EH sailing in, Bedford, Massachusetts, its Stearns connections, Boston, Massachusetts, TSE tries to recollect society there, its influence on TSE, its Museum collection remembered, inspires homesickness, TSE and EH's experience of contrasted, described by Maclagan, suspected of dissipating EH's energies, EH's loneliness in, Scripps as EH's release from, possibly conducive to TSE's spiritual development, restores TSE's health, its society, TSE's relations preponderate, TSE's happiness in, as a substitute for EH's company, TSE's celebrity in, if TSE were there in EH's company, its theatregoing public, The Times on, on Labour Day, Brunswick, Maine, TSE to lecture in, TSE on visiting, California, as imagined by TSE, TSE's wish to visit, EH suggests trip to Yosemite, swimming in the Pacific, horrifies TSE, TSE finds soulless, land of earthquakes, TSE dreads its effect on EH, Wales's resemblance to, as inferno, and Californians, surfeit of oranges and films in, TSE's delight at EH leaving, land of kidnappings, Aldous Huxley seconds TSE's horror, the lesser of two evils, Cannes reminiscent of, TSE masters dislike of, land of monstrous churches, TSE regrets EH leaving, winterless, its southern suburbs like Cape Town, land of fabricated antiquities, Cambridge, Massachusetts, TSE's student days in, socially similar to Bloomsbury, TSE lonely there but for Ada, TSE's happiness in, exhausting, EH's 'group' in, road safety in, Casco Bay, Maine, TSE remembers, Castine, Maine, EH holidays in, Cataumet, Massachusetts, EH holidays in, Chicago, Illinois, EH visits, reportedly bankrupt, TSE on, TSE takes up lectureship in, its climate, land of fabricated antiquities, Chocurua, New Hampshire, EH stays in, Concord, Massachusetts, EH's househunting in, EH moves from, Connecticut, its countryside, and Boerre, TSE's end-of-tour stay in, Dorset, Vermont, EH holidays in, and the Dorset Players, Elizabeth, New Jersey, TSE on visiting, Farmington, Connecticut, place of EH's schooling, which TSE passes by, EH holidays in, Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, EH recuperates in, Gerrish Island, Maine, TSE revisits, Hollywood, perceived debauchery of its movies, TSE's dream of walk-on part, condemned by TSE to destruction, TSE trusts Murder will be safe from, Iowa City, Iowa, TSE invited to, Jonesport, Maine, remembered, Kittery, Maine, described, Lexington, Massachusetts, and the Stearns family home, Lyndeborough, New Hampshire, visited by EH, Madison, Wisconsin, Aurelia Bolliger hails from, Ralph Hodgson sails for, EH summers in, as conceived by TSE, who eventually visits, Maine, its coast remembered by TSE, TSE recalls swimming off, Minneapolis, on EH's 1952 itinerary, TSE lectures in, New Bedford, Massachusetts, EH's holidays in, TSE's family ties to, New England, and Unitarianism, more real to TSE than England, TSE homesick for, in TSE's holiday plans, architecturally, compared to California, and the New England conscience, TSE and EH's common inheritance, springless, TSE remembers returning from childhood holidays in, its countryside distinguished, and The Dry Salvages, New York (N.Y.C.), TSE's visits to, TSE encouraged to write play for, prospect of visiting appals TSE, as cultural influence, New York theatres, Newburyport, Maine, delights TSE, Northampton, Massachusetts, TSE on, EH settles in, TSE's 1936 visit to, autumn weather in, its spiritual atmosphere, EH moves house within, its elms, the Perkinses descend on, Aunt Irene visits, Boerre's imagined life in, TSE on hypothetical residence in, EH returns to, Peterborough, New Hampshire, visited by EH, TSE's vision of life at, Petersham, Massachusetts, EH holidays in, TSE visits with the Perkinses, EH spends birthday in, Edith Perkins gives lecture at, the Perkinses cease to visit, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, TSE on, and TSE's private Barnes Foundation tour, Independence Hall, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, surrounding countryside, Portsmouth, Maine, delights TSE, Randolph, New Hampshire, 1933 Eliot family holiday in, the Eliot siblings return to, Seattle, Washington State, EH summers in, EH's situation at, TSE prefers to California, EH repairs to post-Christmas, EH visits on 1952 tour, EH returns to, Sebasco, Maine, EH visits, South, the, TSE's first taste of, TSE's prejudices concerning, St. Louis, Missouri, TSE's childhood in, TSE's homesickness for, TSE styling himself a 'Missourian', possible destination for TSE's ashes, resting-place of TSE's parents, TSE on his return to, the Mississippi, compared to TSE's memory, TSE again revisits, TSE takes EVE to, St. Paul, Minnesota, TSE on visiting, the Furness house in, Tryon, North Carolina, EH's interest in, EH staying in, Virginia, scene of David Garnett's escapade, and the Page-Barbour Lectures, TSE on visiting, and the South, Washington, Connecticut, EH recuperates in, West Rindge, New Hampshire, EH holidays at, White Mountains, New Hampshire, possible TSE and EH excursion to, Woods Hole, Falmouth, Massachusetts, TSE and EH arrange holiday at, TSE and EH's holiday in recalled, and The Dry Salvages, TSE invited to, EH and TSE's 1947 stay in, EH learns of TSE's death at,
Babbitt, Irving, compared to Paul More, 'considerably mellowed', ailing in bed, dies, More and TSE elegise, commemorated in Criterion, posthumous note on, likened to Reinhold Niebuhr, his attitude to TSE's poetry, compared to Maurras,
see also Babbitts, the

2.IrvingBabbitt, Irving Babbitt (1865–1933), American academic and literary and cultural critic; Harvard University Professor of French Literature (TSE had taken his course on literary criticism in France); antagonist of Rousseau and romanticism; promulgator (with Paul Elmer More) of ‘New Humanism’. His publications include Literature and the American College (1908); Rousseau and Romanticism (1919); Democracy and Leadership (1924). See TSE, ‘The Humanism of Irving Babbitt’ (1928), in Selected Essays (1950); ‘XIII by T. S. Eliot’, in Irving Babbitt: Man and Teacher, ed. F. Manchester and Odell Shepard (1941): CProse 6, 186–9.

Brown, Harry, Jr., dumps his verses on TSE,

3.HarryBrown, Harry, Jr. Brown, Jr. (1917–86), American poet, novelist and screenwriter; his works include The End of a Decade (1940) and The Poem of Bunker Hill (1941). During WW2 he wrote for Yank, the Army Weekly; and he later found success as a screenwriter: his achievements included Ocean’s 11 (1960), starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Elsmith, Dorothy Olcott, issues invitation to Woods Hole, TSE and EH to stay with, now living in Boston, invites TSE again to Woods Hole, thanked for hospitality, on TSE as nurse, attends Kind Lady, reports on Kind Lady, in New Zealand, taken to dinner at Garrick, EH in Grand Manan with, EH visits during Christmas holidays, present when EH learns of TSE's death,
see also Elsmiths, the

4.TSEElsmiths, theseminal Woods Hole stay with;a1Elsmith, Dorothy OlcottElsmiths, the andAmericaWoods Hole, Falmouth, Massachusetts;i2TSE and EH's holiday in recalled;a2St. LouisAmericaBostonAmericaCaliforniaAmericaCambridge, MassachusettsAmericaHollywoodAmericaNew EnglandAmericaNew YorkAmerica EHElsmith, Dorothy Olcott were going to visit a friend of EH’s named Dorothy Olcott Elsmith (a graduate of Smith College), who lived with her family in a white clapboard house by the seaside at Woods Hole, Falmouth, Mass.: see Biographical Register.

Huxley, Julian, inferior to Aldous, pops in on TSE, at Aldous's for supper, objectionable, lunch in Chicago with,
Joad, C. E. M.,

4.C. E. M. JoadJoad, C. E. M. (1891–1953), philosopher, controversialist, socialist, pacifist, popular broadcaster and author; Head of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology, Birkbeck College, London; participant in the BBC wartime radio discussion series The Brains Trust.

Mostyn Red Cross Club, TSE meets American soldiers at, some of whom visit him, some of whom visit him, TSE's second visit to,
Niebuhr, Reinhold, talks theology for seven hours, TSE on, speaks passionately, offers paper on adolescence, commended to EH, at the Moot, reminds TSE of Babbitt, dines with TSE in Princeton, Human Nature,

3.ReinholdNiebuhr, Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971), influential theologian, ethicist, philosopher, and polemical commentator on politics and public affairs: see Biographical Register.

Poetry Reading for China, dreaded by TSE, recounted, recounted to JDH,
Richmond, Elena, interests TSE in Hindu cause, home-hunting for TSE in Hampshire,
see also Richmonds, the
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,
Sitwell, Edith, TSE likens EH's portrait to, which displeases EH, which likeness TSE presently disclaims, shockingly altered, now seems more herself, brings Pavel Tchelitchew to tea, to tea on New Year's Day, at Harold Monro's funeral, dragoons TSE into poetry reading, at which she is rated, at odds with Dorothy Wellesley, at Poetry Reading for China, sends TSE whisky in hospital,
see also Sitwells, the

2.EdithSitwell, Edith Sitwell (1887–1964), poet, biographer, anthologist, novelist: see Biographical Register.

Sorabji, Cornelia, appeals to TSE, going blind, runs into bus, verses for her Red Cross Book,

4.ElenaSorabji, Cornelia Richmond invited TSE to meet Cornelia Sorabji (1866–1954) – barrister and prominent social reformer, and author of a book of reminiscences entitled India Calling – at their London home, 3 Sumner Place, S.W.7, on Fri., 29 Mar. Sorabji’s ‘Note re Orthodox Hindus and Protection for Religion’ lamented one specific aspect of the Report on the Indian Constitutional Reform, to the effect that the protection accorded to religion since 1858 (Queen Victoria’s Proclamation) would seem to have been deliberately withdrawn.

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.

Vaisey, Harry Bevir, KC,

2.HarryVaisey, Harry Bevir, KC Bevir Vaisey, KC (1877–1965), barrister-at-law; later a senior judge in the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice in England and Wales. Author of The Canon Law of the Church of England: Being a Report of the Archbishops’ Commission on Canon Law (1947). He had the title ‘Chancellor’ as the legal representative of various Church of England dioceses.

Wellesley, Dorothy, Duchess of Wellington, Yeats presses on TSE, qua poet, on first impression, at Clive Bell's, at odds with Edith Sitwell,

4.DorothyWellesley, Dorothy, Duchess of Wellington Wellesley, Duchess of Wellington (1889–1956) – known as Lady Gerald Wellesley (in 1914 she married the 7th Duke of Wellington, but they separated without divorce in 1922) – socialite, author, poet, editor; close friend of W. B. Yeats, who published her work in the Oxford Book of English Verse; editor of the Hogarth Living Poets series.

Yeh, George, addresses Spender as 'Steve',

2.GeorgeYeh, George Yeh (1903–81) – Yeh Kung-chao (Ye Gongchao) – son of a cultivated Cantonese family, gained an MA in Indo-European linguistics at Cambridge, after taking a first degree in the USA, where his gifts brought him to the attention of Robert Frost. From 1935 he taught in the Department of Western Languages and Literature at Peking University. After the overthrow by the Communists of Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang government in 1949, he became Minister of Foreign Affairs for the government of Nationalist China; and in 1958–61 he was Taiwanese Ambassador to Washington; later an adviser to President Chiang Kai-shek. He wrote several books on literature and culture, and won a number of medals and citations.