[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
Letter 18.
5 June 1944
Dearest Emily,

ThisSpeaight, Robertswoops on Shamley to record TSE;d9 weekend has been very upset, by Bobby Speaight, wanting'Broadcast on the liberation of Rome by the Allies';a1 at very short notice, a 4 minute broadcast about our literary debt to Rome.1 So I spent two days writing and polishing (for the shorter a piece is, the more careful you have to be about every word and sentence): yesterday he rang me up, and said that owing to the progress being made in Italy2 he didn’t think it safe to wait until I came to town on Monday (for it was to be recorded and preserved until the right moment to send it forth on the air to Europe); soShamley Wood, Surreyits melodramas;b2 down he came to Shamley this morning with a couple of engineers in a ‘recording car’, ran a wire through the hall, and put me at a microphone in the drawing-room. TheBehrens, Margaret Elizabeth (née Davidson)sequesters dogs for TSE's recording;b5 Field-Marshal, true to her vocation, had carefully shepherded and folded the dogs into another part of the house, so that there should be no barking during the recording, the staff were warned not to drop anything on the floor upstairs; and the recording was, apparently, successful. If it is approved, it will be delivered at 10.30 tonight (I will send you a copy, but Bobby took away my script with him and I only have the one carbon at the moment). MrsMirrlees, Emily Lina ('Mappie', née Moncrieff)delighted by recording at Shamley;d9. M. and her household highly delighted and excited by the whole ceremony; andWellesley, Gerald, 7th Duke of Wellington;a2 Bobby, you may be sure, very important, dashing off in his car to go through the same process with the Duke of Wellington. (TheTrevelyan, George Macaulay ('G. M.');a2 others are the R.C. Archbishop of Westminster, George Trevelyan, and Wilfred Greene).

All'Responsibility of the Man of Letters in the Cultural Restoration of Europe, The';a3 this interrupted woefully my article for the Norwegians, justVirgil Society, TheTSE's Presidental Address for;a3 as the Norwegians have interrupted the Virgil Society, theMurder in the CathedralHoellering film;g1TSE adapting for screen;a3 Virgil Society the Murder film, and'Johnson as Critic and Poet'revisited with view to publication;a6 the Murder film the Johnson lectures, andNotes Towards the Definition of Cultureinterrupted;a3 the Johnson lectures Religion and Culture. ButSecond World Warits effect on TSE;b3 for the last four years I have been habitually in the frame of mind of never thinking of the future, so far as my own life and business is concerned, more than a week ahead. DuringSecond World WarThe Blitz;c6 the blitz, indeed, one only looked twelve hours ahead; but a week seems the long-distance war perspective. One thinks ahead, in the sense of thinking (though one cannot do it for very long at a time) about ‘post-war problems’, but that is very impersonal and detached from one’s private imagination. Of course when I say a week, that is no doubt made more marked in any case by the Guildford–London shuttle of my life; but I don’t think I am exceptional in this contraction of vision; I think it is the normal state of most people in the country. I doubt if it is quite the same in America; and I think that perhaps it is an allowance that you must make for me here. ‘TheEuropeits post-war future;a8 future’ is something that one just does not dare to think about. In America, perhaps, this war still seems just a war; but in Europe it is more like going through a long earthquake: you shut your eyes in order to bear it, and wonder how far the world, when you open your eyes on it again, will look like the same place. I suspect too, that in this long interval one has been aging at rather more than the normal rate, but there is no fixed point by which to measure the rate. I say all this, not to give expression to a depressed mood, for it isn’t that at all: but rather in the hope that, if I can give you a glimmering of what I mean (and indeed I have only a glimmering of it myself – when the war is over, and I can visit the States, I may, among old friends – for it might come clearer among a group of friends who had been, meanwhile, leading as nearly as possible their ordinary lives – I may see it more clearly myself) – if I can give you a glimmering, it may make me seem rather less, than more remote from you.

TheFour QuartetsEnglish edition of;a7 Quartets have reached the proof stage, so that I hope they may be out in a couple of months (publishing is very very slow now). DidWhiting, IsabelTSE inscribes book to;a1 I tell you thatMcPherrin, Jeanettepromised and receives East Coker;f2 IEast Coker;c6 sent off to you (at Commonwealth Avenue) a copy of the poems for Mrs. Whiting and East Coker for Jeanie? When, I wonder, do you go North for a few weeks of sea breezes?


1.See ‘Broadcast on the liberation of Rome by the Allies’, CProse 6, 507–9. ‘It is the formation given us in the past, the tradition of Latin culture which we have in common, together with our common religion, that created the European consciousness, the common mind in which we are Europeans […] The question of our relative debts to Athens and to Rome has often been debated, and always vainly; for they are not debts in quite the same kind. But we must remember that it was through Rome, that our connection with ancient Greece, as with ancient Israel, was established; through Rome, Greece and Israel influenced us during the centuries when Europe was being formed; and to Rome we owe the fact that we are Europeans.’

2.After a long period of deadlock, Allied forces were advancing rapidly in Italy and first entered Rome on 4 June.

Behrens, Margaret Elizabeth (née Davidson), comes to lodge at Shamley, tends to Shamley hens, mainstay of Shamley sanity, does not spoil her dog, takes refuge from Shamley's dogs, reports on poultry-feeding manuscript, sequesters dogs for TSE's recording, makes vatic pronouncements on Operation Overlord, cheers up Shamley, jeremiad on Shamley, introduces Violet Powell to TSE, in Ilfracombe, settled in Lee, during Christmas 1945, departing for Menton, visited in Menton,

4.MargaretBehrens, Margaret Elizabeth (née Davidson) Elizabeth Behrens, née Davidson (1885–1968), author of novels including In Masquerade (1930); Puck in Petticoats (1931); Miss Mackay (1932); Half a Loaf (1933).

'Broadcast on the liberation of Rome by the Allies',
East Coker, its Kensington origins, and TSE's cousins' visit, TSE's own plan to visit eponymous village, which he does, TSE returns to East Coker, TSE on writing, and Yeats's Purgatory, needs polishing, ready for printer, EH sent, decision to print in NEW, TSE on its mood, sales, reception, EH yet to receive, EH promised shilling edition, broadcast by BBC Eastern Service, draft inevitably bought by Gallup, TSE recites for Czechs, EH recounts recitation of, TSE's recording of,
Europe, and Henry James, through the 1930s, its importance for America, potentially inspired by FDR, in the event of war, seems more alive than America, the effects of war on, its post-war future, its post-war condition, the possibility of Federal Union, TSE's sense of duty towards,
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,
'Johnson as Critic and Poet', being and not being written, threatens to outgrow its occasion, as essay was lectured, described for EH, revisited with view to publication, revamped for Princeton, favoured by Eleanor Hinkley,
McPherrin, Jeanette, first mentioned, mentions 'shriners', TSE approves of, to accompany EH to Paris, and her first London visit, thanks TSE for Caetani introduction, TSE offers to rearrange studies at Cambridge, under I. A. Richards, encouraged to join EH in Rome, causes EH difficulty, joins EH in Florence, with EH in Rome, offered rare editions of Commerce, given introduction to the Maritains, whom she visits, shares TSE's Perkins concerns, sent stuffed plums, not to be mentioned at Campden, compared favourably to Margaret Thorp, disliked by Edith Perkins, EH job-seeking for, TSE confides EH's breakdown to, accompanied TSE and EH to Burford, taken to the Elsmiths, still persona non grata with the Perkinses, promised and receives East Coker, a Christian Scientist, recalls TSE's final day with Henry, hosts EH at Wellesley, now Lecturer in French at Wellesley, missed by EH, asks TSE to read at Wellesley,

2.JeanetteMcPherrin, Jeanette McPherrin (1911–92), postgraduate student at Scripps College; friend of EH: see Biographical Register.

Mirrlees, Emily Lina ('Mappie', née Moncrieff), taken round the Tower, invites TSE to Shamley, described for EH, offers to house TSE gratis, her religion, as horticulturalist, concerns TSE, her distress on animals' behalf, not an irritant, secures better gardener for Shamley, circumstances in which she offered TSE refuge, indifferent to enlarging acquaintance, engineers solitude at Shamley, surprises TSE with lobster and cigars, reduces TSE's rent, celebrates 80th birthday, abed and anxious, anxious about North African campaign, going deaf, boosted by son's promotion, receives offer for Shamley, theatrical by nature, TSE prefers being alone with, TSE's sense of responsibility to, spoils TSE on his birthday, aflutter over Christmas turkey, delighted by recording at Shamley, takes in hopeless cases, collector of recipes, pleased by TSE's lawnmowing, hankers after life in Menton, dreams of leaving Shamley, pulls out of selling Shamley, as landlady, frustrations with gardener, her aura, summons TSE to Shamley, during TSE's final Shamley Christmas, dying, still just living, dies following operation, Wishful Cooking,
see also Mirrleeses, the

3.HopeMirrlees, Emily Lina ('Mappie', née Moncrieff) Mirrlees’s mother was Emily Lina Mirrlees, née Moncrieff (1862–1948) – known as ‘Mappie’ or ‘Mappy’ – see Biographical Register.

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,
'Responsibility of the Man of Letters in the Cultural Restoration of Europe, The', and The Norseman, Norseman sent to EH,
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,
Shamley Wood, Surrey, TSE issued standing invitation to, his situation as paying guest, daily and weekly life at, dramatis personae, Christmas at, ideal situation for illness, overheated, depressingly female, TSE leads fire practice at, TSE takes week's rest from, its melodramas, TSE quarantined from, its lack of music, and Reay's homecoming, TSE distributes food parcels at, TSE's gradual removal from, TSE's post-war week's holiday at, post-hernia convalescence at,
Speaight, Robert, singled out as Malvolio, chats to TSE at OM's, talked through part of Becket by TSE, excited at TSE's dramatic ambitions, never happier on stage, committed to Mercury Murder revival, unimprovable as Becket, in Mercury Theatre production, issues TSE with Irish introductions, his performance agreed to be going stale, at 100th performance of Murder, cast in Williams's Cranmer, his Becket critiqued by Tandy, as Becket, records Becket's sermon, which TSE is against, at post-performance feast in Cambridge, better as Cranmer than Becket, sermon reblocked for Duchess Theatre, at Savile Club Murder dinner, and the royal visit, becoming conceited, performance pruned in re-rehearsal, problems with his performance persist, in EH's report, compared to Robert Sansom, broadcasts East Coker, gives small dinner at Garrick, swoops on Shamley to record TSE, discounted from film of Murder, complains and is disingenuously soothed, as Elijah in Nicholson's debut, attends Family Reunion with TSE, still playing Becket, misrepresents TSE's views, in Belgium, ruined by Becket, in The Confidential Clerk,

2.RobertSpeaight, Robert Speaight (1904–77), actor, producer and author, was to create the role of Becket in Murder in the Cathedral in 1935: see Biographical Register.

Trevelyan, George Macaulay ('G. M.'), sees TSE in Cambridge,
Virgil Society, The, TSE made inaugural president, letter written on behalf of, TSE's Presidental Address for,
Wellesley, Gerald, 7th Duke of Wellington, hijacks TSE and JDH's dinner,
Whiting, Isabel, TSE inscribes book to, for which she thanks TSE, visits EH, EH stays with,

1.AnWhiting, Isabel old, close friend of EH’s, Isabel Whiting lived for some years at 11 Mason Street, Cambridge, MA; later at 9 Phillips Place, Cambridge, MA.