[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
Letter 34.
16 October 1944
Dearest Emily,

As I think I warned you, I had a peculiarly distracted week, and wrote no letters. IBooks Across the SeaAGM;a4 have to go up on Monday for Books Across the Sea (I enclose the Times report, but I never heard of Dixon Wector [sc. Wecter] before)1 and, as that was not over until after 7, had to stop the night. OnMrs Millington (the blind masseuse)pounding TSE's neck;a3 Tuesday I had my massage from Mrs. Millington, and returned to Shamley; coming up again on Wednesday morning until Thursday night. ThenVirgil Society, TheTSE's Presidental Address for;a3 I had to go up again for the day on Saturday for the Virgil Society address, found that the 5.45 train doesn’t run on Saturday, and arrived at Shamley at about a quarter past eight. It just happened that these two meetings came the same week, and on the two most inconvenient days (I believe Saturday was Virgil’s birthday, anyway). I hope, in future, to be able to stick to being on [sc. in] London on either Tuesday and Wednesday nights, or on Wednesday and Thursday nights. It has been a good deal quieter, and on Wednesday last I was able to sleep through the whole night without interruption. AndMirrlees, Emily Lina ('Mappie', née Moncrieff);e6 I have had a quiet weekend, what there was of it, as nobody was here except Mrs. Mirrlees. TheBehrens, Margaret Elizabeth (née Davidson);b7 FieldEnglandIlfracombe, Devon;g2and the Field Marshal;a1 Marshal (Behrens Peg) is coming back week after next, having tired of Ilfracombe and finding it turning cold: I am glad of that, for if the house is full, the fuller the better, and I prefer not being the only p.g.

I have no letter from you meanwhile, and hope that this does not mean that your work is taking all your time and exhausting all your energies, as it sounded as if it would do. Will being in Concord make it possible to see a greater variety of people than in Poughkeepsie? I hope that you will be warm enough this winter: the season is already well changed here: but with sanatogen, and glucose, and halibut oil, and Mrs. Millington pounding my neck (it is possible that I may be able to write again with a pen eventually – my writing may be so improved that you won’t recognise it) and the new cow that Mrs. Mirrlees is waiting for, I may get through even more successfully than last winter. And one is pretty sure that this is the last winter.

Your devoted

Quartet published and posted.

1.‘BooksBooks Across the SeaThe Times reports on;b2n Across the Sea: Helping Children to Know the World’, The Times, 10 Oct. 1944, 2:

‘Mr T. S. Eliot, president of the British section of Books Across the Sea, speaking at the annual meeting, at the Waldorf Hotel, last night, said that the activities of the organization in the juvenile world in the past year had been conspicuous.

‘This was a very important part of the work in which they were taking a long view towards the future. People sometimes asked why there should be any new children’s books when there were so many established children’s classics. But children, as much as anybody else, needed contemporary books as well as classics, and particularly was this so in the case of English and American children reading books from the other country. The early impressions children got of another country were very largely from the books they read for pleasure. The notions that English children formed of the life of American children, and vice versa, were the foundation for the ideas which they would have later. To concern ourselves with children’s books, therefore, was simply to plan a long way ahead.

‘The work of the organization for children was naturally closely associated with work for and through schools and, consequently, for individual teachers. This was a branch of the activity in which he was particularly interested. The most obvious link to be forged was that of the teaching of history and geography.

‘The two kinds of service of which he had spoken were not only natural but inevitable developments out of what remained the primary purpose of the association to promote better understanding between the English-speaking peoples through books.

‘The American and British sections together hoped to cooperate in establishing relations with groups of people among our allies and to help these nations which were temporarily famished even of books in their own languages and to establish exchanges.

‘On view at the meeting was the 2,000th American “ambassador” book received as a gift of good will from the corresponding Books Across the Sea in New York. It is an inscribed copy of Dixon Wector’s [sic] “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”.’

Dixon Wecter (1906–50), American social historian and author, taught at the University of California, Los Angeles, 1939–45, and the University of Sydney, 1945–9, before becoming the Margaret Byrne Professor of United States History at the University of California, Berkeley, 1949–50. His works include The Saga of American Society: A Record of Social Aspiration, 1607–1937 (New York, 1937) and The Hero in America: A Chronicle of Hero-Worship (New York, 1941). When Johnny Comes Marching Home (1944) won the Houghton Mifflin Life-in-America Prize.

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).

Books Across the Sea, TSE unwillingly president of, AGM, letter to The Times for, exhibition, reception for Beatrice Warde, The Times reports on, TSE trumpets in TES, 'Bridgebuilders', TLS reports on, and South Audley Street library, absorbed into English Speaking Union, final meeting of,
England, TSE as transatlantic cultural conduit for, discomforts of its larger houses, and Henry James, at times unreal, TSE's patriotic homesickness for, which is not a repudiation of America, TSE's want of relations in, encourages superiority in Americans familiar with, reposeful, natural ally of France, compared to Wales, much more intimate with Europe than America, TSE on his 'exile' in, undone by 'Dividend morality', in wartime, war binds TSE to, post-war, post-war privations, the English, initially strange to TSE, contortions of upward mobility, comparatively rooted as a people, TSE more comfortable distinguishing, the two kinds of duke, TSE's vision of wealthy provincials, its Tories, more blunt than Americans, as congregants, considered racially superior, a relief from the Scottish, don't talk in poetry, compared to the Irish, English countryside, around Hindhead, distinguished, the West Country, compared to New England's, fen country, in primrose season, the English weather, cursed by Joyce, suits mistiness, preferred to America's, distinguished for America's by repose, relaxes TSE, not rainy enough, English traditions, Derby Day, Order of Merit, shooting, Varsity Cricket Match, TSE's dislike of talking cricket, rugby match enthralls, the death of George V, knighthood, the English language, Adlestrop, Gloucestershire, visited by EH and TSE, Amberley, West Sussex, ruined castle at, Arundel, West Sussex, TSE's guide to, Bath, Somerset, TSE 'ravished' by, EH visits, Bemerton, Wiltshire, visited on Herbert pilgrimage, Blockley, Gloucestershire, tea at the Crown, Bosham, West Sussex, EH introduced to, Bridport, Dorset, Tandys settled near, Burford, Oxfordshire, EH staying in, too hallowed to revisit, Burnt Norton, Gloucestershire, TSE remembers visiting, and the Cotswolds, its imagined fate, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, less oppressive than Oxford, TSE's vision of life in, possible refuge during Blitz, Charlbury, Oxfordshire, visited by EH and TSE, Chester, Cheshire, TSE's plans in, TSE on, Chichester, West Sussex, the Perkinses encouraged to visit, EH celebrates birthday in, TSE's guide to, 'The Church and the Artist', TSE gives EH ring in, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, Perkinses take house at, shockingly remote, TSE's first weekend at, likened to Florence, TSE jealous of memories associated with, its Arts & Crafts associations, its attractions to Dr Perkins, forever associated with TSE and EH, sound of the Angelus, without EH, treasured in TSE's memory, excursions from, EH on 'our' garden at, Stamford House passes into new hands, EH's fleeting return to, Cornwall, TSE's visit to, compared to North Devon, Cotswolds, sacred in TSE's memory, Derbyshire, as seen from Swanwick, Devon ('Devonshire'), likened to American South, the Eliots pre-Somerset home, its scenery, Dorset, highly civilised, TSE feels at home in, TSE's Tandy weekend in, Durham, TSE's visit to, East Anglia, its churches, TSE now feels at home in, East Coker, Somerset, visited by Uncle Chris and Abby, TSE conceives desire to visit, reasons for visiting, described, visited again, and the Shamley Cokers, now within Father Underhill's diocese, photographs of, Finchampstead, Berkshire, visited by TSE and EH, specifically the Queen's Head, Framlingham, Suffolk, visited, Garsington, Oxfordshire, recalled, Glastonbury, Somerset, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, highly civilised, its beautiful edge, its countryside associated with EH, TSE at home in, its domestic architecture, Hadsleigh, Suffolk, visited, Hampshire, journey through, TSE's New Forest holiday, Hereford, highly civilised, Hull, Yorkshire, and 'Literature and the Modern World', Ilfracombe, Devon, and the Field Marshal, hideous, Knole Park, Kent, Lavenham, Suffolk, visited, Leeds, Yorkshire, TSE lectures in, touring Murder opens in, the Dobrées visited in, home to EVE's family, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, TSE's visit to, especially the Bishop's Palace, Lincolnshire, arouses TSE's curiosity, unknown to EH, Lingfield, Surrey, Little Gidding, Cambridgeshire, TSE's long-intended expedition to, London, in TSE's experience, TSE's isolation within, affords solitude and anonymity, contrasted to country life, its fogs, socially freer than Boston and Paris, eternally misty, its lionhunters, rain preferable in, more 'home' to TSE than America, socially more legible than Boston, its society compared to Boston's, TSE's desire to live among cockneys, South Kensington too respectable, Clerkenwell, Camberwell, Blackheath, Greenwich scouted for lodging, its comparatively vigorous religious life, Camberwell lodging sought, Clerkenwell lodging sought, and music-hall nostalgia, abandoned by society in August, the varieties of cockney, TSE's East End sojourn, South Kensington grows on TSE, prepares for Silver Jubilee, South Kensington street names, Dulwich hallowed in memory, so too Greenwich, during 1937 Coronation, preparing for war, Dulwich revisited with family, in wartime, TSE as air-raid warden in, Long Melford, Suffolk, Lowestoft, Suffolk, Lyme Regis, Dorset, with the Morleys, Marlborough, Wiltshire, scene of a happy drink, Needham Market, Suffolk, Newcastle, Northumberland, TSE's visit to, Norfolk, appeals to TSE, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, dreary, Nottinghamshire, described for EH, Oxford, Oxfordshire, as recollected by TSE, past and present, EH takes lodgings in, haunted for TSE, in July, compared to Cambridge, Peacehaven, Sussex, amazing sermon preached in, Penrith, TSE's visit to, Rochester, as Dickens described, Salisbury, Wiltshire, in the Richmonds' company, Shamley Green, Surrey, TSE's ARP work in, its post office, Pilgrim Players due at, Somerset, highly civilised, TSE at home in, Southwold, Suffolk, TSE visits with family, Stanton, Gloucestershire, on TSE and EH's walk, Stanway, Gloucestershire, on EH and TSE's walk, Suffolk, TSE visits with family, Surrey, Morley finds TSE lodging in, evening bitter at the Royal Oak, TSE misses, as it must have been, Sussex, commended to EH, TSE walking Stane Street and downs, EH remembers, Walberswick, Suffolk, Wells, Somerset, TSE on visiting, Whipsnade, Bedfordshire, EH and TSE visit, Whitchurch Canonicorum, Dorset, delightful name, Wiltshire, highly civilised, TSE at home in, Winchelsea, East Sussex, visited, Winchester, TSE on, Wisbech, Lincolnshire, TSE on visiting, Worcestershire, TSE feels at home in, Yeovil, Somerset, visited en route to East Coker, York, TSE's glimpse of, Yorkshire,
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.

Mrs Millington (the blind masseuse), works on TSE's writers' cramp, traces TSE's cramp to Harvard, pounding TSE's neck, communicates message from William Blake, attributes condition to teeth, dies of stroke,
Virgil Society, The, TSE made inaugural president, letter written on behalf of, TSE's Presidental Address for,