[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
Letter 38.
12 November 1944
Dearest Emily

ShamleyShamley Wood, Surreyits melodramas;b2 Wood has been through one of its frequent crises this week: MappieMirrlees, Emily Lina ('Mappie', née Moncrieff)pulls out of selling Shamley;e8 has again sold her house and again withdrawn at the last moment. AMurray, Lady Mary Henrietta;a1 certain Lady Murray1 had taken a fancy to it (for it was one of the spells during which the house is on the unfortunate house agent’s books) and Mrs. M. accepted her offer for a typical reason – because she was the first person to want the house who was ‘somebody of one’s own class’. The doubts came directly afterwards, when it was borne in upon her that the war might not be over by the first of April, that she wouldn’t be able to go abroad, and that she might not find a house to suit her in the time. The last, indeed, was very unlikely, as she wants a house small enough to run with a couple of indoor servants but large enough to accommodate a large staff and several visitors at once, in perfect order, with no land to speak of but a large garden (also in perfect order) and an orchard, a garage, a cottage etc., in a high position but on the level, with a fine view but not exposed, near London but in the warmest part of England etc etc. I carefully abstracted myself from the interminable discussions, and never offered an opinion unless it was dragged out of me: but I am rather relieved that she has now written to say that her trustees do not approve of her moving. For I don’t imagine that London will be very comfortable until the autumn of next year, IHayward, Johnforeseeably at Merton Hall;l7 wouldn’t like to have John come back to town so long as there is any danger, and I should have to find some temporary furnished quarters. And I certainly should not be so well fed. Of course, I think that from a detached point of view, it would be crazy for an old lady of 83 to try to move in wartime, when you can’t get alterations and decorations done, when she would have to do without a cow and without eggs until she could start a new hennery, and when she might not be able to get so much fuel anywhere else – for here she can cut her own wood. IBehrens, Margaret Elizabeth (née Davidson)jeremiad on Shamley;b9 enclose a letter from the Field Marshal which gives another view of the situation.2 If it seems to you spiteful, that is a mistake: she is very loyal to them.

I'Responsibility of the European Man of Letters, The'French broadcast;a3 have done myFranceFrench language;b3TSE hears himself speaking;a2ParisFrance broadcast in French – hearing the recording, it did not sound as French as I should like, but very much like a cultivated Englishman, not myself, talking French. However'Responsibility of the European Man of Letters, The'German broadcast;a4, they seemed to think it was good enough, and I am to be tested for German next week. IBooks Across the Sea'Bridgebuilders';b5 have also to record a'Bridgebuilders';a2 Book Across the Sea talk (3 minutes) on Tuesday to be transmitted soon by Columbia in America: 3 I don’t know how people in America get to know about programmes; and I don’t suppose you have a wireless set in your house anyway, or not one of your own. I have also been to Maida Vale to be filmed reading A POEM reading a poem that was not meant to be in capitals but my finger slipped for the film will be shown in India. I shall expect to have a private view of the whole film and dread finding out what I look like to other people. The process is less painful than it used to be, as they don’t paint you yellow and the lamps are not so hot. MrHoellering, George M.encourages TSE over adaptation;b1. HoelleringMurder in the CathedralHoellering film;g1TSE adapting for screen;a3 likes the bits of script which I have written towards his film of Murder, which encourages me to try to complete this scene at the next weekend.

The23 Russell Square, Londonfollowing explosion;a8 flat at Russell Square is nearly ready for reoccupation. Did I tell you that I am luckier than most, so far, as both my present bed room and my office room there, and my flat bedroom, are on the side away from where the bomb fell in June, and therefore have most of their glass in the windows. As one can’t get glass replaced now, and as the aguze [?gauze] substitutes for glass, besides letting out the heat, are apt to tear and let in drafts, this is a great advantage. I should like to know what your girls learn: I mean, both what you teach them, and what other subjects they study. I'Britain and America: Promotion of Mutual Understanding';a2 have written an article in the Times Educational Supplement, which I will send you as soon as I am sure that there will not be any correspondence about it (for one can’t get duplicates of periodicals now) and I want to know more about American education.4 It will soon be the end of your first term: Advent is nearly here already. I had a visit from Mrs. Green (about the Central Council of Women’s Church Workers of which she is a member) which roused poignant memories. I should have liked to think that the summer of 1945 might vary the last four, but it is wiser not to expect that.

Your loving

1.LadyMurray, Lady Mary Henrietta Mary Henrietta Murray (1865–1956), ardent supporter of women’s suffrage.

2.MargaretBehrens, Margaret Elizabeth (née Davidson)jeremiad on Shamley;b9 Behrens (who nicknamed Shamley Wood ‘Muddle Hall’) to TSE, 8 Nov. 1944: ‘I do want to tell you how grateful I am to you for suggesting I should have your wee sitting-room. It was sweet of you but, even had I longed to remain in “Muddle Hall” NOTHING would have induced me to accept that offer. I might have deprived the world of some fresh masterpiece for I take it that Mary’s barks and Hope’s yells do not intrude themselves so much there as they do in your bedroom?

‘But, anyhow, it is NOT just my passage-bedroom that makes me tired. It is the yelling of Hope and Mappie and the barking of the pack and the incessant conversation and endless reshuffling of plans. I never meant to stay long and now I have taken on Mrs Knight’s second cottage – five rooms, all of my own, and have got a good maid and so I should be fairly comfortable, very quiet, and entirely FREE … and yet keep in constant touch with every inmate of Muddle Hall.’

3.‘Bridgebuilders’, broadcast on 15 Nov. 1944.

4.‘Britain and America: Promotion of Mutual Understanding’, TES, 4 Nov. 1944, 532: CProse 6, 547–52.

23 Russell Square, London, TSE thinks of moving to, unready for occupation, TSE and Fabers move into, too cramped for permanent residence, temperature of, home to Cat Morgan, following explosion,
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,
'Britain and America: Promotion of Mutual Understanding',
France, TSE's Francophilia shared by Whibley, TSE dreams of travelling in, synonymous, for TSE, with civilisation, the Franco-Italian entente, over Portugal, TSE awarded Légion d’honneur, subsequently elevated from chevalier to officier, TSE describes a typical French reception, Switzerland now favoured over, French cuisine, French culture, Exhibition of French Art 1200–1900, French painting, compared to English culture, French language, tires TSE to speak, TSE hears himself speaking, TSE dreads speaking in public, and TSE's false teeth, French politics, French street protest, England's natural ally, post-Versailles, post-war Anglo-French relations, French theatre, the French, more blunt than Americans, as compared to various other races, Paris, TSE's 1910–11 year in, EH pictured in, its society larger than Boston's, TSE's guide to, Anglo-French society, strikes, TSE dreads visiting, post-war, the Riviera, TSE's guide to, the South, fond 1919 memories of walking in, Limoges in 1910, Bordeaux,
Hayward, John, in TSE's thumbnail description, his condition and character, what TSE represents to, VHE complains about TSE to, TSE's new chess-playing neighbour, meets EH over tea, hosts TSE, GCF and de la Mare, on EH, on EH (to TSE), gives TSE cigars for Christmas, calls EH TSE's 'sister', and the Dobrées on Boxing Day, and TSE play a prank on guests, backstage at The Times, taken for walk, on Jenny de Margerie, Empson, TSE and Sansoms call on, evening with Spender, Jennings and, exchanges Christmas presents with TSE, exchanges rare books with TSE, sends luxuries to convalescent TSE, TSE's only regular acquaintance, dines with TSE and Camerons, lent Williams's Cranmer, accompanied to the Fabers' party, hosts discussion about Parisian Murder, inspects French translation of Murder, and TSE's Old Buffers' Dinner, gives TSE bath-mitts, given wine for Christmas, one of TSE's dependents, at Savile Club Murder dinner, Empson takes TSE on to see, possible housemate, in second line of play-readers, walked round Earl's Court, and Bradfield Greek play, and TSE drive to Tandys, and TSE give another party, corrects TSE's Anabase translation, watches television with TSE, Christmas Day with, introduced to Djuna Barnes, meets Christina Morley, walk round Brompton Cemetery with, Hyde Park excursion with, moving house, at his birthday-party, honoured at F&F, displaced to the Rothschilds, where TSE visits him, among TSE's closest friends, his conversation missed, the prospect of Christmas without, excursions to Cambridge to visit, 'my best critic', gives TSE American toilet-paper, helps TSE finish Little Gidding, possible post-war housemate, protector of TSE's literary remains, foreseeably at Merton Hall, discusses plays with TSE, flat-hunting with, and Carlyle Mansions, his furniture, installed at Carlyle Mansions, further handicapped without telephone, undermines TSE's aura of poetic facility, irritates except in small doses, helps with adjustment of TSE's OM medal, at the Brighton Cocktail Party, hounded by Time, quid pro quo with TSE, arranges first-night party for Cocktail Party, arranges Confidential Clerk cast dinner, and TSE's Selected Prose, and TSE entertained by Yehudi Menuhin,

11.JohnHayward, John Davy Hayward (1905–65), editor and critic: see Biographical Register.

Hoellering, George M., pitches for Murder film rights, TSE's fondness for, accompanies TSE on Canterbury recce, persists with TSE, encourages TSE over adaptation, sitting on TSE's scenario, commissioned to film Archbishop's enthronement, incommunicado, publicising Murder, on collaborating with TSE, tries to cast TSE as Becket, discovers Father Groser of Stepney, dressing set in disused church, peddling his Murder, and Murder's reception, Message from Canterbury,

3.GeorgeHoellering, George M. M. Hoellering (1898–1980), Austrian-born filmmaker and cinema manager: 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,
Murray, Lady Mary Henrietta,

1.LadyMurray, Lady Mary Henrietta Mary Henrietta Murray (1865–1956), ardent supporter of women’s suffrage.

'Responsibility of the European Man of Letters, The', trilingual commission, French broadcast, German broadcast,
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,