[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
Letter 22.
26 August 1945
My dearest Emily,

YourSecond World WarVJ Day;f8 letter of the 27th July (by ordinary mail) arrived over a week ago, in the midst of the V-J ‘celebrations’.1 It was not a very comfortable week. These suddenly imposed ‘holidays’ are to be dreaded; atSecond World WarVE Day;f6 the time of the previous celebrations I was in Paris, so it didn’t matter. This time I was caught in London – went out on Wednesday morning to find that that day and the next were holidays. I had two appointments on that day, so it didn’t seem worth while going to the country on the Thursday. No one at the office, restaurants crowded, no shops open, and beer and tobacco unprocurable. The centre of London full of people, wandering aimlessly about: not disorderly, but occasional loud firecrackers – a noise I now find unbearable. In the evening, buses and tubes very full so walked back to Kensington after dinner: was struck by the very high proportion of young girls, I suppose from offices and factories, roaming about together, and the comparatively small number of men. Whether I picked up a germ, or whether, as I thought, I poisoned myself from the tooth which I had had out, I don’t know, but when I got back to Shamley I developed an infected throat, and kept my bed for three days – under the instructions of the cautious local doctor, but also to keep out of the way, there being such a natural terror of infection in that household on account of Christian Science. So I haven’t been up to town this week, and have been taking things very easy: and in this period of change I am not attempting any serious work anyway. TwoShamley Wood, SurreyTSE's gradual removal from;b7 weeks, and Shamley will see me no more.

The14 Elvaston Place, London;a4 room in Elvaston Place is, actually, the best I could get. Accommodation of any sort is very difficult to find indeed, and I am lucky to have this. OtherwiseMrs Lister (wife of 'Lister');a3 I should be stuck at Russell Square, andFaber, Enid Eleanor;c3 that would mean asking favours of both Enid and Mrs. Lister. The19 Carlyle Mansions, Londondescribed;a7 flat in Carlyle Mansions is, for the purpose, ideal. JohnHayward, Johnand Carlyle Mansions;m1 shall have the bigger front room, as it is easier for him to live in one big room altogether than to move about, and the front rooms look out on the river. We propose to make the other a ‘public room’, and I can have three smaller rooms round the corner, and needn’t ever see him or his guests; while the servant, if we get one, will be self-contained in a bedroom beyond the kitchen, which is separated by a door in the passage. The practical advantages for me are, first, the use of his furniture – otherwise I should if alone have to find a furnished flat, which would be more expensive; and second, I shall leave the housekeeping and chief control of the servant to him, as he is used to that sort of thing. As to how long this arrangement is to last, it is not worth while at present trying to look so far ahead as that, as the whole future is so uncertain. I note what you say, and I dare say you will prove right – if conditions permit. One doesn’t know when, or whether, the conditions of life will become easier. And even this flat is not yet certain. I have put in my appeal to the Chelsea Borough Council, and if they grant a licence for the work (and here again, John’s being a cripple may be taken into account to our advantage) it remains to be seen that the landlords don’t play any tricks with the lease at the last moment.

Oncetravels, trips and planspossible post-war American visit;f6ideally ancillary to work;a6 settled, I could begin to think about possibilities of a visit to America – which has certainly never been absent from my mind. The best thing, from my point of view, would be to be sent on some mission for several months, with the opportunity for some free time in Massachusetts. An academic position, for a whole year, would involve taking other things into account – I could not leave my colleagues in the lurch at the period of reorganising the business in new quarters; I should like to get some writing done first; America is not a good place for me to work and think in, but ideal for a holiday. Anyway, I intend to decline European lectures during 1946: I am just about to write to Switzerland declining one offer which would have been very interesting if there was nothing else one wanted to do; and I intend to decline the invitation to Italy which I expect to get before the spring. Of course, if the restrictions on travel were removed, I should like best to come over for a month or two on my own: but with England so crippled and impoverished, I expect that we shall be discouraged from spending any money abroad for a long time to come.

OnBritish General Election1945but welcomes change of government;a4 theLabour Party, thebetter suited to the times;a7 whole, I think that the change of government here may be a good thing. The Labour Party had to get in at some time, if we are to continue to have party government: it had better learn its experience now. IChurchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencerunsuited to peacetime office;b2 think that Churchill has given his best, and I was always doubtful of his suitability as a peace time Prime Minister. If the Conservatives had got in, the party would have become very unpopular, as it would have got the blame for everything unpleasant that is going to happen anyway. The party needed a time in opposition: in our way of government any party deteriorates, though in different ways, if it is in too long or out too long. Now it has at least a change [sc. chance] of getting rid of some of its more undesirable influences. AndEden, Anthonycompared to Labour alternative;a4 in foreign policy, I think that the Labour Party, with a strong majority and a strong Foreign Minister, may be in a position to do better than Eden could. There was, inside the Conservative Party, a good deal of resentment and anxiety about some of Churchill’s friends: and the party has got to learn to outlive Churchill. I am, of course, uncertain of the effects of some domestic, especially financial policy: but I think that the policy of the Labour Party will be re-shaped by events rather than controlled by doctrinaires. OneLaski, Harold J.TSE's reason for fearing Labour Party;a1 is told that Laski is very heartily disliked in certain quarters in his own party, as well as generally outside; and I am hoping that in the struggle for ascendency he will get the worst of it. But I have always disliked Laski. Certainly, the Parliamentary system is going through a critical period, but such a period was bound to come, and the longer it was postponed the more dangerous it would have been. I am not without hope: but I think that Britain is going to pass through very, very hard times in the next five years, whatever party is in power; and perhaps some of the popular ideas of the day may undergo great change in a very short time. But a Conservative Government in power now, would probably have gone on making concession after concession until it vanished; whereas in opposition it can at least afford to stick to its principles – and to look out for some principles to stick to.

ISecond World Waratomic bomb;f9 think the means by which the sudden victory over Japan was achieved did much to quench any sentiment of exhilaration.2 I am still more doubtful whether the use of such a weapon at this stage of the war was morally justified. Japan had nothing of the sort, and victory sooner or later was assured anyway. Of course people can say that this destruction saved many lives: but when I reflect that that was the excuse given by the Germans, for their wholesale bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam, and for much else of their ruthlessness, I am not very happy with this justification. AndAbyssinia CrisisItalian atrocities during;b1 when I read that many of the people who are only lightly injured by the atomic bomb, suffer from burns which simply do not heal, I think of all the horror that we expressed when we read of the Italians using mustard gas in Abyssinia, and the incurable burns it caused. The use of this bomb may, of course, have had something to do with our apprehensions of Russia: if that was so, and one could have all the facts and arguments, one might have to re-examine the moral question – I don’t know. But I am afraid that a great deal of what is being said about this bomb being a blessing in disguise, because it will ‘put an end to war’, is just eye-wash. It can only do that by giving the people who have the resources to make it, a power over those who have not – a power which would certainly become a tyranny.

You are right in suspecting that I dislike change, that I don’t know how to start things going, and that I like to follow the line of the least resistance. I admit all that.

I was glad that your letter was still postmarked ‘Dorset’. But I should think that a visit to Mrs. Greeley should be a good change to end off the summer. Andtravels, trips and plansTSE's 1945 September fortnight in Lee;f7;a4 you will be back in Concord just as I go off to Devon.

Your loving

1.In the United Kingdom, 15 August was assigned as the official Victory over Japan Day – VJ Day.

2.The USA dropped two atomic bombs on Japanese cities: on Hiroshima on 6 Aug. 1945; Nagasaki on 9 Aug. It has been calculated that up to 226,000 people died, whether directly from the bombs or from the terrible after-effects.

14 Elvaston Place, London, TSE takes furnished room at, described, TSE removing himself from,
19 Carlyle Mansions, London, TSE's tour of no. 14, its Chelsea environs, TSE on settling down at, its post-war condition, refurbishments to, described, almost habitable, TSE installed at, joined by JDH, TSE's first home for years, servant problems, redecorated, TSE's possessions remain at, no longer TSE's address,
Abyssinia Crisis, TSE asks EH for news of, TSE's opinion of Abyssinians, English public opinion on, debated by Keynes and Leonard Woolf, eventuates in war, and the League of Nations, Italian atrocities during,
British General Election, 1931, 1936, and the value of sterling, 1945, its political terrain, TSE fears Labour Party's agenda, but welcomes change of government, 1951,
Churchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer, reviews Cooper's Haig, commendable speeches, compared to Halifax as orator, as successor to Chamberlain, 'Their Finest Hour', EH attends his Harvard address, as do Henry and Theresa, remarks on Basic English, compared to Bevin, unsuited to peacetime office, broadcast on King's death, as public figure,
Eden, Anthony, resigns, at TSE's Cambridge degree ceremony, compared to Labour alternative, as prime minister,

1.TheEden, Anthony Rt. Hon. Anthony Eden, MC, MP (1897–1977), Conservative politician; Foreign Secretary, 1940–5; Prime Minister, 1955–7. Appointed to the Order of the Garter, 1954; raised to the peerage as Earl of Avon, 1961.

Faber, Enid Eleanor, TSE mistakes her parentage, and the Eliots' separation, and the Irish waiter, as tennis-player, suggests Murder tickets for F&F employees, presses TSE into public speaking, and sons at zoo, cousin of Rab Butler, and Ann share TSE's box, congratulates TSE on opening night, TSE dependent on for food, at VHE's funeral, on VHE's death and funeral, home-hunting for TSE in Sussex, now Lady Faber,
see also Fabers, the

1.TSE was mistaken here. EnidFaber, Enid Eleanor Eleanor Faber (1901–95) was the daughter of Sir Henry Erle Richards (1861–1922), Fellow of All Souls College and Chichele Professor of International Law and Diplomacy at Oxford University, and Mary Isabel Butler (1868–1945).

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.

Labour Party, the, foreign policy, according to Leonard Woolf, mistrusted on foreign policy, 'futile as ever', its 1945 victory, and Harold Laski, better suited to the times, and the 1952 Wycombe by-election,
Laski, Harold J., TSE's reason for fearing Labour Party,

8.HaroldLaski, Harold J. J. Laski (1893–1950), Professor of Political Science, London School of Economics, 1926–50; editor of the Left Book Club; chairman of the Labour Party, 1945–6.

Mrs Lister (wife of 'Lister'),

1.AnneMrs Lister (wife of 'Lister') Ridler, Memoirs, 122, onLister (caretaker at 24 Russell Square, formerly Faber's butler) Mr and Mrs Lister, the caretaker and his wife at 24 Russell Square: ‘Lister had been butler to the Fabers at their house in Frognal, and used to regale me (when I stayed late at the office) with stories of his experience there and at the Front in the First World War […] Lister was critical of his employers: “I think you Miss might have more sense in running this place than what they do.” Now he and his wife had twins, and occupied the top floor of No. 24.’

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,
travels, trips and plans, EH's 1930 trip to England, EH's proposed 1931 England visit, called off, EH's 1932 summer holidays, the Eliots' Derby Day excursion, related, the Eliots' July 1932 Hindhead visit, the Eliots' August 1932 Eastbourne holiday, described, TSE's 1932–3 year in America, Norton Professorship offered to TSE, and the prospect of reunion with EH, which TSE refuses to see as decisive, which angers EH, who writes and destroys a response, TSE's financial imperatives, TSE's itinerary, and the question of discretion, opportunity for adventurous lecture-tours, TSE speculates on attendant feelings, TSE on the voyage over, TSE reflects on, TSE's return from, the Eliot family's Randolph holiday, TSE's 1933 westward tour to Scripps, proposed to EH, and TSE's need to lecture, possibly via St. Louis, TSE's itinerary, possible stopover in Seattle, a shameful source of happiness, still a happy thought, described by Havens and others, TSE reflects on, TSE's return from, TSE wonders at after-effect on EH, EH urged to reflect honestly on, Ada on, and a conversation about divorce, in EH's recollection, possible EH 1933 summer in England, TSE's 1933 Faber summer holiday, set for mid-August, postponed, rearranged, TSE buys summer outfits for, described, TSE's 1933 tour of Scotland, possible itinerary, Morley's preparations for, described for EH, TSE's 1933 trip to Paris, mooted, described, EH's 1934–5 year in Europe, TSE delighted at the prospect, attempts to coordinate with TSE's 1934 summer plans, the Perkinses due in Chipping Camden, EH's itinerary, TSE's initial weekend at Chipping Campden, TSE books rooms in Lechlade, TSE visits Campden again with family, and again alone, which visit TSE reflects on, TSE's plans to entertain EH en route to Europe, EH's continental itinerary, VHE and propriety inhibit pre-Paris arrangements, L'Escargot lunch, weekend in Sussex for EH's birthday, possible London tea-party, second lunch at L'Escargot, EH and TSE's November excursions, a month which TSE reflects happily on, EH's summer 1935 plans, EH departs England, EH in Florence, arrived in Rome, TSE coordinating with EH's return, TSE recommends Siena, EH returns to Florence, EH sails for Riviera, EH returns from France, L'Escargot lunch on EH's return, EH sails for Guernsey, May 1935, EH's June 1935 London sortie, TSE attends Dr Perkins's birthday, TSE's July 1935 Campden week, TSE offers to fund EH in London, where EH joins Jeanie McPherrin, TSE's Campden birthday weekend, prospect of EH spending month at Blomfield Terrace, Thorp theatre outing, TSE's 6–8 September Campden weekend, EH staying at 19 Rosary Gardens, EH to Campden for 15–17 November, EH sails for Boston, EH and TSE's final farewell, TSE and EH's final weeks in London, their excursion to Finchampstead, TSE reflects on, excursion to Greenwich, EH reflects on the final weeks of, TSE's 1934 Faber summer holiday, described, TSE's dream of Cairo, TSE's invitation to Finland, palmed off on Robert Nichols, TSE's 1935 tour of Scotland, proposed by Blake, attempts to coordinate with EH, TSE's itinerary, TSE's 1935 Faber summer holiday, TSE writes from, described, TSE's 1936 visit to Ireland, TSE's itinerary, recounted, TSE's spring/summer 1936 trip to Paris, first contemplated, date fixed, Morleys invited, TSE's itinerary, recounted, TSE's 1936 Faber summer holiday, TSE writes from, TSE's 1936 American trip, spring arrival dependent on New York Murder, if not spring, then autumn, possible excursions, autumn better for seeing EH, and possible Princeton offer, and possible Smith visit, efforts to coordinate with EH, passage on Alaunia booked, TSE's itinerary, Murder to pay for, coordinating with Eliot Randolph holiday, the moment of parting from EH, TSE's birthday during, TSE reflects on, TSE's 1937 tour of Scotland, itinerary, recounted, the Morley–Eliot 1937 trip to Salzburg, contemplated, itinerary, EH receives postcard from, described, as relayed to OM, EH's 1937 summer in England, and Mrs Seaverns, EH accompanies TSE to Edinburgh, itinerary coordinated with EH, dinner at L'Escargot, TSE's 10–11 July Campden visit, TSE's 17–22 July Campden visit, TSE's 21 August Campden visit, EH travels to Yorkshire, TSE reminisces about, TSE's 1937 Faber summer holiday, TSE reports from, leaves TSE sunburnt, TSE's 1938 trip to Lisbon, outlined to EH, TSE advised on, travel arrangements, the voyage out, described, EH's 1938 summer in England, and whether EH should spend it at Campden, EH's arrival confirmed, TSE's July Campden visit, EH's late-July London stay, TSE's 5–21 August Campden fortnight, TSE's 3–6 September Campden visit, EH's September London stay, TSE reflects on, TSE's 1938 Faber summer holiday, TSE's preparations for, TSE reports from, possible EH England Christmas 1938 visit, possible TSE 1939 visit to America, mooted for spring, complicated by Marion and Dodo's trip, shifted to autumn, threatened by war, made impossible, EH's 1939 England visit, TSE's efforts to coordinate with, threatened by war, complicated by Marion's arrival, EH's itinerary, EH's initial London stay, TSE's 7–20 July Campden visit, TSE's 22–30 August Campden visit, TSE's 2–4 September Campden visit, EH again London, EH and TSE's parting moments, in TSE's memory, memory vitiated by EH's subsequent letter, TSE's 1939 Faber summer holiday, TSE writes from, possible wartime transatlantic crossings, contingencies, in case of EH being ill, TSE's reasons for and against, and TSE's New York proposition, following invasion Denmark and Norway, impossible for TSE unless official, TSE's desire to remain in England, TSE's reasons for and against accepting lectureship, given Ada's impending death, TSE's abortive 1940 Italian mission, possible but confidential, lectures prepared for, and the prospect of seeing EP, might include Paris, itinerary, in jeopardy, final preparations for, cancelled, TSE's 1940 visit to Dublin, approved by Foreign Office, in national interest, itinerary, recounted, involves TSE's first plane-journey, TSE's 1940 Faber summer holiday, TSE reports from, TSE's 1941 Faber summer holiday, Kipling and fishing-rod packed for, TSE reports from, TSE's 1941 Northern tour, proposed by the Christendom group, arranged with Demant, itinerary, recounted, TSE's 1942 British Council mission to Sweden, TSE makes cryptic allusion to, as recounted to EH, as recounted to JDH, return leg in London, as war-work, TSE's 1942 New Forest holiday, described, TSE's 1942 week in Scotland, recounted, TSE's abortive 1942 Iceland mission, TSE's 1943 trip to Edinburgh, recounted, TSE's abortive 1943 Iceland mission, TSE's 1943 New Forest holiday, TSE's 1944 trip to Edinburgh, TSE's abortive 1944 North Africa mission, TSE's May 1945 trip to Paris, described, TSE's June 1945 trip to Paris, recounted, possible post-war American visit, and Henry's impending death, ideally ancillary to work, possibly as F&F's representative, waits on TSE's health and Carlyle Mansions, TSE's 1945 September fortnight in Lee, described, TSE's 1945 Christmas in Lee, described, TSE's 1946 summer in America, date for passage fixed, paperwork for, TSE's itinerary, its aftermath, recounted, TSE's 1947 summer in America, dependent on lecture engagements, TSE seeks to bring forward, Henry's condition brings further forward, set for April, itinerary, EH reflects on, TSE's scheduled December 1947 visit to Marseilles and Rome, itinerary, TSE's preparations for, dreaded, Roman leg described by Roger Hinks, EH's hypothetical March 1948 visit to England, TSE's postponed 1948 trip to Aix, itinerary, recounted, home via Paris, TSE's 1948 trip to America, itinerary, TSE's visit to EH in Andover, disrupted by Nobel Prize, TSE's 1948 Nobel Prize visit to Stockholm, itinerary, recounted, TSE's 1949 family motor-tour of Scotland, described, TSE's October–November 1949 trip to Germany, possible itinerary, preparations for, final itinerary, TSE's account of, the return via Belgium, TSE's January 1950 voyage to South Africa, all but fixed, itinerary, described by TSE, recounted by Faber, EH's 1950 summer in England, TSE books EH's hotel room for, TSE's efforts to coordinate with EH's movements, EH in Campden, TSE reports to Aunt Edith on, TSE's 1950 visit to America, and TSE's possible Chicago post, the Chicago leg, November itinerary, TSE's spring 1951 trip to Spain, itinerary, recounted, TSE's September 1951 Geneva stay, itinerary, recounted, TSE's 1951 British Council mission to Paris, recounted, TSE's second 1951 British Council mission to Paris, recounted, TSE's 1952 visit to Rennes and the Riviera, itinerary, recounted, TSE's 1952 visit to America, itinerary, efforts to coordinate with EH's summer, TSE on meeting with EH, TSE's 1952 rest cure in Switzerland, TSE's 1953 visit to St. Louis and America, set for June, to include fortnight in Cambridge, itinerary, EH's 1953 trip to England, EH's Alnwick plans, TSE books hotel for EH, and EH's ticket to Confidential Clerk, TSE's 1953 visit to Geneva, TSE's 1953–4 trip to South Africa, itinerary, described, arrival described to JDH, GCF on, TSE's 1954 Geneva rest cure, Geneva preferred to Paris, TSE's deferred 1955 visit to Hamburg, prospect inspires reluctance in TSE, proposed for spring 1955, dreaded, TSE now returned from, TSE's 1955 visit to America, and contingent speaking engagements, foreshortened, itinerary, Washington described, TSE's return from, TSE's 1955 Geneva rest cure, TSE's 1956 visit to America, passage fixed for April, itinerary, TSE in the midst of, TSE reflects on, TSE's 1956 Geneva rest cure, itinerary, recounted, illness during, EH's 1957 visit to England, TSE and EVE invited to Campden, TSE reciprocates with London invitation, but EH leaves England abruptly, which TSE consults Eleanor Hinkley over, who duly explains, TSE and EVE's 1958 trip to America, as rumoured to EH, EH's 1959 tour of Scandinavia, funded by bequest from cousin, TSE and EVE's 1959 trip to America, TSE and EVE's 1963 trip to America,