[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
24 February 1946
My dear Girl,

IHale, Emily Jose Milliken (EH's mother)dies;d1 cabled a reply as soon as I got your cable,1 but I have had to let several days elapse before writing this letter. After what you had said about the possibility of your mother lingering on, your cable came as a sudden relief.2 But I know that the event could only have been one of mixed relief to you: because at that time one cannot think of the loved person merely as a human being who had nothing to look forward to in this life but pain and misery, but as the person one remembered before he or she was taken away while still in this life. And however one welcomes death for the sufferer, there is an immense tearing pain of separation from anyone in the closest relation possible to oneself. And then a feeling of great loneliness, even if, rationally speaking, the loneliness was already there. So I wished fervently that I could have been with you at this time.

You will let me know about the funeral, about your life during this period, and I hope about everything that you felt and suffered.

Itravels, trips and planspossible post-war American visit;f6waits on TSE's health and Carlyle Mansions;a8 shall hope to make investigations about permission to come to America, as soon as John gets here and I can pass the business of running the flat and getting it into further order, over to him. I19 Carlyle Mansions, LondonTSE installed at;b1 am now installed at 19, Carlyle Mansions, Cheyne Walk, S.W.3. SoMme Frenayas JDH and TSE's housekeeper;a3 far, the French housekeeper, Madame Frenay, seems very satisfactory, practical and cheerful, and seems to cook and serve my food very well. She makes excellent soup, certainly. It is also pleasant to have somebody to put the hot water bottle in one’s bed etc. What her drawbacks may be, I have yet to discover: it is difficult to say yet how economically she can keep house, because there have been so many odds and ends to buy at the start. The great difficulty at the moment is that we cannot get any laundry to call here: the laundry crisis is really very acute, they are short both of staff and of vans, and laundries say that they cannot take on new customers. There is a charwoman who comes twice a week for the heavy cleaning, and at present Madame Frenay, with my approval, is having her an extra morning a week to do washing: but of course it is impossible to wash sheets in a flat, without special equipment. And of course it may be a long time before we get a telephone. But with all the difficulties, I am very glad to be in a place that I can call my own.

My14 Elvaston Place, LondonTSE removing himself from;a5 books, and the rest of my personal effects from Elvaston Place, were moved in on Saturday. The books are now ranged in shelves in my study, but I shall have to take two days, when I can, to get them dusted and put them in order. And until the decorator can get enough wood to put up some shelves for me, there are two crates of books which must remain unpacked. I have not yet had time to unpack my bags. ThisSt. Luke's, Sydney Streetearly communion at;a1 morning I went to early communion at Chelsea Church in Sydney Street (not Chelsea Old Church, Sir Thomas More’s, which was utterly bombed) at 8.30, returned for breakfast, andSt. Stephen's Church, Gloucester Roadchurchwarding at;a5 then off again by bus to 11 o’clock at St. Stephen’s. (I wish I could retire from being churchwarden, but there simply is no one else available yet, andCheetham, Revd Ericexhausted by war;g4 Cheetham himself is in a pretty nervously exhausted condition after the war and its worries, and I cannot add another problem to his troubles just yet) andPhillimore, Stephen, Archdeacon of Middlesex;a2 then had lunch with Cheetham and the Archdeacon of Middlesex3 – he always wants me to be there when he has to entertain church dignitaries. AndMistral, Gabrielareception for;a1 this evening I had to go to a reception for a Chilean poet, a Madame Mistral, who is here on her way back from Stockholm where she has received the Nobel prize.4 ItJouve, Pierre Jeanforced upon TSE;a1 is a great nuisance, from my point of view, having so many foreign poets (whom one does not want to meet, anyway) visiting this country nowadays. I shall have to see Madame Mistral again with my Chilean friends, and there is a French poet, Pierre Jean Jouve (one of the better senior poets)5 whom I shall have to see at lunch this week. All this is to my mind a complete waste of time, but these are inevitable diplomatic amenities.6 The difficulty is that I am the only senior poet in England available, whom these people have heard of. The Poet Laureate lives in the country, andde la Mare, Walterexempt from public duties;a6 Walter de la Mare lives just far enough away and is just old enough so that he can’t be called upon, and he hasn’t got the international or cosmopolitan touch anyway. AndBritish Council;b1 now, a visit by a poet to another country is almost a matter of political importance, especially as the visit is always arranged by the British Council.

I have just been running on, but the only thing on my mind was to send you my devoted thoughts at this time of trial for you, my dear.

Your loving

1.Cable not found.

2.EH’s mother, Emily Jose Milliken Hale, had died in McLean Hospital, Boston, at the age of 77. TSE to J. C. Perkins, 26 Mar. 1946: ‘I hope that Emily has recovered from her mother’s death, which certainly did not come as a sudden shock. I wish that I could have attended the funeral service’ (Beinecke).

3.The Hon. Stephen Phillimore, MC (1881–1956), Archdeacon of Middlesex, 1933–53.

4.GabrielaMistral, Gabriela Mistral (1889–1957), Chilean poet, teacher, diplomat; born Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, she adapted the pseudonym from the names of her favourite poets, Gabriele D’Annunzio and Frédéric Mistral. Mistral was the first Latin American author to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. The citation lauded ‘her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world’. Her volumes of poetry include Desolación: ‘Despair’(1922); Ternura: ‘Tenderness’ (1924); Tala: ‘Felling’ (1938). She served as Chilean consul in countries including Spain and Portugal.

5.PierreJouve, Pierre Jean Jean Jouve (1887–1976): poet and novelist. Works include Paulina (1880, 1925), Sueur de sang (1935), La Vierge de Paris (1946), and Tombeau de Baudelaire (1958); and Despair Has Wings: Selected Poems, trans. David Gascoyne (2007). He was nominated for the Nobel Prize five times, and received the Grand Prix de Poésie from the French Academy. (TSE to Moura Budberg, 22 Sept. 1943: ‘Jouve I consider a very respectable poet.’)

6.TSEMistral, Gabrielawhich TSE describes;a2n to I. A. and Dorothea Richards, 9 Mar. 1946: ‘it is impossible to get out of parties to meet the foreign gens de lettres whom the British Council import. Last week there was Gabriela Mistral, the famous Chilean poetess whom nobody had ever heard of, fresh from taking the Nobel Prize in Stockholm: a remarkable woman, but our only common language is French, and her French is about 7½% intelligible. AlsoJouve, Pierre Jeantrades poems with TSE;a2n Pierre Jean Jouve, reading his own poems with great solemnity. (To me all French poets sound exactly alike when they read their poems). AndThomas, DylanTSE reads poetry alongside;a2n IEmpson, WilliamTSE reads poetry alongside;a9n and Dylan Thomas and Bill Empson had to read our poems to him: I thought we did it better’ (Magdalene).

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,
British Council, and TSE's mission to Sweden, honours TSE with Edinburgh reception, and TSE's abortive mission to Italy, and TSE's abortive North Africa mission, despaired of, wartime trip to Paris, think TSE's lecture too French, TSE opens exhibition for, trip to Paris,
Cheetham, Revd Eric, TSE's rent to, as landlord at 9 Grenville Place, asks TSE to be churchwarden, to which TSE agrees, invited to Sweeney Agonistes, taken ill, offers prayers for EH's passage, his pageant for Mothers' Union, on London colds, given wine for Christmas, possible flatmate, pleased to welcome EH, advice in case of fire, unfolds tale of French holiday, and St. Stephen's wartime finances, remembers TSE's birthday, indifferent to rationing, during Blitz, paid to house TSE's books, starts lending library in tube, living in modern penthouse, TSE drafts testimonial letter for, hosts TSE in penthouse, his testimonial, requests TSE's presence for Bishop of London, by whom he is chastened, and Elvaston Place, exhausted by war, prevented from giving TSE customary birthday greeting, one of TSE's few intimates, TSE on, hounded by Time, and the Bishop of Tokyo, retires under doctor's orders, TSE's outgoing tribute and succession, apparently in Hong Kong, leaves affairs in a mess, insouciant letter to parishioners,

4.RevdCheetham, Revd Eric Eric Cheetham (1892–1957): vicar of St Stephen’s Church, Gloucester Road, London, 1929–56 – ‘a fine ecclesiastical showman’, as E. W. F. Tomlin dubbed him. TSE’s landlord and friend at presbytery-houses in S. Kensington, 1934–9. See Letters 7, 34–8.

de la Mare, Walter, talks to TSE at tea-party, roped into Edith Sitwell poetry-reading, at which he reads, at which he is rated, exempt from public duties, his funeral,

4.Walterde la Mare, Walter de la Mare (1873–1956), poet, novelist, short story writer, worked for the Statistics Department of the Anglo-American Oil Company, 1890–1908, before being freed to become a freelance writer by a £200 royal bounty negotiated by Henry Newbolt. He wrote many popular works: poetry including The Listeners (1912) and Peacock Pie (1913); novels including Henry Brocken (1904) and Memoirs of a Midget (1921); anthologies including Come Hither (1923). Appointed OM, 1953; CH, 1948. F&F brought out several of his books including Collected Rhymes and Verses (1942) and Collected Poems (1948); and TSE wrote ‘To Walter de la Mare’ for A Tribute to Walter de la Mare (1948). See further Theresa Whistler, Imagination of the Heart: The Life of Walter de la Mare (1993).

Empson, William, invited to Criterion monthly meeting, TSE dines in company with, rakish appearance at Criterion gathering, takes TSE for Chinese meal, lunch on return from China, recommended for EH's 'criticism' course, gives small dinner, reads 'Bacchus', TSE reads poetry alongside,

4.WilliamEmpson, William Empson (1906–84), poet and critic: see Biographical Register.

Hale, Emily Jose Milliken (EH's mother), admission to McLean's Hospital, EH's frequent visits to, her state of mind, compared to VHE, a comparison regretted and refined, a strain on EH, falls ill, and suffering more generally, reported to be better, in the hands of physicians, in TSE's prayers, TSE (un-falsely) consoles EH over, her health, doctor prognosticates on, business relating to, TSE meditates on, war affects care for, and TSE's hope for the afterlife, final illness, dies, her funeral, anniversary of death marked, Theresa on,
Jouve, Pierre Jean, forced upon TSE, trades poems with TSE,

5.PierreJouve, Pierre Jean Jean Jouve (1887–1976): poet and novelist. Works include Paulina (1880, 1925), Sueur de sang (1935), La Vierge de Paris (1946), and Tombeau de Baudelaire (1958); and Despair Has Wings: Selected Poems, trans. David Gascoyne (2007). He was nominated for the Nobel Prize five times, and received the Grand Prix de Poésie from the French Academy. (TSE to Moura Budberg, 22 Sept. 1943: ‘Jouve I consider a very respectable poet.’)

Mistral, Gabriela, reception for, which TSE describes,

4.GabrielaMistral, Gabriela Mistral (1889–1957), Chilean poet, teacher, diplomat; born Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, she adapted the pseudonym from the names of her favourite poets, Gabriele D’Annunzio and Frédéric Mistral. Mistral was the first Latin American author to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. The citation lauded ‘her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world’. Her volumes of poetry include Desolación: ‘Despair’(1922); Ternura: ‘Tenderness’ (1924); Tala: ‘Felling’ (1938). She served as Chilean consul in countries including Spain and Portugal.

Mme Frenay, described, as JDH and TSE's housekeeper, resigns post, spooks successor,

1.TSEMme Frenay to John Hayward, 8 Jan. 1946: ‘I have interviewed Madame Frenay today, and was very well impressed. Her ailment was a cancer of the side, she says, but after five months in hospital her doctor declares her cured and fit to work. She is middle-aged, portly, and pleasant in manner and appearance. I have asked Miss Melton to get on to P. Codrington who has the references, and get her either to take them up or let me have the names and addresses. She has been a nursery governess until her illness, before that kept house until her husband died. P.C. told Miss M. the references looked excellent. Has three sons, one of them a farmer in Devon. Lived in this country since the last war. Knows London well and has friends. She wants £3 a week, says she cant do on less, and I should think she would easily get it. Seemed intelligent and claims to be a good cook, also prepared to do sewing etc.’

Phillimore, Stephen, Archdeacon of Middlesex,

12.ThePhillimore, Stephen, Archdeacon of Middlesex Hon. Stephen Phillimore, MC (1881–1956), Archdeacon of Middlesex, 1933–53.

St. Luke's, Sydney Street, early communion at, local to Carlyle Mansions,
St. Stephen's Church, Gloucester Road, EH encouraged to visit, vestry goings-on, churchwarding at, Christmas at, receives TSE's BBC fee, two days' continuous prayer at, Christmas without, Lent without, wartime Easter at, in wartime, wartime Holy Week, TSE reduced to Sundays at, fundraising for,
Thomas, Dylan, cannot get drunk at Criterion gathering, TSE reads poetry alongside,

2.DylanThomas, Dylan Thomas (1914–53) published Eighteen Poems in 1934, Twenty-Five Poems in 1936. Other works include Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog (1940), Under Milk Wood (1954), Adventures in the Skin Trade (1955) and Collected Poems 1934–1953 (1966). TSE to Hugh Gordon Porteus, 17 Dec. 1957: ‘I did not know Dylan Thomas very well and never took to him particularly, although I have been impressed by the warmth of affection for him of people whose opinions I respect including Vernon Watkins himself, whom I like very much, but I was rather too senior perhaps to see the side of him that must have been so very lovable.’

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,