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Thomas Stearns Eliot (26 September 18884 January 1965) was a
poet A poet is a person who studies and creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be the creator ( thinker, songwriter, writer, or author) who creates (composes) poems ( oral or writt ...
,
essayist An essay is, generally, a piece of writing that gives the author's own argument, but the definition is vague, overlapping with those of a letter, a paper, an article, a pamphlet, and a short story. Essays have been sub-classified as formal a ...
,
publisher Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribution of printed works, such as books, newsp ...
,
playwright A playwright or dramatist is a person who writes plays. Etymology The word "play" is from Middle English pleye, from Old English plæġ, pleġa, plæġa ("play, exercise; sport, game; drama, applause"). The word "wright" is an archaic English ...
,
literary critic Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often influenced by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of literature's goals and methods. Th ...
and
editor Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written language, written, photographic, Image editing, visual, Audio engineer, audible, or Film editing, cinematic material used by a person or an entity to convey a message or information. ...
.Bush, Ronald. "T. S. Eliot's Life and Career", in John A Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (eds), ''American National Biography''. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, vi

/ref> Considered one of the 20th century's major poets, he is a central figure in English-language Modernist poetry in English, Modernist poetry. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a prominent Boston Brahmin family, he moved to England in 1914 at the age of 25 and went on to settle, work, and marry there. He became a British citizen in 1927 at the age of 39, subsequently renouncing his American citizenship. Eliot first attracted widespread attention for his poem " The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" in 1915, which, at the time of its publication, was considered outlandish. (citing an unsigned review in ''Literary Review''. 5 July 1917, vol. lxxxiii, 107.) It was followed by "
The Waste Land ''The Waste Land'' is a poem by T. S. Eliot, widely regarded as one of the most important poems of the 20th century and a central work of Modernist poetry in English, modernist poetry. Published in 1922, the 434-line poem first appeared in the ...
" (1922), " The Hollow Men" (1925), "
Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday is a holy day of prayer and fasting in many Western Christian denominations. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday and falls on the first day of Lent (the six weeks of penitence before Easter). It is observed by Catholics in the R ...
" (1930), and '' Four Quartets'' (1943)."Thomas Stearns Eliot"
''Encyclopædia Britannica''. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
He was also known for seven plays, particularly '' Murder in the Cathedral'' (1935) and '' The Cocktail Party'' (1949). He was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature, "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry"."The Nobel Prize in Literature 1948 – T.S. Eliot"
Nobel Foundation, taken from Frenz, Horst (ed). ''Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901–1967''. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Company, 1969. Retrieved 6 March 2012.


Life


Early life and education

The Eliots were a Boston Brahmin family, with roots in England and
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It is bordered by the state of New York (state), New York to the west and by the Can ...
. Eliot's paternal grandfather, William Greenleaf Eliot, had moved to St. Louis, Missouri, to establish a Unitarian Christian church there. His father, Henry Ware Eliot (1843–1919), was a successful businessman, president and treasurer of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company in St Louis. His mother, Charlotte Champe Stearns (1843–1929), who wrote poetry, was a
social worker Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based profession concerned with meeting the basic needs of individuals, families, groups, communities, and society as a whole to enhance their individual and collective well-being. Social work ...
, which was a new profession in the U.S. in the early 20th century. Eliot was the last of six surviving children. Known to family and friends as Tom, he was the namesake of his maternal grandfather, Thomas Stearns. Eliot's childhood infatuation with literature can be ascribed to several factors. First, he had to overcome physical limitations as a child. Struggling from a congenital double inguinal hernia, he could not participate in many physical activities and thus was prevented from socialising with his peers. As he was often isolated, his love for literature developed. Once he learned to read, the young boy immediately became obsessed with books, favouring tales of savage life, the Wild West, or
Mark Twain Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was praised as the "greatest humorist the United States has p ...
's thrill-seeking Tom Sawyer. In his memoir about Eliot, his friend Robert Sencourt comments that the young Eliot "would often curl up in the window-seat behind an enormous book, setting the drug of dreams against the pain of living." Secondly, Eliot credited his hometown with fuelling his literary vision: "It is self-evident that St. Louis affected me more deeply than any other environment has ever done. I feel that there is something in having passed one's childhood beside the big river, which is incommunicable to those people who have not. I consider myself fortunate to have been born here, rather than in Boston, or New York, or London." From 1898 to 1905, Eliot attended Smith Academy, the boys college preparatory division of
Washington University Washington University in St. Louis (WashU or WUSTL) is a private research university with its main campus in St. Louis County, and Clayton, Missouri. Founded in 1853, the university is named after George Washington. Washington University is ...
, where his studies included Latin, Ancient Greek, French, and German. He began to write poetry when he was 14 under the influence of Edward Fitzgerald's translation of the '' Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.'' He said the results were gloomy and despairing and he destroyed them. His first published poem, "A Fable For Feasters", was written as a school exercise and was published in the ''Smith Academy Record'' in February 1905. Also published there in April 1905 was his oldest surviving poem in manuscript, an untitled lyric, later revised and reprinted as "Song" in '' The Harvard Advocate'',
Harvard University Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard College and named for its first benefactor, the Puritan clergyman John Harvard, it is the oldest institution of highe ...
's student literary magazine. He published three short stories in 1905, "Birds of Prey", "A Tale of a Whale" and "The Man Who Was King". The last mentioned story reflected his exploration of the Igorot Village while visiting the
1904 World's Fair The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the St. Louis World's Fair, was an international exposition held in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, from April 30 to December 1, 1904. Local, state, and federal funds totaling $15 milli ...
of St. Louis. His interest in
indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples are culturally distinct ethnic groups whose members are directly descended from the earliest known inhabitants of a particular geographic region and, to some extent, maintain the language and culture of those original people ...
thus predated his anthropological studies at Harvard. Eliot lived in St. Louis, Missouri for the first 16 years of his life at the house on Locust Street where he was born. After going away to school in 1905, he returned to St. Louis only for vacations and visits. Despite moving away from the city, Eliot wrote to a friend that "Missouri and the Mississippi have made a deeper impression on me than any other part of the world." Following graduation from Smith Academy, Eliot attended Milton Academy in
Massachusetts Massachusetts (Massachusett: ''Muhsachuweesut Massachusett_writing_systems.html" ;"title="nowiki/> məhswatʃəwiːsət.html" ;"title="Massachusett writing systems">məhswatʃəwiːsət">Massachusett writing systems">məhswatʃəwiːsət'' En ...
for a preparatory year, where he met Scofield Thayer who later published ''
The Waste Land ''The Waste Land'' is a poem by T. S. Eliot, widely regarded as one of the most important poems of the 20th century and a central work of Modernist poetry in English, modernist poetry. Published in 1922, the 434-line poem first appeared in the ...
''. He studied at
Harvard College Harvard College is the undergraduate college of Harvard University, an Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636, Harvard College is the original school of Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher l ...
from 1906 to 1909, earning a Bachelor of Arts in an elective program similar to comparative literature in 1909 and a Master of Arts in English literature the following year. Because of his year at Milton Academy, Eliot was allowed to earn his Bachelor of Arts after three years instead of the usual four. Frank Kermode writes that the most important moment of Eliot's undergraduate career was in 1908 when he discovered Arthur Symons's '' The Symbolist Movement in Literature''. This introduced him to Jules Laforgue,
Arthur Rimbaud Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud (, ; 20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891) was a French poet known for his transgressive and surreal themes and for his influence on modern literature and arts, prefiguring surrealism. Born in Charleville, he sta ...
, and
Paul Verlaine Paul-Marie Verlaine (; ; 30 March 1844 – 8 January 1896) was a French poet associated with the Symbolist movement and the Decadent movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the ''fin de siècle'' in international and ...
. Without Verlaine, Eliot wrote, he might never have heard of Tristan Corbière and his book ''Les amours jaunes'', a work that affected the course of Eliot's life. The ''Harvard Advocate'' published some of his poems and he became lifelong friends with Conrad Aiken, the American writer and critic. After working as a philosophy assistant at Harvard from 1909 to 1910, Eliot moved to Paris where, from 1910 to 1911, he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne. He attended lectures by
Henri Bergson Henri-Louis Bergson (; 18 October 1859 – 4 January 1941) was a French philosopherHenri Bergson. 2014. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 13 August 2014, from https://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/61856/Henri-Bergson
and read poetry with Henri Alban-Fournier.Kermode, Frank. "Introduction" to ''The Waste Land and Other Poems'', Penguin Classics, 2003. From 1911 to 1914, he was back at Harvard studying Indian philosophy and
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had diffused there from the northwest in the lat ...
. Whilst a member of the Harvard Graduate School, Eliot met and fell in love with Emily Hale. Eliot was awarded a scholarship to
Merton College, Oxford Merton College (in full: The House or College of Scholars of Merton in the University of Oxford) is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Its foundation can be traced back to the 1260s when Walter de Merton, c ...
, in 1914. He first visited Marburg, Germany, where he planned to take a summer programme, but when the
First World War World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, the United States, and the Ottoman Empire, with fighti ...
broke out he went to Oxford instead. At the time so many American students attended Merton that the Junior Common Room proposed a motion "that this society abhors the
Americanization Americanization or Americanisation (see spelling differences) is the influence of American culture and business on other countries outside the United States of America, including their media, cuisine, business practices, popular culture, tec ...
of Oxford". It was defeated by two votes after Eliot reminded the students how much they owed American culture.Seymour-Jones, Carole
''Painted Shadow: The Life of Vivienne Eliot, First Wife of T. S. Eliot'', Knopf Publishing Group, pg. 1
/ref> Eliot wrote to Conrad Aiken on New Year's Eve 1914: "I hate university towns and university people, who are the same everywhere, with pregnant wives, sprawling children, many books and hideous pictures on the walls ..Oxford is very pretty, but I don't like to be dead." Escaping Oxford, Eliot spent much of his time in London. This city had a monumental and life-altering effect on Eliot for several reasons, the most significant of which was his introduction to the influential American literary figure
Ezra Pound Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic, a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement, and a fascist collaborator in Italy during World War II. His works include ...
. A connection through Aiken resulted in an arranged meeting and on 22 September 1914, Eliot paid a visit to Pound's flat. Pound instantly deemed Eliot "worth watching" and was crucial to Eliot's fledgling career as a poet, as he is credited with promoting Eliot through social events and literary gatherings. Thus, according to biographer John Worthen, during his time in England Eliot "was seeing as little of Oxford as possible". He was instead spending long periods of time in London, in the company of Ezra Pound and "some of the modern artists whom the war has so far spared ..It was Pound who helped most, introducing him everywhere." In the end, Eliot did not settle at Merton and left after a year. In 1915 he taught English at Birkbeck, University of London. In 1916, he completed a doctoral dissertation for Harvard on "Knowledge and Experience in the Philosophy of F. H. Bradley", but he failed to return for the '' viva voce'' exam.


Marriage

Before leaving the US, Eliot had told Emily Hale that he was in love with her. He exchanged letters with her from Oxford during 1914 and 1915, but they did not meet again until 1927. In a letter to Aiken late in December 1914, Eliot, aged 26, wrote: "I am very dependent upon women (I mean female society)." Less than four months later, Thayer introduced Eliot to Vivienne Haigh-Wood, a Cambridge governess. They were married at Hampstead Register Office on 26 June 1915. After a short visit, alone, to his family in the United States, Eliot returned to London and took several teaching jobs, such as lecturing at
Birkbeck College , mottoeng = Advice comes over nightTranslation used by Birkbeck. , established = , type = Public research university , endowment = £4.3 m (2014) , budget = £109 ...
,
University of London The University of London (UoL; abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals) is a federal public research university located in London, England, United Kingdom. The university was established by royal charter in 1836 as a degre ...
. The philosopher
Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British mathematician, philosopher, logician, and public intellectual. He had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, ar ...
took an interest in Vivienne while the newlyweds stayed in his flat. Some scholars have suggested that she and Russell had an affair, but the allegations were never confirmed. The marriage seems to have been markedly unhappy, in part because of Vivienne's health problems. In a letter addressed to Ezra Pound, she covers an extensive list of her symptoms, which included a habitually high temperature,
fatigue Fatigue describes a state of tiredness that does not resolve with rest or sleep. In general usage, fatigue is synonymous with extreme tiredness or exhaustion that normally follows prolonged physical or mental activity. When it does not resolve ...
,
insomnia Insomnia, also known as sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder in which people have trouble sleeping. They may have difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep as long as desired. Insomnia is typically followed by daytime sleepiness, low energy, ...
,
migraine Migraine (, ) is a common neurological disorder characterized by recurrent headaches. Typically, the associated headache affects one side of the head, is pulsating in nature, may be moderate to severe in intensity, and could last from a few hou ...
s, and
colitis Colitis is swelling or inflammation of the large intestine ( colon). Colitis may be acute and self-limited or long-term. It broadly fits into the category of digestive diseases. In a medical context, the label ''colitis'' (without qualification ...
. This, coupled with apparent mental instability, meant that she was often sent away by Eliot and her doctors for extended periods of time in the hope of improving her health. As time went on, he became increasingly detached from her. According to witnesses, both Eliots were frequent complainers of illness, physical and mental, while Eliot would drink excessively and Vivienne is said to have developed a liking for opium and ether, drugs prescribed for medical issues. It is claimed that the couple's wearying behaviour caused some visitors to vow never to spend another evening in the company of both together. The couple formally separated in 1933, and in 1938 Vivienne's brother, Maurice, had her committed to a mental hospital, against her will, where she remained until her death of heart disease in 1947. When told via a phone call from the asylum that Vivienne had died unexpectedly during the night, Eliot is said to have buried his face in his hands and cried out ‘Oh God, oh God.’ Their relationship became the subject of a 1984 play '' Tom & Viv'', which in 1994 was adapted as a film of the same name. In a private paper written in his sixties, Eliot confessed: "I came to persuade myself that I was in love with Vivienne simply because I wanted to burn my boats and commit myself to staying in England. And she persuaded herself (also under the influence of zraPound) that she would save the poet by keeping him in England. To her, the marriage brought no happiness. To me, it brought the state of mind out of which came ''The Waste Land''."


Teaching, banking, and publishing

After leaving Merton, Eliot worked as a schoolteacher, most notably at Highgate School in London, where he taught French and Latin: his students included John Betjeman. He subsequently taught at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe in
Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire (), abbreviated Bucks, is a ceremonial county in South East England that borders Greater London to the south-east, Berkshire to the south, Oxfordshire to the west, Northamptonshire to the north, Bedfordshire to the north-east ...
. To earn extra money, he wrote book reviews and lectured at evening extension courses at University College London and Oxford. In 1917, he took a position at
Lloyds Bank Lloyds Bank plc is a British retail and commercial bank with branches across England and Wales. It has traditionally been considered one of the " Big Four" clearing banks. Lloyds Bank is the largest retail bank in Britain, and has an exten ...
in London, working on foreign accounts. On a trip to Paris in August 1920 with the artist
Wyndham Lewis Percy Wyndham Lewis (18 November 1882 – 7 March 1957) was a British writer, painter and critic. He was a co-founder of the Vorticist movement in art and edited ''BLAST (magazine), BLAST,'' the literary magazine of the Vorticists. His novels ...
, he met the writer
James Joyce James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist, poet, and literary critic. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde movement and is regarded as one of the most influential and important writers of ...
. Eliot said he found Joyce arrogant, and Joyce doubted Eliot's ability as a poet at the time, but the two writers soon became friends, with Eliot visiting Joyce whenever he was in Paris. Eliot and Wyndham Lewis also maintained a close friendship, leading to Lewis's later making his well-known portrait painting of Eliot in 1938. Charles Whibley recommended T.S. Eliot to Geoffrey Faber. In 1925 Eliot left Lloyds to become a director in the publishing firm Faber and Gwyer (later Faber and Faber), where he remained for the rest of his career. At Faber and Faber, he was responsible for publishing distinguished English poets, including W. H. Auden,
Stephen Spender Sir Stephen Harold Spender (28 February 1909 – 16 July 1995) was an English poet, novelist and essayist whose work concentrated on themes of social injustice and the class struggle. He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry by the ...
, Charles Madge and
Ted Hughes Edward James "Ted" Hughes (17 August 1930 – 28 October 1998) was an English poet, translator, and children's writer. Critics frequently rank him as one of the best poets of his generation and one of the twentieth century's greatest wri ...
.T.S. Eliot. ''Voices and Visions Series''. New York Center of Visual History: PBS, 198

/ref>


Conversion to Anglicanism and British citizenship

On 29 June 1927, Eliot converted from
Unitarianism Unitarianism (from Latin ''unitas'' "unity, oneness", from ''unus'' "one") is a nontrinitarian branch of Christian theology. Most other branches of Christianity and the major Churches accept the doctrine of the Trinity which states that there i ...
to
Anglicanism Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation, in the context of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. It is one of the ...
, and in November that year he took
British citizenship British nationality law prescribes the conditions under which a person is recognised as being a national of the United Kingdom. The six different classes of British nationality each have varying degrees of civil and political rights, due to th ...
, thereby renouncing his United States citizenship in the event he had not officially done so previously. He became a
churchwarden A churchwarden is a lay official in a parish or congregation of the Anglican Communion or Catholic Church, usually working as a part-time volunteer. In the Anglican tradition, holders of these positions are ''ex officio'' members of the parish ...
of his parish church, St Stephen's, Gloucester Road, London, and a life member of the Society of King Charles the Martyr. He specifically identified as
Anglo-Catholic Anglo-Catholicism comprises beliefs and practices that emphasise the Catholic heritage and identity of the various Anglican churches. The term was coined in the early 19th century, although movements emphasising the Catholic nature of Anglican ...
, proclaiming himself "classicist in literature, royalist in politics, and anglo-catholic in religion". About 30 years later Eliot commented on his religious views that he combined "a Catholic cast of mind, a Calvinist heritage, and a Puritanical temperament". He also had wider spiritual interests, commenting that "I see the path of progress for modern man in his occupation with his own self, with his inner being" and citing
Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, and critic. His works include plays, poetry, literature, and aesthetic criticism, as well as trea ...
and
Rudolf Steiner Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner (27 or 25 February 1861 – 30 March 1925) was an Austrian occultist, social reformer, architect, esotericist, and claimed clairvoyant. Steiner gained initial recognition at the end of the nineteenth century as ...
as exemplars of such a direction. One of Eliot's biographers,
Peter Ackroyd Peter Ackroyd (born 5 October 1949) is an English biographer, novelist and critic with a specialist interest in the history and culture of London. For his novels about English history and culture and his biographies of, among others, William ...
, commented that "the purposes of liot's conversionwere two-fold. One: the Church of England offered Eliot some hope for himself, and I think Eliot needed some resting place. But secondly, it attached Eliot to the English community and English culture."


Separation and remarriage

By 1932, Eliot had been contemplating a separation from his wife for some time. When Harvard offered him the Charles Eliot Norton professorship for the 1932–1933 academic year, he accepted and left Vivienne in England. Upon his return, he arranged for a formal separation from her, avoiding all but one meeting with her between his leaving for America in 1932 and her death in 1947. Vivienne was committed to the Northumberland House mental hospital in Woodberry Down, Manor House, London, in 1938, and remained there until she died. Although Eliot was still legally her husband, he never visited her. From 1933 to 1946 Eliot had a close emotional relationship with Emily Hale. Eliot later destroyed Hale's letters to him, but Hale donated Eliot's to Princeton University Library where they were sealed, following Eliot's and Hale's wishes, for 50 years after both had died, until 2020. When Eliot heard of the donation he deposited his own account of their relationship with Harvard University to be opened whenever the Princeton letters were. From 1938 to 1957 Eliot's public companion was Mary Trevelyan of London University, who wanted to marry him and left a detailed memoir. From 1946 to 1957, Eliot shared a flat at 19 Carlyle Mansions, Chelsea, with his friend John Davy Hayward, who collected and managed Eliot's papers, styling himself "Keeper of the Eliot Archive". Hayward also collected Eliot's pre-Prufrock verse, commercially published after Eliot's death as ''Poems Written in Early Youth''. When Eliot and Hayward separated their household in 1957, Hayward retained his collection of Eliot's papers, which he bequeathed to
King's College, Cambridge King's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Formally The King's College of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas in Cambridge, the college lies beside the River Cam and faces out onto King's Parade in the centre of the ci ...
, in 1965. On 10 January 1957, at the age of 68, Eliot married Esmé Valerie Fletcher, who was 30. In contrast to his first marriage, Eliot knew Fletcher well, as she had been his secretary at Faber and Faber since August 1949. They kept their wedding secret; the ceremony was held in St. Barnabas' Church,
Kensington Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in the West of Central London. The district's commercial heart is Kensington High Street, running on an east–west axis. The north-east is taken up by Kensington Gar ...
, London, at 6:15 am with virtually no one in attendance other than his wife's parents. Eliot had no children with either of his wives. In the early 1960s, by then in failing health, Eliot worked as an editor for the Wesleyan University Press, seeking new poets in Europe for publication. After Eliot's death, Valerie dedicated her time to preserving his legacy, by editing and annotating ''The Letters of T. S. Eliot'' and a facsimile of the draft of ''The Waste Land''. Valerie Eliot died on 9 November 2012 at her home in London.


Death and honours

Eliot died of
emphysema Emphysema, or pulmonary emphysema, is a lower respiratory tract disease, characterised by air-filled spaces ( pneumatoses) in the lungs, that can vary in size and may be very large. The spaces are caused by the breakdown of the walls of the al ...
at his home in
Kensington Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in the West of Central London. The district's commercial heart is Kensington High Street, running on an east–west axis. The north-east is taken up by Kensington Gar ...
in London, on 4 January 1965, and was cremated at
Golders Green Crematorium Golders Green Crematorium and Mausoleum was the first crematorium to be opened in London, and one of the oldest crematoria in Britain. The land for the crematorium was purchased in 1900, costing £6,000 (the equivalent of £135,987 in 2021), ...
. In accordance with his wishes, his ashes were taken to St Michael and All Angels' Church, East Coker, the village in Somerset from which his Eliot ancestors had emigrated to America. A wall plaque in the church commemorates him with a quotation from his poem ''East Coker'': "In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning." In 1967, on the second anniversary of his death, Eliot was commemorated by the placement of a large stone in the floor of
Poets' Corner Poets' Corner is the name traditionally given to a section of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey in the City of Westminster, London because of the high number of poets, playwrights, and writers buried and commemorated there. The first poe ...
in London's
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is an historic, mainly Gothic church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United ...
. The stone, cut by designer Reynolds Stone, is inscribed with his life dates, his
Order of Merit The Order of Merit (french: link=no, Ordre du Mérite) is an order of merit for the Commonwealth realms, recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture. Established in 1902 by K ...
, and a quotation from his poem '' Little Gidding'', "the communication / of the dead is tongued with fire beyond / the language of the living." In 1986, a
blue plaque A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place in the United Kingdom and elsewhere to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person, event, or former building on the site, serving as a historical marker. The term ...
was placed on the apartment block - No. 3 Kensington Court Gardens - where he lived and died.


Poetry

For a poet of his stature, Eliot produced relatively few poems. He was aware of this even early in his career; he wrote to J.H. Woods, one of his former Harvard professors, "My reputation in London is built upon one small volume of verse, and is kept up by printing two or three more poems in a year. The only thing that matters is that these should be perfect in their kind, so that each should be an event." Typically, Eliot first published his poems individually in periodicals or in small books or pamphlets and then collected them in books. His first collection was ''Prufrock and Other Observations'' (1917). In 1920, he published more poems in ''Ara Vos Prec'' (London) and ''Poems: 1920'' (New York). These had the same poems (in a different order) except that "Ode" in the British edition was replaced with "Hysteria" in the American edition. In 1925, he collected ''The Waste Land'' and the poems in ''Prufrock'' and ''Poems'' into one volume and added ''The Hollow Men'' to form ''Poems: 1909–1925''. From then on, he updated this work as ''Collected Poems''. Exceptions are ''Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats'' (1939), a collection of light verse; ''Poems Written in Early Youth'', posthumously published in 1967 and consisting mainly of poems published between 1907 and 1910 in '' The Harvard Advocate'', and ''Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909–1917'', material Eliot never intended to have published, which appeared posthumously in 1997. During an interview in 1959, Eliot said of his nationality and its role in his work: "I'd say that my poetry has obviously more in common with my distinguished contemporaries in America than with anything written in my generation in England. That I'm sure of. ... It wouldn't be what it is, and I imagine it wouldn't be so good; putting it as modestly as I can, it wouldn't be what it is if I'd been born in England, and it wouldn't be what it is if I'd stayed in America. It's a combination of things. But in its sources, in its emotional springs, it comes from America." Cleo McNelly Kearns notes in her biography that Eliot was deeply influenced by Indic traditions, notably the
Upanishads The Upanishads (; sa, उपनिषद् ) are late Vedic Sanskrit texts that supplied the basis of later Hindu philosophy.Wendy Doniger (1990), ''Textual Sources for the Study of Hinduism'', 1st Edition, University of Chicago Press, , ...
. From the Sanskrit ending of ''The Waste Land'' to the "What Krishna meant" section of ''Four Quartets'' shows how much Indic religions and more specifically Hinduism made up his philosophical basic for his thought process. It must also be acknowledged, as Chinmoy Guha showed in his book ''Where the Dreams Cross: T S Eliot and French Poetry'' (Macmillan, 2011) that he was deeply influenced by French poets from Baudelaire to Paul Valéry. He himself wrote in his 1940 essay on W.B. Yeats: "The kind of poetry that I needed to teach me the use of my own voice did not exist in English at all; it was only to be found in French." ("Yeats", ''On Poetry and Poets'', 1948).


"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

In 1915,
Ezra Pound Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic, a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement, and a fascist collaborator in Italy during World War II. His works include ...
, overseas editor of ''
Poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek ''poiesis'', "making"), also called verse, is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language − such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre − to evoke meanings i ...
'' magazine, recommended to Harriet Monroe, the magazine's founder, that she should publish "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock". Although the character Prufrock seems to be middle-aged, Eliot wrote most of the poem when he was only twenty-two. Its now-famous opening lines, comparing the evening sky to "a patient etherised upon a table", were considered shocking and offensive, especially at a time when Georgian Poetry was hailed for its derivations of the nineteenth century Romantic Poets. The poem's structure was heavily influenced by Eliot's extensive reading of
Dante Dante Alighieri (; – 14 September 1321), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to as Dante (, ), was an Italian poet, writer and philosopher. His ''Divine Comedy'', originally called (modern Italian: ' ...
and refers to a number of literary works, including ''
Hamlet ''The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark'', often shortened to ''Hamlet'' (), is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare sometime between 1599 and 1601. It is Shakespeare's longest play, with 29,551 words. Set in Denmark, the play depicts ...
'' and those of the French Symbolists. Its reception in London can be gauged from an unsigned review in '' The Times Literary Supplement'' on 21 June 1917. "The fact that these things occurred to the mind of Mr. Eliot is surely of the very smallest importance to anyone, even to himself. They certainly have no relation to ''poetry''."


"The Waste Land"

In October 1922, Eliot published "The Waste Land" in '' The Criterion''. Eliot's dedication to ''il miglior fabbro'' ('the better craftsman') refers to Ezra Pound's significant hand in editing and reshaping the poem from a longer Eliot manuscript, to the shortened version that appears in publication. It was composed during a period of personal difficulty for Eliot—his marriage was failing, and both he and Vivienne were suffering from nervous disorders. Before the poem's publication as a book in December 1922, Eliot distanced himself from its vision of despair. On 15 November 1922, he wrote to
Richard Aldington Richard Aldington (8 July 1892 – 27 July 1962), born Edward Godfree Aldington, was an English writer and poet, and an early associate of the Imagist movement. He was married to the poet Hilda Doolittle (H. D.) from 1911 to 1938. His 50-year ...
, saying, "As for ''The Waste Land'', that is a thing of the past so far as I am concerned and I am now feeling toward a new form and style." The poem is often read as a representation of the disillusionment of the post-war generation. Dismissing this view, Eliot commented in 1931, "When I wrote a poem called ''The Waste Land'', some of the more approving critics said that I had expressed 'the disillusion of a generation', which is nonsense. I may have expressed for them their own illusion of being disillusioned, but that did not form part of my intention." The poem is known for its obscure nature—its slippage between satire and prophecy; its abrupt changes of speaker, location, and time. This structural complexity is one of the reasons why the poem has become a touchstone of modern literature, a poetic counterpart to a novel published in the same year,
James Joyce James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist, poet, and literary critic. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde movement and is regarded as one of the most influential and important writers of ...
's '' Ulysses''. Among its best-known phrases are "April is the cruellest month", "I will show you fear in a handful of dust" and ''" Shantih shantih shantih"''the Sanskrit ''
mantra A mantra (Pali: ''manta'') or mantram (मन्त्रम्) is a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word or phonemes, or group of words in Sanskrit, Pali and other languages believed by practitioners to have religious, ...
'' which ends the poem.


"The Hollow Men"

"The Hollow Men" appeared in 1925. For the critic
Edmund Wilson Edmund Wilson Jr. (May 8, 1895 – June 12, 1972) was an American writer and literary critic who explored Freudian and Marxist themes. He influenced many American authors, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose unfinished work he edited for publi ...
, it marked "The nadir of the phase of despair and desolation given such effective expression in 'The Waste Land'." It is Eliot's major poem of the late 1920s. Similar to Eliot's other works, its themes are overlapping and fragmentary. Post-war Europe under the
Treaty of Versailles The Treaty of Versailles (french: Traité de Versailles; german: Versailler Vertrag, ) was the most important of the peace treaties of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June ...
(which Eliot despised), the difficulty of hope and religious conversion, Eliot's failed marriage. Allen Tate perceived a shift in Eliot's method, writing, "The mythologies disappear altogether in 'The Hollow Men'." This is a striking claim for a poem as indebted to
Dante Dante Alighieri (; – 14 September 1321), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to as Dante (, ), was an Italian poet, writer and philosopher. His ''Divine Comedy'', originally called (modern Italian: ' ...
as anything else in Eliot's early work, to say little of the modern English mythology—the "Old
Guy Fawkes Guy Fawkes (; 13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), also known as Guido Fawkes while fighting for the Spanish, was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics involved in the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. He was born and educated ...
" of the Gunpowder Plot—or the colonial and agrarian mythos of
Joseph Conrad Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, ; 3 December 1857 – 3 August 1924) was a Polish-British novelist and short story writer. He is regarded as one of the greatest writers in the English language; though he did not sp ...
and
James George Frazer Sir James George Frazer (; 1 January 1854 – 7 May 1941) was a Scottish social anthropologist and folklorist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion. Personal life He was born on 1 Jan ...
, which, at least for reasons of textual history, echo in ''The Waste Land''. The "continuous parallel between contemporaneity and antiquity" that is so characteristic of his mythical method remained in fine form. "The Hollow Men" contains some of Eliot's most famous lines, notably its conclusion:
''This is the way the world ends''
''Not with a bang but a whimper.''


"Ash-Wednesday"

"Ash-Wednesday" is the first long poem written by Eliot, after his 1927 conversion to
Anglicanism Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation, in the context of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. It is one of the ...
. Published in 1930, it deals with the struggle that ensues when a person who has lacked faith acquires it. Sometimes referred to as Eliot's "conversion poem", it is richly but ambiguously allusive, and deals with the aspiration to move from spiritual barrenness to hope for human
salvation Salvation (from Latin: ''salvatio'', from ''salva'', 'safe, saved') is the state of being saved or protected from harm or a dire situation. In religion and theology, ''salvation'' generally refers to the deliverance of the soul from sin and its ...
. Eliot's style of writing in "Ash-Wednesday" showed a marked shift from the poetry he had written prior to his 1927 conversion, and his post-conversion style continued in a similar vein. His style became less ironic, and the poems were no longer populated by multiple characters in dialogue. Eliot's subject matter also became more focused on his spiritual concerns and his Christian faith. Many critics were particularly enthusiastic about "Ash-Wednesday". Edwin Muir maintained that it is one of the most moving poems Eliot wrote, and perhaps the "most perfect", though it was not well received by everyone. The poem's groundwork of orthodox Christianity discomfited many of the more secular '' literati''. Untermeyer, Louis. ''Modern American Poetry''. Hartcourt Brace, 1950, pp. 395–396.


''Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats''

In 1939, Eliot published a book of light verse, ''Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats''. ("Old Possum" was
Ezra Pound Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic, a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement, and a fascist collaborator in Italy during World War II. His works include ...
's friendly nickname for Eliot.) The first edition had an illustration of the author on the cover. In 1954, the composer Alan Rawsthorne set six of the poems for speaker and orchestra in a work titled ''Practical Cats''. After Eliot's death, the book was the basis of the musical ''
Cats The cat (''Felis catus'') is a domestic species of small carnivorous mammal. It is the only domesticated species in the family Felidae and is commonly referred to as the domestic cat or house cat to distinguish it from the wild members of ...
'' by Andrew Lloyd Webber, first produced in London's West End in 1981 and opening on
Broadway Broadway may refer to: Theatre * Broadway Theatre (disambiguation) * Broadway theatre, theatrical productions in professional theatres near Broadway, Manhattan, New York City, U.S. ** Broadway (Manhattan), the street **Broadway Theatre (53rd Stree ...
the following year.


''Four Quartets''

Eliot regarded ''Four Quartets'' as his masterpiece, and it is the work that most of all led him to being awarded the
Nobel Prize in Literature ) , image = Nobel Prize.png , caption = , awarded_for = Outstanding contributions in literature , presenter = Swedish Academy , holder = Annie Ernaux (2022) , location = Stockholm, Sweden , year = 1901 , ...
. It consists of four long poems, each first published separately: " Burnt Norton" (1936), "
East Coker East Coker is a village and civil parish in the South Somerset district of Somerset, England. Its nearest town is Yeovil, to the north. The village has a population of 1,667. The parish includes the hamlets and areas of North Coker, Burton, ...
" (1940), " The Dry Salvages" (1941) and " Little Gidding" (1942). Each has five sections. Although they resist easy characterisation, each poem includes meditations on the nature of time in some important respect—
theological Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupies itself with the unique content of analyzing the ...
, historical, physical—and its relation to the human condition. Each poem is associated with one of the four
classical elements Classical elements typically refer to earth, water, air, fire, and (later) aether which were proposed to explain the nature and complexity of all matter in terms of simpler substances. Ancient cultures in Greece, Tibet, and India had simila ...
, respectively: air, earth, water, and fire. "Burnt Norton" is a meditative poem that begins with the narrator trying to focus on the present moment while walking through a garden, focusing on images and sounds such as the bird, the roses, clouds and an empty pool. The meditation leads the narrator to reach "the still point" in which there is no attempt to get anywhere or to experience place and/or time, instead experiencing "a grace of sense". In the final section, the narrator contemplates the arts ("words" and "music") as they relate to time. The narrator focuses particularly on the poet's art of manipulating "Words
hich Ij ( fa, ايج, also Romanized as Īj; also known as Hich and Īch) is a village in Golabar Rural District, in the Central District of Ijrud County, Zanjan Province, Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and al ...
strain, / Crack and sometimes break, under the burden f time under the tension, slip, slide, perish, decay with imprecision, ndwill not stay in place, / Will not stay still." By comparison, the narrator concludes that "Love is itself unmoving, / Only the cause and end of movement, / Timeless, and undesiring." "East Coker" continues the examination of time and meaning, focusing in a famous passage on the nature of language and poetry. Out of darkness, Eliot offers a solution: "I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope." "The Dry Salvages" treats the element of water, via images of river and sea. It strives to contain opposites: "The past and future / Are conquered, and reconciled." "Little Gidding" (the element of fire) is the most anthologised of the ''Quartets''. Eliot's experiences as an air raid warden in
the Blitz The Blitz was a German bombing campaign against the United Kingdom in 1940 and 1941, during the Second World War. The term was first used by the British press and originated from the term , the German word meaning 'lightning war'. The Germa ...
power the poem, and he imagines meeting
Dante Dante Alighieri (; – 14 September 1321), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to as Dante (, ), was an Italian poet, writer and philosopher. His ''Divine Comedy'', originally called (modern Italian: ' ...
during the German bombing. The beginning of the ''Quartets'' ("Houses / Are removed, destroyed") had become a violent everyday experience; this creates an animation, where for the first time he talks of love as the driving force behind all experience. From this background, the ''Quartets'' end with an affirmation of
Julian of Norwich Julian of Norwich (1343 – after 1416), also known as Juliana of Norwich, Dame Julian or Mother Julian, was an English mystic and anchoress of the Middle Ages. Her writings, now known as '' Revelations of Divine Love'', are the earlie ...
: "All shall be well and / All manner of thing shall be well." The ''Four Quartets'' draws upon Christian theology, art, symbolism and language of such figures as Dante, and mystics St. John of the Cross and
Julian of Norwich Julian of Norwich (1343 – after 1416), also known as Juliana of Norwich, Dame Julian or Mother Julian, was an English mystic and anchoress of the Middle Ages. Her writings, now known as '' Revelations of Divine Love'', are the earlie ...
.


Plays

With the important exception of ''Four Quartets'', Eliot directed much of his creative energies after ''Ash Wednesday'' to writing plays in verse, mostly comedies or plays with redemptive endings. He was long a critic and admirer of
Elizabethan The Elizabethan era is the epoch in the Tudor period of the history of England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603). Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history. The symbol of Britannia (a female personifi ...
and Jacobean verse drama; witness his allusions to Webster, Thomas Middleton,
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare ( 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's nation ...
and Thomas Kyd in ''The Waste Land''. In a 1933 lecture he said "Every poet would like, I fancy, to be able to think that he had some direct social utility . . . . He would like to be something of a popular entertainer and be able to think his own thoughts behind a tragic or a comic mask. He would like to convey the pleasures of poetry, not only to a larger audience but to larger groups of people collectively; and the theatre is the best place in which to do it."Eliot, T. S. ''The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism'', Harvard University Press, 1933 (penultimate paragraph). After ''The Waste Land'' (1922), he wrote that he was "now feeling toward a new form and style". One project he had in mind was writing a play in verse, using some of the rhythms of early
jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recognized as a major ...
. The play featured "Sweeney", a character who had appeared in a number of his poems. Although Eliot did not finish the play, he did publish two scenes from the piece. These scenes, titled ''Fragment of a Prologue'' (1926) and ''Fragment of an Agon'' (1927), were published together in 1932 as ''
Sweeney Agonistes ''Sweeney Agonistes'' by T. S. Eliot was his first attempt at writing a verse drama although he was unable to complete the piece. In 1926 and 1927 he separately published two scenes from this attempt and then collected them in 1932 in a small ...
''. Although Eliot noted that this was not intended to be a one-act play, it is sometimes performed as one. A pageant play by Eliot called ''The Rock'' was performed in 1934 for the benefit of churches in the Diocese of London. Much of it was a collaborative effort; Eliot accepted credit only for the authorship of one scene and the choruses. George Bell, the Bishop of Chichester, had been instrumental in connecting Eliot with producer E. Martin Browne for the production of ''The Rock'', and later commissioned Eliot to write another play for the Canterbury Festival in 1935. This one, ''Murder in the Cathedral'', concerning the death of the martyr,
Thomas Becket Thomas Becket (), also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Thomas of London and later Thomas à Becket (21 December 1119 or 1120 – 29 December 1170), was an English nobleman who served as Lord Chancellor from 1155 to 1162, and then ...
, was more under Eliot's control. Eliot biographer
Peter Ackroyd Peter Ackroyd (born 5 October 1949) is an English biographer, novelist and critic with a specialist interest in the history and culture of London. For his novels about English history and culture and his biographies of, among others, William ...
comments that "for liot ''Murder in the Cathedral'' and succeeding verse plays offered a double advantage; it allowed him to practice poetry but it also offered a convenient home for his religious sensibility." After this, he worked on more "commercial" plays for more general audiences: ''The Family Reunion'' (1939), ''The Cocktail Party'' (1949), ''The Confidential Clerk'', (1953) and ''The Elder Statesman'' (1958) (the latter three were produced by Henry Sherek and directed by E. Martin Browne). The Broadway production in New York of ''The Cocktail Party'' received the 1950
Tony Award The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ce ...
for Best Play. Eliot wrote ''The Cocktail Party'' while he was a visiting scholar at the
Institute for Advanced Study The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), located in Princeton, New Jersey, in the United States, is an independent center for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. It has served as the academic home of internationally preeminent scholar ...
. Regarding his method of playwriting, Eliot explained, "If I set out to write a play, I start by an act of choice. I settle upon a particular emotional situation, out of which characters and a plot will emerge. And then lines of poetry may come into being: not from the original impulse but from a secondary stimulation of the unconscious mind."


Literary criticism

Eliot also made significant contributions to the field of
literary criticism Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often influenced by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of literature's goals and methods. Th ...
, and strongly influenced the school of '' New Criticism''. He was somewhat self-deprecating and minimising of his work and once said his criticism was merely a "by-product" of his "private poetry-workshop". But the critic William Empson once said, "I do not know for certain how much of my own mind liotinvented, let alone how much of it is a reaction against him or indeed a consequence of misreading him. He is a very penetrating influence, perhaps not unlike the east wind." In his critical essay " Tradition and the Individual Talent", Eliot argues that art must be understood not in a vacuum, but in the context of previous pieces of art. "In a peculiar sense n artist or poet... must inevitably be judged by the standards of the past." This essay was an important influence over the New Criticism by introducing the idea that the value of a work of art must be viewed in the context of the artist's previous works, a "simultaneous order" of works (i.e., "tradition"). Eliot himself employed this concept on many of his works, especially on his long-poem ''The Waste Land''. Also important to New Criticism was the idea—as articulated in Eliot's essay " Hamlet and His Problems"—of an " objective correlative", which posits a connection among the words of the text and events, states of mind, and experiences. This notion concedes that a poem means what it says, but suggests that there can be a non-subjective judgment based on different readers' different—but perhaps corollary—interpretations of a work. More generally, New Critics took a cue from Eliot in regard to his "'classical' ideals and his religious thought; his attention to the poetry and drama of the early seventeenth century; his deprecation of the Romantics, especially Shelley; his proposition that good poems constitute 'not a turning loose of emotion but an escape from emotion'; and his insistence that 'poets... at present must be difficult'." Eliot's essays were a major factor in the revival of interest in the metaphysical poets. Eliot particularly praised the metaphysical poets' ability to show experience as both psychological and sensual, while at the same time infusing this portrayal with—in Eliot's view—wit and uniqueness. Eliot's essay "The Metaphysical Poets", along with giving new significance and attention to metaphysical poetry, introduced his now well-known definition of "unified sensibility", which is considered by some to mean the same thing as the term "metaphysical". His 1922 poem ''The Waste Land'' also can be better understood in light of his work as a critic. He had argued that a poet must write "programmatic criticism", that is, a poet should write to advance his own interests rather than to advance "historical scholarship". Viewed from Eliot's critical lens, ''The Waste Land'' likely shows his personal despair about
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
rather than an objective historical understanding of it. Late in his career, Eliot focused much of his creative energy on writing for the theatre; some of his earlier critical writing, in essays such as "Poetry and Drama", "Hamlet and his Problems", and "The Possibility of a Poetic Drama", focused on the aesthetics of writing drama in verse.


Critical reception


Responses to his poetry

The writer Ronald Bush notes that Eliot's early poems like "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", "Portrait of a Lady", "La Figlia Che Piange", "Preludes", and "Rhapsody on a Windy Night" had " neffect hatwas both unique and compelling, and their assurance staggered liot'scontemporaries who were privileged to read them in manuscript. onradAiken, for example, marveled at 'how sharp and complete and
sui generis ''Sui generis'' ( , ) is a Latin phrase that means "of its/their own kind", "in a class by itself", therefore "unique". A number of disciplines use the term to refer to unique entities. These include: * Biology, for species that do not fit in ...
the whole thing was, from the outset. The wholeness is there, from the very beginning.'" The initial critical response to Eliot's ''The Waste Land'' was mixed. Bush notes that the piece was at first correctly perceived as a work of jazz-like syncopation—and, like 1920s
jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recognized as a major ...
, essentially iconoclastic." Some critics, like
Edmund Wilson Edmund Wilson Jr. (May 8, 1895 – June 12, 1972) was an American writer and literary critic who explored Freudian and Marxist themes. He influenced many American authors, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose unfinished work he edited for publi ...
, Conrad Aiken, and Gilbert Seldes thought it was the best poetry being written in the English language while others thought it was esoteric and wilfully difficult. Edmund Wilson, being one of the critics who praised Eliot, called him "one of our only authentic poets".Wilson, Edmund, "The Poetry of Drouth". ''The Dial'' 73. December 1922. 611–16. Wilson also pointed out some of Eliot's weaknesses as a poet. In regard to ''The Waste Land'', Wilson admits its flaws ("its lack of structural unity"), but concluded, "I doubt whether there is a single other poem of equal length by a contemporary American which displays so high and so varied a mastery of English verse." Charles Powell was negative in his criticism of Eliot, calling his poems incomprehensible. And the writers of ''Time'' magazine were similarly baffled by a challenging poem like ''The Waste Land''. John Crowe Ransom wrote negative criticisms of Eliot's work but also had positive things to say. For instance, though Ransom negatively criticised ''The Waste Land'' for its "extreme disconnection", Ransom was not completely condemnatory of Eliot's work and admitted that Eliot was a talented poet. Addressing some of the common criticisms directed against ''The Waste Land'' at the time, Gilbert Seldes stated, "It seems at first sight remarkably disconnected and confused... owevera closer view of the poem does more than illuminate the difficulties; it reveals the hidden form of the work, ndindicates how each thing falls into place." Eliot's reputation as a poet, as well as his influence in the academy, peaked following the publication of ''The Four Quartets''. In an essay on Eliot published in 1989, the writer Cynthia Ozick refers to this peak of influence (from the 1940s through the early 1960s) as "the Age of Eliot" when Eliot "seemed pure zenith, a colossus, nothing less than a permanent luminary, fixed in the firmament like the sun and the moon". But during this post-war period, others, like Ronald Bush, observed that this time also marked the beginning of the decline in Eliot's literary influence:
As Eliot's conservative religious and political convictions began to seem less congenial in the postwar world, other readers reacted with suspicion to his assertions of authority, obvious in ''Four Quartets'' and implicit in the earlier poetry. The result, fueled by intermittent rediscovery of Eliot's occasional anti-Semitic rhetoric, has been a progressive downward revision of his once towering reputation.
Bush also notes that Eliot's reputation "slipped" significantly further after his death. He writes, "Sometimes regarded as too academic ( William Carlos Williams's view), Eliot was also frequently criticized for a deadening
neoclassicism Neoclassicism (also spelled Neo-classicism) was a Western cultural movement in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that drew inspiration from the art and culture of classical antiquity. Neoclassicism wa ...
(as he himself—perhaps just as unfairly—had criticized Milton). However, the multifarious tributes from practicing poets of many schools published during his centenary in 1988 was a strong indication of the intimidating continued presence of his poetic voice." Literary scholars, such as
Harold Bloom Harold Bloom (July 11, 1930 – October 14, 2019) was an American literary critic and the Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. In 2017, Bloom was described as "probably the most famous literary critic in the English-speaking wor ...
and
Stephen Greenblatt Stephen Jay Greenblatt (born November 7, 1943) is an American Shakespearean, literary historian, and author. He has served as the John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University since 2000. Greenblatt is the general edit ...
,Stephen Greenblatt, et al. (eds), ''The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 2''. "T.S. Eliot". New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.: NY, NY, 2000. acknowledge Eliot's poetry as central to the literary English canon. For instance, the editors of ''The Norton Anthology of English Literature'' write, "There is no disagreement on liot'simportance as one of the great renovators of the English poetry dialect, whose influence on a whole generation of poets, critics, and intellectuals generally was enormous. oweverhis range as a poet aslimited, and his interest in the great middle ground of human experience (as distinct from the extremes of saint and sinner) asdeficient." Despite this criticism, these scholars also acknowledge " liot'spoetic cunning, his fine craftsmanship, his original accent, his historical and representative importance as ''the'' poet of the modern symbolist-
Metaphysical Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of conscio ...
tradition".


Antisemitism

The depiction of Jews in some of Eliot's poems has led several critics to accuse him of
antisemitism Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is hostility to, prejudice towards, or discrimination against Jews. A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is considered to be a form of racism. Antis ...
, most forcefully in Anthony Julius' book ''T. S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism, and Literary Form'' (1996). In " Gerontion", Eliot writes, in the voice of the poem's elderly narrator, "And the jew squats on the window sill, the owner f my building/ Spawned in some estaminet of
Antwerp Antwerp (; nl, Antwerpen ; french: Anvers ; es, Amberes) is the largest city in Belgium by area at and the capital of Antwerp Province in the Flemish Region. With a population of 520,504,
." Another example appears in the poem, "Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar" in which Eliot wrote, "The rats are underneath the piles. / The jew is underneath the lot. / Money in furs." Julius writes: "The anti-Semitism is unmistakable. It reaches out like a clear signal to the reader." Julius' viewpoint has been supported by
Harold Bloom Harold Bloom (July 11, 1930 – October 14, 2019) was an American literary critic and the Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. In 2017, Bloom was described as "probably the most famous literary critic in the English-speaking wor ...
, Christopher Ricks, George Steiner, Tom Paulin and James Fenton. In lectures delivered at the
University of Virginia The University of Virginia (UVA) is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia. Founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, the university is ranked among the top academic institutions in the United States, with highly selective adm ...
in 1933 (published in 1934 under the title ''After Strange Gods: A Primer of Modern Heresy''), Eliot wrote of societal tradition and coherence, "What is still more important han cultural homogeneityis unity of religious background, and reasons of race and religion combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable." Eliot never re-published this book/lecture. In his 1934 pageant play ''The Rock'', Eliot distances himself from Fascist movements of the 1930s by caricaturing Oswald Mosley's
Blackshirt The Voluntary Militia for National Security ( it, Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale, MVSN), commonly called the Blackshirts ( it, Camicie Nere, CCNN, singular: ) or (singular: ), was originally the paramilitary wing of the Nation ...
s, who "firmly refuse/ To descend to palaver with anthropoid Jews".T.S. Eliot, ''The Rock'' (London: Faber and Faber, 1934), 44. The "new evangels" of
totalitarianism Totalitarianism is a form of government and a political system that prohibits all opposition parties, outlaws individual and group opposition to the state and its claims, and exercises an extremely high if not complete degree of control and regul ...
are presented as antithetic to the spirit of
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the world's largest and most widespread religion with roughly 2.38 billion followers representing one-third of the global popu ...
. In ''In Defence of T. S. Eliot'' (2001) and ''T. S. Eliot'' (2006), Craig Raine sought to defend Eliot from the charge of anti-Semitism. Paul Dean was not convinced by Raine's argument. Nevertheless, Dean concluded, "Ultimately, as both Raine and, to do him justice, Julius insist, however much Eliot may have been compromised as a person, as we all are in our several ways, his greatness as a poet remains." Critic
Terry Eagleton Terence Francis Eagleton (born 22 February 1943) is an English literary theorist, critic, and public intellectual. He is currently Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University. Eagleton has published over forty books, ...
also questioned the entire basis for Raine's book, writing, "Why do critics feel a need to defend the authors they write on, like doting parents deaf to all criticism of their obnoxious children? Eliot's well-earned reputation s a poetis established beyond all doubt, and making him out to be as unflawed as the Archangel Gabriel does him no favours."


Influence

Eliot influenced many poets, novelists, and songwriters, including Seán Ó Ríordáin, Máirtín Ó Díreáin,
Virginia Woolf Adeline Virginia Woolf (; ; 25 January 1882 28 March 1941) was an English writer, considered one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device. Woolf was born ...
,
Ezra Pound Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic, a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement, and a fascist collaborator in Italy during World War II. His works include ...
,
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan (legally Robert Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture during a career sp ...
, Hart Crane, William Gaddis, Allen Tate, Andrew Lloyd Webber,
Trevor Nunn Sir Trevor Robert Nunn (born 14 January 1940) is a British theatre director. He has been the Artistic Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, and, currently, the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. He has directed dramas f ...
,
Ted Hughes Edward James "Ted" Hughes (17 August 1930 – 28 October 1998) was an English poet, translator, and children's writer. Critics frequently rank him as one of the best poets of his generation and one of the twentieth century's greatest wri ...
, Geoffrey Hill, Seamus Heaney, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Russell Kirk, George Seferis (who in 1936 published a modern Greek translation of ''The Waste Land'') and
James Joyce James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist, poet, and literary critic. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde movement and is regarded as one of the most influential and important writers of ...
. T. S. Eliot was a strong influence on 20th-century
Caribbean poetry Caribbean poetry is vast and rapidly evolving field of poetry written by people from the Caribbean region and the diaspora. Caribbean poetry generally refers to a myriad of poetic forms, spanning epic, lyrical verse, prose poems, dramatic p ...
written in English, including the epic '' Omeros'' (1990) by Nobel laureate Derek Walcott, and ''Islands'' (1969) by Barbadian Kamau Brathwaite.


Honours and awards

Below is a partial list of honours and awards received by Eliot or bestowed or created in his honour.


National or state honours

These honours are displayed in order of precedence based on Eliot's nationality and rules of protocol, not awarding date.


Literary awards

*
Nobel Prize in Literature ) , image = Nobel Prize.png , caption = , awarded_for = Outstanding contributions in literature , presenter = Swedish Academy , holder = Annie Ernaux (2022) , location = Stockholm, Sweden , year = 1901 , ...
"for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry" (1948) * Hanseatic Goethe Prize (of Hamburg) (1955) * Dante Medal (of Florence) (1959)


Drama awards

* 1950
Tony Award for Best Play The Tony Award for Best Play (formally, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre) is an annual award given to the best new (non- musical) play on Broadway, as determined by Tony Award voters. There was no award in the Tonys' first year ...
for the Broadway production of ''The Cocktail Party'' * 1983
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical The Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical is awarded to librettists of the spoken, non-sung dialogue, and storyline of a musical play. Eligibility is restricted to works with original narrative framework; plotless revues and revivals are ineligib ...
for his poems used in the musical ''
Cats The cat (''Felis catus'') is a domestic species of small carnivorous mammal. It is the only domesticated species in the family Felidae and is commonly referred to as the domestic cat or house cat to distinguish it from the wild members of ...
'' (posthumous award) * 1983
Tony Award for Best Original Score The Tony Award for Best Original Score is the Tony Award given to the composers and lyricists of the best original score written for a musical or play in that year. The score consists of music and/or lyrics. To be eligible, a score must be writt ...
for his poems used in the musical ''
Cats The cat (''Felis catus'') is a domestic species of small carnivorous mammal. It is the only domesticated species in the family Felidae and is commonly referred to as the domestic cat or house cat to distinguish it from the wild members of ...
'' (shared with Andrew Lloyd-Webber) (posthumous award)


Music awards

* Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically for his poems used in the song "
Memory Memory is the faculty of the mind by which data or information is encoded, stored, and retrieved when needed. It is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action. If past events could not be remember ...
" (1982)


Academic awards

* Inducted into
Phi Beta Kappa The Phi Beta Kappa Society () is the oldest academic honor society in the United States, and the most prestigious, due in part to its long history and academic selectivity. Phi Beta Kappa aims to promote and advocate excellence in the liberal a ...
(1935) * Elected to the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (abbreviation: AAA&S) is one of the oldest learned societies in the United States. It was founded in 1780 during the American Revolution by John Adams, John Hancock, James Bowdoin, Andrew Oliver, a ...
(1954) * Elected to the
American Philosophical Society The American Philosophical Society (APS), founded in 1743 in Philadelphia, is a scholarly organization that promotes knowledge in the sciences and humanities through research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and communit ...
(1960) * Thirteen Honorary Doctorates (Including ones from Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and Harvard)


Other honours

* Eliot College of the University of Kent, England, named in his honour * Celebrated on U.S. commemorative postage stamps * Star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame


Works

Source:


Earliest works

* Prose ** "The Birds of Prey" (a short story; 1905) ** "A Tale of a Whale" (a short story; 1905) ** "The Man Who Was King" (a short story; 1905)As for a comparative study of this short story and
Rudyard Kipling Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( ; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)''The Times'', (London) 18 January 1936, p. 12. was an English novelist, short-story writer, poet, and journalist. He was born in British Raj, British India, which inspired much o ...
's " The Man Who Would Be King", see Tatsushi Narita, ''T. S. Eliot and his Youth as "A Literary Columbus"'' (Nagoya: Kougaku Shuppan, 2011), 21–30.
** "The Wine and the Puritans" (review, 1909) ** "The Point of View" (1909) ** "Gentlemen and Seamen" (1909) ** "Egoist" (review, 1909) * Poems ** "A Fable for Feasters" (1905) ** " Lyric:If Time and Space as Sages say'" (1905) ** " t Graduation 1905 (1905) ** "Song: 'If space and time, as sages say'" (1907) ** "Before Morning" (1908) ** "Circe's Palace" (1908) ** "Song: 'When we came home across the hill'" (1909) ** "On a Portrait" (1909) ** "Song: 'The moonflower opens to the moth'" (1909) ** "Nocturne" (1909) ** "Humoresque" (1910) ** "Spleen" (1910) ** "
lass Lass may refer to: *A girl/young woman in Scottish/Northern English People Surname * August Lass (1903–1962), Estonian footballer * Barbara Kwiatkowska-Lass (1940–1995), Polish actress *Donna Lass (1944–' 1970), possible victim of the Zodiac ...
Ode" (1910) ** "The Death of Saint Narcissus" (c.1911-15)


Poetry

* '' Prufrock and Other Observations'' (1917) ** '' The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'' ** '' Portrait of a Lady'' ** ''Preludes'' ** ''Rhapsody on a Windy Night'' ** ''Morning at the Window'' ** ''The Boston Evening Transcript'' (about the ''
Boston Evening Transcript The ''Boston Evening Transcript'' was a daily afternoon newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts, published from July 24, 1830, to April 30, 1941. Beginnings ''The Transcript'' was founded in 1830 by Henry Dutton and James Wentworth of the firm of D ...
'') ** ''Aunt Helen'' ** ''Cousin Nancy'' ** ''Mr. Apollinax'' ** ''Hysteria'' ** ''Conversation Galante'' ** ''La Figlia Che Piange'' * ''
Poems Poetry (derived from the Greek ''poiesis'', "making"), also called verse, is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language − such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre − to evoke meanings in ...
'' (1920) ** '' Gerontion'' ** ''Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar'' ** ''Sweeney Erect'' ** ''A Cooking Egg'' ** ''Le Directeur'' ** ''Mélange Adultère de Tout'' ** ''Lune de Miel'' ** ''The Hippopotamus'' ** ''Dans le Restaurant'' ** '' Whispers of Immortality'' ** ''Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service'' ** ''Sweeney Among the Nightingales'' * ''
The Waste Land ''The Waste Land'' is a poem by T. S. Eliot, widely regarded as one of the most important poems of the 20th century and a central work of Modernist poetry in English, modernist poetry. Published in 1922, the 434-line poem first appeared in the ...
'' (1922) * '' The Hollow Men'' (1925) * ''
Ariel Poems The Ariel Poems were two series of pamphlets that contained illustrated poems published by Faber and Gwyer and later by Faber and Faber. The first series had 38 titles published between 1927 and 1931. The second series, published in 1954, had 8 ...
'' (1927–1954) ** '' Journey of the Magi'' (1927) ** ''
A Song for Simeon "A Song for Simeon" is a 37-line poem written in 1928 by American-English poet T. S. Eliot (1888–1965). It is one of five poems that Eliot contributed to the ''Ariel Poems'' series of 38 pamphlets by several authors published by Faber ...
'' (1928) ** ''Animula'' (1929) ** ''Marina'' (1930) ** ''Triumphal March'' (1931) ** ''The Cultivation of Christmas Trees'' (1954) ** '' Macavity:The Mystery Cat'' * ''
Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday is a holy day of prayer and fasting in many Western Christian denominations. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday and falls on the first day of Lent (the six weeks of penitence before Easter). It is observed by Catholics in the R ...
'' (1930) * ''Coriolan'' (1931) * '' Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats'' (1939) * ''The Marching Song of the Pollicle Dogs'' and ''Billy M'Caw: The Remarkable Parrot'' (1939) in '' The Queen's Book of the Red Cross'' * '' Four Quartets'' (1945)


Plays

* ''
Sweeney Agonistes ''Sweeney Agonistes'' by T. S. Eliot was his first attempt at writing a verse drama although he was unable to complete the piece. In 1926 and 1927 he separately published two scenes from this attempt and then collected them in 1932 in a small ...
'' (published in 1926, first performed in 1934) * '' The Rock'' (1934) * '' Murder in the Cathedral'' (1935) * '' The Family Reunion'' (1939) * '' The Cocktail Party'' (1949) * '' The Confidential Clerk'' (1953) * '' The Elder Statesman'' (first performed in 1958, published in 1959)


Non-fiction

* ''Christianity & Culture'' (1939, 1948) * ''The Second-Order Mind'' (1920) * '' Tradition and the Individual Talent'' (1920) * ''The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism'' (1920) ** " Hamlet and His Problems" * ''Homage to John Dryden'' (1924) * ''Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca'' (1928) * ''For Lancelot Andrewes'' (1928) * ''Dante'' (1929) * '' Selected Essays, 1917-1932'' (1932) * ''The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism'' (1933) * ''After Strange Gods'' (1934) * ''Elizabethan Essays'' (1934) * ''Essays Ancient and Modern'' (1936) * ''The Idea of a Christian Society'' (1939) * '' A Choice of Kipling's Verse'' (1941) made by Eliot, with an essay on
Rudyard Kipling Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( ; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)''The Times'', (London) 18 January 1936, p. 12. was an English novelist, short-story writer, poet, and journalist. He was born in British Raj, British India, which inspired much o ...
* ''Notes Towards the Definition of Culture'' (1948) * ''Poetry and Drama'' (1951) * ''The Three Voices of Poetry'' (1954) * '' The Frontiers of Criticism'' (1956) * ''On Poetry and Poets'' (1943)


Posthumous publications

* ''To Criticize the Critic'' (1965) * ''Poems Written in Early Youth'' (1967) * ''The Waste Land: Facsimile Edition'' (1974) * ''Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909–1917'' (1996)


Critical editions

* ''Collected Poems, 1909–1962'' (1963)
excerpt and text search
* ''Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Illustrated Edition'' (1982)
excerpt and text search
* ''Selected Prose of T.S. Eliot'', edited by Frank Kermode (1975)
excerpt and text search
* ''The Waste Land'' (Norton Critical Editions), edited by Michael North (2000
excerpt and text search
* ''The Poems of T.S. Eliot'', volume 1 (Collected & Uncollected Poems) and volume 2 (Practical Cats & Further Verses), edited by Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue (2015), Faber & Faber * ''Selected Essays'' (1932); enlarged (1960) * ''The Letters of T. S. Eliot,'' edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton, Volume 1: 1898–1922 (1988, revised 2009) * ''The Letters of T. S. Eliot,'' edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton, Volume 2: 1923–1925 (2009) * ''The Letters of T. S. Eliot,'' edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 3: 1926–1927 (2012) * ''The Letters of T. S. Eliot,'' edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 4: 1928–1929 (2013) * ''The Letters of T. S. Eliot,'' edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 5: 1930–1931 (2014) * ''The Letters of T. S. Eliot,'' edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 6: 1932–1933 (2016) * ''The Letters of T. S. Eliot,'' edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 7: 1934–1935 (2017) * ''The Letters of T. S. Eliot,'' edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 8: 1936–1938 (2019) * ''The Letters of T. S. Eliot,'' edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 9: 1939–1941 (2021)


Notes


Further reading

* Ackroyd, Peter. ''T. S. Eliot: A Life'' (1984). * Ali, Ahmed. ''Mr. Eliot's Penny World of Dreams: An Essay in the Interpretation of T.S. Eliot's Poetry'', Published for the Lucknow University by New Book Co., Bombay, P.S. King & Staples Ltd, Westminster, London, 1942, 138 pp. * Asher, Kenneth ''T. S. Eliot and Ideology'' (1995). * Bottum, Joseph
"What T. S. Eliot Almost Believed"
''First Things'' 55 (August/September 1995): 25–30. * Brand, Clinton A. "The Voice of This Calling: The Enduring Legacy of T. S. Eliot", ''Modern Age'' Volume 45, Number 4; Fall 2003, conservative perspective. * Brown, Alec. "The Lyrical Impulse in Eliot's Poetry", '' Scrutiny'', vol. 2. * Bush, Ronald. ''T. S. Eliot: A Study in Character and Style'' (1984). * Bush, Ronald, 'The Presence of the Past: Ethnographic Thinking/ Literary Politics'. In ''Prehistories of the Future'', ed. Elzar Barkan and Ronald Bush, Stanford University Press (1995). * Crawford, Robert. ''The Savage and the City in the Work of T. S. Eliot'' (1987). * Crawford, Robert. ''Young Eliot: From St Louis to "The Waste Land"'' (2015). * Crawford, Robert. ''Eliot. After The Waste Land'' (2022). * Christensen, Karen. "Dear Mrs. Eliot", ''The Guardian Review'' (29 January 2005). * Das, Jolly. 'Eliot's Prismatic Plays: A Multifaceted Quest'. New Delhi: Atlantic, 2007. * Dawson, J. L., P. D. Holland & D. J. McKitterick, ''A Concordance to "The Complete Poems and Plays of T.S. Eliot"'' Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 1995. * Forster, E. M. Essay on T. S. Eliot, in ''Life and Letters'', June 1929. * Gardner, Helen. ''The Art of T. S. Eliot'' (1949). * Gordon, Lyndall. ''T. S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life'' (1998). * Guha, Chinmoy. ''Where the Dreams Cross: T. S. Eliot and French Poetry'' (2000, 2011). * Harding, W. D. ''T. S. Eliot, 1925–1935'', Scrutiny, September 1936: A Review. * Hargrove, Nancy Duvall. ''Landscape as Symbol in the Poetry of T. S. Eliot''. University Press of Mississippi (1978). * Hearn, Sheila G., ''Tradition and the Individual Scot]: Edwin Muir & T.S. Eliot'', in ''
Cencrastus ''Cencrastus'' was a magazine devoted to Scottish and international literature, arts The arts are a very wide range of human practices of creative expression, storytelling and cultural participation. They encompass multiple diverse and p ...
'' No. 13, Summer 1983, pp. 21–24, * Hearn, Sheila G. ''T. S. Eliot's Parisian Year''. University Press of Florida (2009). * Julius, Anthony. ''T. S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism, and Literary Form''. Cambridge University Press (1995). * Kenner, Hugh. ''The Invisible Poet: T. S. Eliot'' (1969). * Kenner, Hugh. editor, ''T. S. Eliot: A Collection of Critical Essays'', Prentice-Hall (1962). * Kirk, Russell ''Eliot and His Age: T. S, Eliot's Moral Imagination in the Twentieth Century'' (Introduction by Benjamin G. Lockerd Jr.). Wilmington: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Republication of the revised second edition, 2008. * Kojecky, Roger. ''T.S. Eliot's Social Criticism'', Faber & Faber, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1972, revised Kindle edn. 2014. * Lal, P. (editor), ''T. S. Eliot: Homage from India: A Commemoration Volume of 55 Essays & Elegies'', Writer's Workshop Calcutta, 1965. * ''The Letters of T. S. Eliot''. Ed. Valerie Eliot. Vol. I, 1898–1922. San Diego tc. 1988. Vol. 2, 1923–1925. Edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton, London: Faber, 2009. * Levy, William Turner and Victor Scherle. ''Affectionately, T. S. Eliot: The Story of a Friendship: 1947–1965'' (1968). * Matthews, T. S. ''Great Tom: Notes Towards the Definition of T. S. Eliot'' (1973) * Maxwell, D. E. S. ''The Poetry of T. S. Eliot'', Routledge and Kegan Paul (1960). * Miller, James E., Jr. ''T. S. Eliot. The Making of an American Poet, 1888–1922''. The Pennsylvania State University Press. 2005. * North, Michael (ed.) ''The Waste Land (Norton Critical Editions)''. New York: W.W. Norton, 2000. * Raine, Craig. ''T. S. Eliot''. Oxford University Press (2006). * Ricks, Christopher.''T. S. Eliot and Prejudice'' (1988). *Robinson, Ia
"The English Prophets"
The Brynmill Press Ltd (2001) * Schuchard, Ronald. ''Eliot's Dark Angel: Intersections of Life and Art'' (1999). * Scofield, Dr. Martin, "T.S. Eliot: The Poems", Cambridge University Press (1988). * * Sencourt, Robert. ''T. S. Eliot: A Memoir'' (1971) * Seymour-Jones, Carole. ''Painted Shadow: A Life of Vivienne Eliot'' (2001). *Sinha, Arun Kumar and Vikram, Kumar. ''T. S. Eliot: An Intensive Study of Selected Poems'', New Delhi: Spectrum Books Pvt. Ltd (2005). * Spender, Stephen. ''T. S. Eliot'' (1975) *Spurr, Barry, ''Anglo-Catholic in Religion: T. S. Eliot and Christianity'', The Lutterworth Press (2009) * Tate, Allen, editor. ''T. S. Eliot: The Man and His Work'' (1966; republished by Penguin, 1971).


External links


Biography


T. S. Eliot
at the Poetry Foundation
Biography From T. S. Eliot Lives' and Legacies

Eliot family genealogy
including T. S. Eliot

* Lyndall Gordon, Eliot's Early Years, Oxford and New York:
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university press in the world, and its printing history dates back to the 1480s. Having been officially granted the legal right to print books ...
, 1977, .
T. S. Eliot Profile, Poems, Essays
at Poets.org *


Works

* * * * *
official listing of T. S. Eliot's works with some available in full


* ttp://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poet.html?id=81338 Poems by T.S. Eliot and biographyat PoetryFoundation.org
Text of early poems (1907–1910)
printed in '' The Harvard Advocate''
T. S. Eliot Collection
at Bartleby.com
T.S. Eliot's Cats
*
The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism
'. Knopf, 1921. Via HathiTrust.


Websites


T. S. Eliot Society (UK) Resource Hub

T. S. Eliot Hypertext Project

Official (T. S. Eliot Estate) site

T. S. Eliot Society (US)
Home Page


Archives

*
Search for T.S. Eliot
at
Harvard University Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard College and named for its first benefactor, the Puritan clergyman John Harvard, it is the oldest institution of highe ...

T. S. Eliot Collection
at the
Harry Ransom Center The Harry Ransom Center (until 1983 the Humanities Research Center) is an archive, library and museum at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in the collection of literary and cultural artifacts from the Americas and Europe for the pu ...
at the
University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin, UT, or Texas) is a public research university in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1883 and is the oldest institution in the University of Texas System. With 40,916 undergraduate students, 11,075 ...
* T. S. Eliot Collection at
Merton College Merton College (in full: The House or College of Scholars of Merton in the University of Oxford) is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Its foundation can be traced back to the 1260s when Walter de Merton, c ...
,
Oxford University Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the Un ...

T. S. Eliot collection
at University of Victoria, Special Collections
T. S. Eliot collection
at the University of Maryland Libraries * T. S. Eliot Collection. Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.


Miscellaneous


Links to audio recordings of Eliot reading his work
* An interview with Eliot:

audio, video and full transcripts from Open Yale Courses
T S Eliot
at the British Library * {{DEFAULTSORT:Eliot, T. S. 1888 births 1965 deaths American emigrants to the United Kingdom American expatriates in France Eliot family (America) People who renounced United States citizenship Naturalised citizens of the United Kingdom Writers from St. Louis 20th-century American poets 20th-century British poets American male poets Anglican poets British male poets Epic poets Modernist poetry in English Modernist poets Poets from Missouri 20th-century American male writers 20th-century American non-fiction writers 20th-century American writers 20th-century British male writers 20th-century British non-fiction writers 20th-century essayists 20th-century short story writers American male essayists American male non-fiction writers American male short story writers Anglo-Catholic writers British male essayists British male short story writers Lost Generation writers Modernism Neoclassical writers Writers about activism and social change Writers who illustrated their own writing 20th-century American dramatists and playwrights American male dramatists and playwrights British male dramatists and playwrights Modernist theatre American cultural critics American literary critics Anthologists British literary critics Literary theorists New Criticism Social critics Academics of Birkbeck, University of London Alumni of Merton College, Oxford Harvard Advocate alumni Harvard College alumni Institute for Advanced Study visiting scholars Lecturers Milton Academy alumni People associated with University of London Worldwide University of Paris alumni Wesleyan University people American Nobel laureates British Nobel laureates Commandeurs of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Ivor Novello Award winners Members of the Order of Merit Nobel laureates affiliated with Missouri Nobel laureates in Literature Officiers of the Légion d'honneur Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients Recipients of the Pour le Mérite (civil class) Tony Award winners American Anglo-Catholics Anglo-Catholic poets British Anglo-Catholics Converts to Anglicanism from Unitarianism Burials in Somerset Deaths from emphysema People with acquired British citizenship Presidents of the Classical Association Members of the American Philosophical Society