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T. S. Eliot Collection

Abstract

Title:
T. S. Eliot Collection
Author/Creator:
Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns)
Collection number:
2009-88
Size:
1.00 linear foot
Bulk dates:
1950-1965
Inclusive dates:
1914-1973
Collection Area:
Literature and Rare Books
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965), a poet, critic, editor, and playwright, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He received a B. A. in 1909 and an M. A. in 1910 from Harvard, where he also pursued a doctoral degree in philosophy. In 1915, he married Vivienne (Vivien) Haigh-Wood. He was literary editor of the avant-garde magazine The Egoist. In the Spring 1917, he published his first book of poetry, Prufrock and Other Observations. In 1922, Eliot published "The Waste Land" and became editor of The Criterion. 1927 was a momentous year for Eliot. In June, he was baptized into the Church of England, and, in November, became a British citizen. His religion then became a central component of his life and his poetry reflected this religious conversion. In 1948, Eliot received both the Order of Merit and the Nobel Prize for Literature. The collection includes correspondence; manuscripts and proofs of published Eliot literary works such as "Lines to a Persian Cat," "In silent corridors of death," and "The Love-Song of J. Arthur Prufrock;" galley proofs for plays and collections of poetry; manuscripts of Vivienne (Haigh-Wood) Eliot; serial publications with contributions by Eliot; newspaper clippings; a proof of a literary review of Eliot; manuscripts written by other individuals; programs and playbills.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

T. S. Eliot Collection, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/4600
Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965), a poet, critic, editor, and playwright, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the seventh child of Henry Ware Eliot and Charlotte Champe Stearns. He attended Smith Academy, founded by his grandfather William Greenleaf Eliot, a Unitarian minister, until he was sixteen. In 1905, he left St. Louis to study for a year at Milton Academy outside Boston and then entered Harvard University in 1906. At Harvard, he received a B. A. in 1909 and an M. A. in 1910. In the autumn of 1910, he went to the Sorbonne in Paris for a year of postgraduate study.

Eliot returned to Harvard to pursue a doctoral degree in philosophy. He studied Eastern and Western philosophies and learned Sanskrit in order to read the original texts. In 1913, he read Bradley's Appearance and Reality, which became the basis for his dissertation entitled "The Nature of Objects, with reference to the philosophy of F. H. Bradley" (later published as Knowledge and Experience in the Philosophy of F. H. Bradley in 1964). 1914 saw his return to England, on a travelling fellowship. The following year he married Vivienne (Vivien) Haigh-Wood, whom he met through a mutual friend. He completed his dissertation in 1916 while living in England and submitted it to Harvard. Unfortunately, World War I had begun, and it became too dangerous to sail back to America, so he was not able to defend his dissertation for the Ph. D. degree.

In an effort to support himself and his new wife, Eliot took on a variety of positions including teaching at schools in High Wycombe and Highgate, London; writing book reviews; and through the University of London extension board, lecturing at evening extension courses. In addition, he became literary editor of the avant-garde magazine The Egoist. In the spring of 1917, he finally found steady employment; his language abilities qualified him for a job in the Colonial and Foreign Department of Lloyds Bank, in the City of London, where he worked on foreign accounts. The security of this position allowed him to return to his poetry, and later that year he published his first book of poetry Prufrock and Other Observations.

It was to be private pain that brought about his most famous poem "The Waste Land." January 1919 brought news of the death of his father, Henry Ware Eliot. Eliot's hasty marriage and settlement in England had created a rift between Eliot and his parents, and this news destroyed any hope of a full reconciliation. At the same time, Vivien's own physical and mental health were deteriorating and causing great financial and emotional strain on Eliot.

The success Eliot gained from "The Waste Land" provided him with the opportunity to edit his own literary journal, The Criterion. Lady Rothermere, wife of Viscount Rothermere, publisher of the Daily Mail, funded the venture.

The first issue of The Criterion appeared in October, 1922. Vivien was to contribute sketches, reviews, and poems to The Criterion under various pseudonyms.

Eliot's combined talent for literary endeavors and business sense brought him to the attention of Geoffrey Faber who, in 1925, recruited him as literary editor and board of directors' member of his new publishing firm, Faber and Gwyer; four years later it became Faber and Faber. Eliot left Lloyds and began a relationship with Faber and Faber that continued until the end of his career.

1927 was to be a personally momentous year for Eliot. In June, he was baptized into the Church of England and, in November, became a British citizen. His religion then became a central component of his life.

Eliot's poetry now reflected his religious conversion and includes his Ariel poems: "Journey of the Magi" (1927), "A Song for Simeon" (1928), "Animula" (1929), "Marina" (1930), and the longer poem "Ash Wednesday" (1930).

In June 1935 the church drama Murder in the Cathedral was performed in the chapter house of Canterbury Cathedral for the Canterbury Festival. It had been commissioned by the Bishop of Chichester, George Bell.

Three years later Vivien's brother, Maurice, had Vivien committed to Northumberland House, a mental hospital north of London. Eliot's Anglicanism would not allow for a divorce, but he never saw Vivien again. She died in 1947.

The start of World War saw the demise of The Criterion. During this time he wrote the play The Family Reunion (1939) and the three final poems that make up the Four Quartets (1943). "Burnt Norton" (1934) had been previously published in Collected Poems 1909-1935. "East Coker" (1940) was named after the Somerset village from which Eliot's ancestor Andrew Eliot had departed for America, circa 1669. "The Dry Salvages" (1941) recounted Eliot's experience as a boy sailing on the Mississippi River and on the coast of Massachusetts. "Little Gidding" (1942) is a village in Cambridgeshire visited by Eliot in 1936. Little Gidding was home to a religious community from 1625 to 1998.

After World War II, Eliot wrote no more major poetry. Instead he wrote cultural criticisms suchs Notes toward a Definition of Culture (1948); the plays The Cocktail Party (1949), The Confidential Clerk (1953) and The Elder Statesman (1958); and literary essays. In 1948, Eliot received both the Order of Merit and the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In January 1957, he married his secretary (Esmé) Valerie Fletcher, with whom he lived until his death on January 4, 1965, at his home in London.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The contents of the T. S. Eliot Collection date from 1914 to 1973 and include materials that Eliot created during his lifetime (1888-1965), materials about his life and his writings, and the creative output of others that was Eliot inspired. The materials include correspondence; manuscripts and proofs of published Eliot literary works; manuscripts of Vivienne (Haigh-Wood) Eliot; serial publications with contributions by Eliot; newspaper clippings; a proof of a literary review of Eliot; manuscripts written by other individuals; and programs and playbills.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

This collection was assembled from materials purchased by the University of Maryland Libraries in the early 1970s. It also includes the Eliot materials of Robert L. Beare, who served as Assistant Director of Libraries at the University of Maryland Libraries from 1968 to 1977.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Lara D'Agaro, February 2009.

Processing note:

Paper clips, staples, and rubber bands were removed from items in the collection. When necessary, folded paper was flattened. Fragile documents were placed in Mylar sleeves to prevent damage from handling. Items in this collection were acquired individually or in groups over the course of three years (1972-1974). The collection was assembled from separate accessions. If an order had been imposed upon them before acquisition, it could not be determined. The final arrangement of the collection was created during processing.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Lara D'Agaro, February 2009.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence and Personal Material, 1915-1961 and undated (0.25 linear feet)

This series contains letters written and received by T. S. Eliot. Correspondents include Robert L. Beare, John Black, Sally and Richard Cobden-Sanderson, H. P. Collins, Henry Ware Eliot, Wrey Gardiner, Edgar Jepson, and Jane Quinby. There is also correspondence relating to him written by Robert L. Beare, Conrad Aiken, Peter du Sautoy, Theresa Eliot, Valerie Fletcher, Donald Gallup, Catherine McCarthy, Angela Niles, Norman Holmes Pearson, Eugene Waith, Fredson Bowers, and John Hayward.

All letters written by Eliot are original with the exception of the letters to Edgar Jepson, which are transcriptions. The two largest groupings of correspondence include those exchanged between Eliot and Robert L. Beare (about Beare's research on variants in published Eliot works) and Eliot's letters to H. P. Collins, in which he discusses publishing Collins's literary reviews in The Criterion. The personal material is a 1927 certified copy of Eliot's marriage certificate to Vivienne Haigh-Wood in 1915.

The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by author and then by recient's name; the personal material follows the correspondence. There is an appendix of the individual letters.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Correspondence -- Aiken, Conrad -- Robert L. Beare, 1955 series 1box 1folder 1
Correspondence -- Beare, Robert L., to/from -- Fredson Bowers, 1955-1956 and undated series 1box 1folder 2
Correspondence -- Beare, Robert L. -- Capt. And Mrs. Cohn, 1953 series 1box 1folder 3
Correspondence -- Beare, Robert L., to/from -- John Hayward, 1956-1957 series 1box 1folder 4
Correspondence -- du Sautoy, Peter -- Robert L. Beare, 1955 series 1box 1folder 5
Correspondence -- Eliot, Theresa [Mrs. Henry Ware Eliot Jr.] -- Robert L. Beare, 1955 series 1box 1folder 6
Correspondence -- Eliot, T. S., to/from -- Robert L. Beare, 1953-1956, 1958 series 1box 1folder 7
Correspondence -- Eliot, T. S. -- John Black, 1948 series 1box 1folder 8
Correspondence -- Eliot, T. S. -- Christmas Card, 1954 series 1box 1folder 9
Correspondence -- Eliot, T. S. -- Sally and Richard Cobden-Sanderson, 1934, 1948, 1954 series 1box 1folder 10
Correspondence -- Eliot, T. S. -- H.P. Collins, 1924-1929, 1946 series 1box 1folder 11
Correspondence -- Eliot, T. S. -- Henry Ware Eliot, 1915 series 1box 1folder 12
Correspondence -- Eliot, T. S. -- Wrey Gardiner, 1943-1944 series 1box 1folder 13
Correspondence -- Eliot, T. S. -- Edgar Jepson, 1919 series 1box 1folder 14
Correspondence -- Eliot, T. S. -- Jane Quinby, 1948 series 1box 1folder 15
Correspondence -- Fletcher, Valerie, to/from -- Robert L. Beare, 1955-1956 and undated series 1box 1folder 16
Correspondence -- Gallup, Donald -- Robert L. Beare, 1953-1955 series 1box 1folder 17
Correspondence -- McCarthy, Catherine, to/from -- Robert L. Beare, 1955 series 1box 1folder 18
Correspondence -- Niles, Angela -- Robert L. Beare, 1961 series 1box 1folder 19
Correspondence -- Pearson, Norman Holmes -- Robert L. Beare, 1955 and undated series 1box 1folder 20
Correspondence -- Waith, Eugene -- Robert L. Beare, 1955 series 1box 1folder 21
Personal Material -- Marriage certificate of Vivienne Haigh Haigh-Wood and Thomas Stearns Eliot, 1927 series 1box 1folder 22

Series 2: Writings by the T. S. Eliot and Vivienne (Haigh-Wood) Eliot, 1914-1962 and undated (0.25 linear feet)

This series contains typed and hand-written manuscripts and page proofs for Eliot works and manuscripts by Vivien Eliot, under the aliases F. M. and Feiron Morris. There are manuscripts of the Eliots' published and unpublished stories, poems, and fragments. This series also includes four serials that contain articles and stories written by Eliot. Eliot contributed an essay to the monograph Tribute to Walter de la Mare on his Seventy-fifth Birthday, a proof of which can be found in Series III.

This series is arranged alphabetically by author/pseudonym and then by title or, if untitled, by the first line of the poem or prose.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Galley Proof -- Eliot, T. S. -- Collected Plays by T. S. Eliot -- Uncorrected proof copy, 1962 series 2box 1folder 23
Galley Proof -- Eliot, T. S. -- Complete Poems and Plays -- Advance uncorrected proof, 1952 series 2box 1folder 24
Galley Proof -- Eliot, T. S. -- The Confidential Clerk -- Advance uncorrected proof, 1954 series 2box 1folder 25
Galley Proof -- Eliot, T. S. -- The Confidential Clerk -- Proof copy, 1954 series 2box 1folder 26
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- Conversation with Bertrand Russell -- AMs -- 1 page, undated series 2box 1folder 27
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- "Description of W Sussex" -- AMs -- 1 page, undated series 2box 1folder 28
Serials -- Eliot, T. S. -- "East Coker" -- The New English Weekly, 1940 series 2box 1folder 29
Serials -- Eliot, T. S. -- "Education in a Christian Society" -- The Christian News-Letter, 1940 series 2box 1folder 30
Galley Proof -- Eliot, T. S. -- The Elder Statesman -- Proof copy, 1959 series 2box 2folder 1
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S./Eliot, Vivien -- Untitled, "Fanny lying in bed late on a hot Sunday" -- AMs -- 8 pages, undated series 2box 2folder 2
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- "In silent corridors of death" -- AMs -- 1 page, undated series 2box 2folder 3
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- The Lion and the Fox, by Wyndham Lewis, review of -- TMsS -- 5 pages, undated series 2box 2folder 4
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- "Lines to a Persian Cat" -- TMs edited -- 3 pages, 1932 series 2box 2folder 5
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- "Lines to a Yorkshire Terrier" -- TMs edited -- 1 page, undated series 2box 2folder 6
Serials -- Eliot, T. S. -- "London Library" -- The Times -- reprint, 1959 series 2box 2folder 7
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- "The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" -- TMsS -- 4 pages, circa 1913 series 2box 2folder 8
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- Murder in the Cathedral -- TMs edited, 1934 series 2box 2folder 9
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- "Oh Little Voices of the Throats of Men" and "The Love Song of St. Sebastian" -- TMs edited -- 2 pages, circa 1914-1915 series 2box 2folder 10
Serials -- Eliot, T. S. -- "The Panegyric" -- St. Stephen's Magazine, 1959 series 2box 2folder 11
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- "'Poetry' in 30 Seconds" -- TMs edited -- 5 pages, circa 1950 series 2box 2folder 12
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- "Principles of Growth: How to Avoid It" -- AMs -- 2 pages, undated series 2box 2folder 13
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- Untitled, "There was once a young girl who was very" -- AMs -- 3 pages, undated series 2box 2folder 14
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- "Triumphal March" -- TMs edited -- 2 pages, undated series 2box 2folder 15
Manuscript -- Eliot, T. S. -- Untitled, "Wool" -- AMs -- 1 page, undated series 2box 2folder 16
Manuscript -- Eliot, Vivien -- Untitled, "You say that you are" -- AMs -- 3 pages, undated series 2box 2folder 17
Manuscript -- F. M. [Vivien Eliot] -- Letters of the Moment II -- AMs, notebook -- 10 pages , [1924] series 2box 2folder 18
Manuscript -- F. M. [Vivien Eliot] -- Letters of the Moment II -- photocopy of Criterion article -- 4 pages, [1924] series 2box 2folder 19
Manuscript -- Morris, Feiron [Vivien Eliot] -- Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown by Virginia Woolf, review of -- AMs -- 4 pages, January 1925 series 2box 2folder 20

Series 3: Writings by Others, 1948-1973 (0.25 linear feet)

This series consists of a manuscript and three uncorrected page proofs by authors other than T. S. Eliot. The manuscript and one of the galley proofs are of Robert L. Beare's article, "Notes on the text of T. S. Eliot: Variants from Russell Square," (working title was "Trivia from Russell Square") on the variants in published Eliot works. The second galley proof is a critical work about Eliot's plays and poems by David Ward, T. S. Eliot Between Two Worlds, and the third galley proof is of the monograph Tribute to Walter de la Mare on his Seventy-fifth Birthday that contains a contribution by Eliot.

This series is arranged alphabetically by the author's last name or, in the absence of a known author, by title.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Galley proof -- Beare, Robert L. -- "Notes on the text of T. S. Eliot:Variants from Russell Square" -- galley proof, [1955] series 3box 2folder 22
Manuscript -- Beare, Robert L. -- "Trivia from Russell Square" (crossed through-published as "Notes on the text of T. S. Eliot:Variants from Russell Square") -- TMs edited, [1955] series 3box 2folder 23
Galley proof -- Tribute to Walter de la Mare on his seventy-fifth birthday -- proof copy, 1948 series 3box 2folder 24
Galley proof -- Ward, David -- T. S. Eliot Between Two Worlds -- uncorrected proof copy, 1973 series 3box 2folder 25

Series 4: Printed Matter, 1936-1965 (0.25 linear feet)

This series consists of printed material, including a broadside; clippings; an illustration; a musical score; playbills; a press release; and programs, all of which relate to Eliot or his work.

The items are arranged in eight subgroups in the following order: Broadside; Clippings; Illustration; Musical Score; Playbills; Press Release; and Programs.

The Broadside is a limited edition of "Cat Morgan's Apology."

The Clippings include four clippings whose subject is Eliot's marriage to Valerie Fletcher and one article on the production of his play The Elder Statesman.

The Illustration depicts Eliot and is from the serial Punch.

The Musical Score is Eliot's Anthem (The Dove Descending Breaks the Air) with music by Igor Stravinsky.

The Playbills are from productions of Eliot's plays performed mainly in the 1950s and in various theaters in Great Britain and the United States.

The Press Release is for Eliot's Religious Drama: Mediaeval and Modern.

There are six Programs. Two of the programs are for memorial services on the death of Eliot, three are for literary events, and one for the awarding of the Hanseatic Goethe-Prize in 1954 to Eliot.

Within these categories, the items are arranged alphabetically by title.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Broadside -- "Cat Morgan's Apology", 1953 series 4box 2folder 26
Clippings -- About T. S. Eliot, 1957-1958 series 4box 2folder 27
Illustration -- Punch, 1956 series 4box 2folder 28
Musical Score -- Anthem (The Dove Descending Breaks the Air), 1962 series 4box 2folder 29
Playbill -- The Cocktail Party, 1950 series 4box 2folder 30
Playbill -- The Confidential Clerk, 1954 series 4box 2folder 31
Playbill -- The Elder Statesman, 1958 series 4box 2folder 32
Playbill -- The Family Reunion, 1956 series 4box 2folder 33
Playbill -- Murder in the Cathedral, 1936 series 4box 2folder 34
Playbill -- Murder in the Cathedral, 1953 series 4box 2folder 35
Press Release -- Religious Drama: Mediaeval and Modern, 1954 series 4box 2folder 36
Program -- The English Institute, 1955 series 4box 2folder 37
Program -- Hansischen Goethe-Preises 1954, 1954 series 4box 2folder 38
Program -- Memorial Service for Thomas Stearns Eliot, 1965 series 4box 2folder 39
Program -- Order of Service in Memory of Thomas Stearns Eliot, 1965 series 4box 2folder 40
Program -- A Poetry Reading by T. S. Eliot, 1958 series 4box 2folder 41
Program -- The Sound Broadcasting Society, 1957 series 4box 2folder 42

Related Material

Related materials can be found at King's College, Cambridge; Harvard University in Boston, MA.; the University of Texas, Austin; and in the Djuna Barnes Papers and the Hope Mirrlees Papers in the University of Maryland Libraries.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.

Subjects