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Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909-17 
by T.S. Eliot, edited by Christopher Ricks.
Faber, 428 pp., £30, September 1996, 0 571 17895 2
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... drafts such as the 1971 facsimile of the manuscript of The Waste Land, edited by Valerie Eliot. Though some of Eliot’s verses not included in the 1963 Collected Poems were published in 1967 under the title Poems of Early Youth, it has long been known that a notebook containing other early poems, written between ...

A Lot of Travail

Michael Wood: T.S. Eliot’s Letters, 3 December 2009

The Letters of T.S. EliotVol. II: 1923-25 
edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton.
Faber, 878 pp., £35, November 2009, 978 0 571 14081 7
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... I think,’ T.S. Eliot wrote in February 1923, ‘it will take me a year or two to throw off The Waste Land and settle down and get at something better which is tormenting me by its elusiveness in my brain.’ The something better was probably the never finished ‘Sweeney Agonistes’, since ‘The Hollow Men’, the only other poem he worked on between 1923 and 1925, must surely have been less elusive ...
Prince Charming: A Memoir 
by Christopher Logue.
Faber, 340 pp., £20, September 1999, 9780571197682
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... their absurdity. There is an occasion when a writer in the Times Literary Supplement accuses T.S. Eliot of anti-semitism. Eliot replies, saying he would like to know on what grounds he had been charged. Logue then writes in, quoting some of the famous passages which would seem to support such a view. ...

Saved for Jazz

David Trotter, 5 October 1995

Modernist Quartet 
by Frank Lentricchia.
Cambridge, 305 pp., £35, November 1994, 0 521 47004 8
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... There are some curious aspects to Frank Lentricchia’s study of four Modernist poets: T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Ezra Pound and Wallace Stevens. For a start, it’s a book about poets which doesn’t seem much interested in poems. Lentricchia has written a lengthy chapter on each member of his quartet. Yet Eliot is represented by ‘The Love Song of J ...

Eliot’s End

Graham Hough, 6 March 1980

Thomas Stearns Eliot, Poet 
by A.D. Moddy.
Cambridge, 365 pp., £12.50, March 1979, 0 521 22065 3
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Theory and Personality: the Significance of T.S. Eliot’s Criticism 
by Brian Lee.
Athlone, 148 pp., £9.95, November 1979, 0 485 11185 3
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... ever since Matthiessen’s book in 1935 – the steady flow of critical lucubration on T.S. Eliot has gone on unabated. Not particularly contentious – at any rate since the early days, not particularly progressive – it does not seem to be getting anywhere, it has settled down into a decorously repetitive exercise, rather like chewing the cud. The ...

F.R. Leavis, Politics and Religion

Roger Poole, 20 December 1979

The Moment of ‘Scrutiny’ 
by Francis Mulhern.
New Left Books, 354 pp., £11.75
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The Literary Criticism of F.R. Leavis 
by R.P. Bilan.
Cambridge, 338 pp., £12.50
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... at the watershed of his book, which consists of four vast chapters on Lawrence and one on T.S. Eliot. That Leavis had a lifelong struggle with Lawrence and with T.S. Eliot is a commonplace. Professor Bilan now tells us what the essential character of that struggle was. It would appear that Leavis had to win clear of ...

Ti tum ti tum ti tum

Colin Burrow: Chic Sport Shirker, 7 October 2021

Along Heroic Lines 
by Christopher Ricks.
Oxford, 330 pp., £20, April, 978 0 19 289465 6
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... brow, conveys that this is stuff that gets the pulse racing. The words flow. Apt phrases from T.S. Eliot; some Bob Dylan; Samuel Johnson; much dazzle and many jokes; Keats-Byron-Tennyson-Dryden-Shakespeare-Beckett-Hill running giddily into each other; but each writer and observation given its space to illuminate and be illuminated into a radiant energy, which ...

Errata

Christopher Ricks, 2 December 1982

T.S. EliotThe Critical Heritage 
edited by Michael Grant.
Routledge, 408 pp., £25, July 1982, 0 7100 9226 1
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... These ‘Critical Heritage’ volumes on T. S. Eliot get off to a bad start, and persevere. The chosen items are ‘printed verbatim’, ‘apart from the silent correction of spelling errors and other minutiae’. Why then preserve ‘elegaic’ and For Launcelot Andrewes? Did F.L. Lucas really write, unremarked, that Eliot may have been indebted to something called ‘Childe Harold to the Dark Tower Came’? Yes he did, actually ...

Soul

John Bayley, 2 August 1984

Shakespearian Dimensions 
by G. Wilson Knight.
Harvester, 232 pp., £22.50, May 1984, 0 7108 0628 0
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... In 1929 Wilson Knight wrote an essay ‘Myth and Miracle’ which deeply impressed T.S. Eliot. So deeply, in fact, that Eliot offered to persuade the Oxford University Press to publish Knight’s essays and to write an introduction for them himself. The result was The Wheel of Fire, one of our century’s seminal books on Shakespeare ...

Undesirable

Tom Paulin, 9 May 1996

T.S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism and Literary Form 
by Anthony Julius.
Cambridge, 308 pp., £30, September 1995, 0 521 47063 3
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... 1996, I find that the Professor of Poetry, James Fenton, will give a lecture on 9 May entitled Eliot v. Julius. It would be improper of me to anticipate Fenton’s approach to Anthony Julius’s compelling study, but I would hope that he will not see fit to mount another repudiation of this brilliant, passionately concentrated ‘adversarial reading’ of ...

Poor Harold

C.H. Sisson, 3 December 1981

Harold Nicolson: A Biography. Vo. II: 1930-1968 
by James Lees-Milne.
Chatto, 403 pp., £15, October 1981, 0 7011 2602 7
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... which the BBC published to accompany the series gave me my first sight of the work of T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, and I believe James Joyce, though I learn from the volume before me that Sir John Reith, reigning at the BBC, forbade Nicolson to mention Ulysses, then banned. Little encounters of that kind were to be expected in those days, and Nicolson ...

War Poet

Robert Crawford, 24 May 1990

O Choille gu Bearradh/From Wood to Ridge: Collected Poems in Gaelic and English 
by Sorley MacLean.
Carcanet, 317 pp., £18.95, October 1989, 0 85635 844 4
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... The finest poetry written by British citizens during the years 1939-45 was produced by T.S. Eliot and by Sorley MacLean. Each was a British citizen in a very different way. Eliot, more interested in assuming Englishness than Britishness, had already taken the un-English step of giving himself a written constitution (Royalist, Anglo-Catholic, Classicist), and gave over one of his three great war poems to the investigation and celebration of his American background ...

How much?

Ian Hamilton: Literary pay and literary prizes, 18 June 1998

Guide to Literary Prizes, 1998 
edited by Huw Molseed.
Book Trust, 38 pp., £3.99, May 1998, 0 85353 475 6
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The Cost of Letters: A Survey of Literary Living Standards 
edited by Andrew Holgate and Honor Wilson-Fletcher.
W Magazine, 208 pp., £2, May 1998, 0 9527405 9 1
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... in the history of early Modernism centres on Ezra Pound’s attempt to ‘liberate’ T.S. Eliot from his clerk’s job at Lloyds Bank. In 1921, Pound started up a fund called Bel Esprit and set about trying to persuade 30 subscribers to fork out ten pounds each: £300 p.a. would, he believed, enable Eliot to forsake ...
Djuna Barnes 
by Philip Herring.
Viking, 416 pp., £20, May 1996, 0 670 84969 3
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... here, with the support and editorial expertise of her friend Emily Coleman, who made sure T.S. Eliot read the manuscript. Though Eliot admired and published Nightwood, he wasn’t such a fan of Barnes’s poetry. A couple of years after Nightwood was published, Barnes showed him some poems she had written. He threatened ...

Hyacinth Boy

Mark Ford: T.S. Eliot, 21 September 2006

T.S. EliotThe Making of an American Poet 
by James E. Miller.
Pennsylvania State, 468 pp., £29.95, August 2005, 0 271 02681 2
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The Annotated ‘Waste Land’ with Eliot’s Contemporary Prose 
by T.S. Eliot, edited by Lawrence Rainey.
Yale, 270 pp., $35, April 2005, 0 300 09743 3
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Revisiting ‘The Waste Land’ 
by Lawrence Rainey.
Yale, 203 pp., £22.50, May 2005, 0 300 10707 2
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... drift: ‘In those days,’ he later commented, ‘a lot of people like Hart had the delusion that Eliot was homosexual.’ Thirty years later, when Eliot’s prestige and influence were at their zenith, John Peter, a Canadian academic, published an article in Essays in Criticism called ‘A New Interpretation of The Waste ...

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