Friday, September 26, 2014

Poet T.S. Eliot was Born (September 26, 1888)



On this date in English literary history – September 26, 1888, poet T.S. Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Eliot was a graduate of Harvard and also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and at Oxford. After meeting poet and lifelong friend Ezra Pound, Eliot relocated to England. In 1915, he married Vivian Haigh-Wood, but the marriage was unhappy, partly due to her mental instability. She died in an institution in 1947. Eliot began working at Lloyd's Bank in 1917, writing reviews and essays on the side. He founded a critical quarterly, Criterion, and quietly developed a new brand of poetry. His first major work, The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock, was published in 1917 and hailed as the invention of a new kind of poetry. His long, fragmented images and use of blank verse influenced nearly all future poets, as did his masterpiece The Waste Land, published in Criterion and The Dial in 1922. While Eliot is best known for revolutionizing modern poetry, his literary criticism and plays were also successful. In 1925, he accepted a job as an editor at Faber and Faber, which allowed him to quit his job at the bank. He held the position for the rest of his life. In 1927 he became a British citizen. Eliot lectured in the United States frequently in the 1930s and 1940s, a time when his own worldview was fluctuating. In 1957, he married his assistant, Valerie Fletcher. The couple lived happily until his death on January 4, 1965 in London.
 


Michael Thomas Barry is the author of numerous books that includes the gold medal winning Literary Legends of the British Isles: The Lives and Burial Places of 50 Great Writers. Visit Michael’s website www.michaelthomasbarry.com for more information. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link. 

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