T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot

Excerpt

Besides the suffering private man whose biography has been revealed since his death in 1965, there were two very successful public 'Eliots'. The author of 'Prufrock', 'Gerontion', The Waste Land and 'Hollow Men' is one of the major innovators in the history of literature. Even now, new readers take up these texts for the first time expecting shock and 'difficulty'. But there was another Eliot who became, from the 1930s, Britain's prime representative of literary tradition, about which he had a great deal to say, and a prominent member of the 'Establishment'. He was the author of widely esteemed Christian poetry and of several plays successful with West End audiences. His lecture on 'The Literature of Politics' was reproduced as a pamphlet by the Conservative Political Centre in 1955. He received the prestigious Order of Merit. His standing as a major intellectual within the Church of England was matched by the influence which he wielded as a publisher with a firm, Faber, which seemed automatically to confer high status on any poet lucky enough to appear on its list.

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