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Valerie Eliot

‘I am back again in London and smothered in work.’ Volume Three of T.S. Eliot’s letters opens to the poet working ‘hours [that] are long and late’, ‘under great pressure’ as a newly appointed professional editor and publisher. Eliot resigned from Lloyds Bank in late 1925 to join the board of Faber and Gwyer. The publishing house bought part of the Criterion, the literary periodical that Eliot produced alongside his banking job, and reissued it in January 1926 as the New Criterion, with Eliot as full-time, salaried editor.

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The Letters of T.S. Eliot, Volume 2: 1923–1925 edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton

May 2010, no. 321

The first volume of  T.S. Eliot’s letters, published in 1988, covered his early life to the end of literary modernism’s annus mirabilis, 1922. The year was a turning point in the thirty-four-year-old Eliot’s career. In November he published the poem that made him famous, ‘The Waste Land’, in the inaugural edition of Criterion, the journal he was to edit until 1939.

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