On 9/10/2011 5:56 AM, David Boyd wrote:
> Interesting that Ted Hughes' mother, Edith Farrar, was a direct
> descendant of the eponymous Nicholas of Little Gidding.
> The name was given to Ted's son Nicholas, as his middle forename.
> Doubtless Eliot knew of this connection, and I wonder if he ever
> speculated or wrote about it, and whether it tinged some of his regard
> of Hughes' work.
> (Links to the nature-v-nurture conundrum - Hughes' father was but a
> humble carpenter / Eliot's own ancestor, the emigranr from East Coker,
> a working-class shoemaker (cordwainer)
My first thought was whether Ted Hughes knew of the
family connection himself. Nicholas Ferrar died almost
300 years before Hughes was born. If Hughes knew this
ancestry then I think it quite probable that TSE heard
As far as I know the only mention of Andrew Eliot that
TSE made was referring to him as a member of the Salem
witch trials (of which Andrew was a juror). Though
Andrew may have originally been a shoemaker he was a
prominent member of Salem/Beverly and may have gone on
to other things.
One of the Stearns ancestors was Deacon Samuel Chapin,
one of the early settlers of my old hometown. About
the time of Eliot's birth Augustus Saint-Gauden's
sculpture, known as "The Puritan," honoring Chapin was
erected there. I haven't come across any mention of
Eliot knowing of the ancestor or the sculpture although
Gordon mentions the ancestry.
A picture of the original large sculpture in its second
location in Springfield:
The location of the sculpture is behind the people and
the tree in this picture (with additional surprise