My pleasure, Rick.
Further thoughts brought me around to the essay called "Thoughts After
in which E. shows his utter disdain and even contempt for the Anglican
One is strongly led to think that E. might have wondered something like
I done?" when after his paimful path into the A Church he found himself in a
ship of fools..
His journey into a fulfilling spiritual life, as prompted by the same spirit
him to consider the Hindus and the Buddhists, ultimately led him into a very
practice of Anglo-Catholicism which was almost an exact match of Roman C.
According to Spurr Eliot was very exacting of himself in all he did in the
It wasn't just a casual Sunday Mass kind of thing. Piecing together various
in his letters to and from Mary Travelyn from which we get this info. I
was not an Anglo Paplist, but Val Fletcher was. That may account for his
marital decision (at a time when he was seriously considering entering an
contemplative order). That is partly speculation on my part, but if one had
to, I think
it would not be a difficult course to defend.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Seddon" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 7:50 PM
Subject: Re: Hughes' Eliot
> Rick Seddon
> Portales, NM
> -----Original Message-----
> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
> Of Peter Montgomery
> Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 8:17 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Hughes' Eliot
> There was a sub-group of Anglo-Catholics who called themselves
> Anglo-Papalists and who wanted the Anglican Church to join Rome yesterday.
> If Barry Spurr is right, then Eliot belonged to that group. E. did have
> audiences with the Pope and was a recipient of two rosaries, one of which
> prayed daily. Again, going along with Spurr, the only reason E. didn't
> become a Roman Catholic was because he wanted to maintain a
> nection to English culture of the past. Your mother certainly seems
> of many Anglo-Catholics. One of the founders of the Anglo-Catholic strain
> was John Henry Cardinal Newman, recently declared Blessed by Pope
> The Oxford movement as it became known, aka Tractarians, at one point
> accounted for about 40% of Anglicans. The O. movement basicaly reawakened
> the liturgical life of the A.
> church to what it was in the 1600s.
> According to Spurr again, Eliot had no problem with the infallibility of
> Pope (in matters of faith and morals of course) and was also quite
> comfortable with the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, two doctrines
> definitely rejected by many Anglo-Catholics. Main stream A-C like what the
> western church was up to the end of the 12th century.
> Got to go aka gtg.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Richard Seddon" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 5:53 PM
> Subject: Re: Hughes' Eliot
>> I am not at all sure that Anglo-Catholic equates to Anglo-Papalist.
>> My mother claimed Anglo-Catholic as her faith and she was thoroughly
>> anti-papal. What she also rejected, along with the Pope, was most of the
>> tenants of Protestantism such as faith alone being sufficient for
>> She loved the Sacraments, all the Roman Catholic Sacraments, not just the
>> one or two accepted by mainline Protestants. I think she would have
>> absolutely happy in the Roman Catholic Church if the Pope was still only
>> of several Patriarchs.
>> She was definitely not a Protestant and while she was an Episcopalian it
>> an uncomfortable pair of shoes. I am sure she would have left today's
>> Episcopal Church, if she were alive, over its current practices
>> I think TSE when he claimed to be an Anglo-Catholic was likewise
>> Protestantism while also rejecting the Pope.
>> Rick Seddon
>> Portales, NM
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
>> Of Peter Montgomery
>> Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 2:58 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: Hughes' Eliot
>> Personally, ie for me, Eliot criticism is irrelevant in the face of
>> In Eliot's own context, ie his time, criticism was not a product of the
>> academy but the development of many voices speaking to each other as part
>> a world of literature which was vibrantly alive outside the academy, in
>> of the literary organs and publications of the time.
>> From a Christian point of view, esp. as Catholic or Anglo-Catholic, Eliot
>> ranks with Dante in terms of verse quality, if not in terms of over-all
>> vision. I can't help wondering what his verse might have become if he had
>> access to the new Anglican Ordinariate of the Catholic Church. He was a
>> self-confessed Anglo-Papalist, which put him on the outs with many
>> Anglicans, but which indicated a desire for renewal within the Catholic
>> context. Perhaps he might have created a whole world view for modern
>> Catholicism equivalent to what Dante did for his own time. He was
>> one of the great modern mystics, if Barry Spurr is anywhere close to the
>> How he rates in the general world of contemporary literature/criticism is
>> little interest to me.
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Ken Armstrong" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 7:42 AM
>> Subject: Hughes' Eliot
>>> Dear Listers,
>>> Having recently read again Ted Hughes _Dancer To God_, I want to urge
>>> anyone who hasn't read it or who read it long ago to do so. It is a
>>> masterful summation and analysis of Eliot the poet and in relation to
>>> Eliot the person in his time. Reading current criticism, much of which
>>> of a "deconstructive," leveling nature, one can rather quickly lose
>>> of the true scale and impact of Eliot's achievement. Hughes book is an
>>> effective tonic, and for the person who reads it carefully and
>>> the level of achievement it testifies to, it drops an interesting
>>> on your plate: how to reconcile the grand acheivement of this poetry and
>>> poet with the preponderance of prose that is presumed to be brought to
>>> bear on either. The all but terminal inadequacy of that critical prose
>>> equally to meet the poetry has long intrigued me. There is a lot I could
>>> say about it, but I'd like to point to just one early, preliminary
>>> in _Dancer To God_ to comment on the predicament all Eliot admirers and
>>> critics alike find themselves in.
>>> Hughes writes on the first page of the first essay, "We know that great
>>> poets are exceedingly rare. And yet, during my lifetime I have never
>>> Thomas Stearns Eliot referred to except as a species on his own, a great
>>> poet in an altogether more valuable and separate class of greatness than
>>> all those of his contemporaries in our language who are also frequently
>>> dubbed 'great'....Somehow the consensus materialized, as if through
>>> instinct, among all his colleagues in the poetry of English, that he is
>>> not merely a great poet, but, finally, one of that exceedingly rare
>>> one of the truly great. And not only one of the truly great, but simply
>>> _the_ poet of our times."
>>> I mentioned off list 12 or so years ago to Guy Story Brown that people
>>> know on instinct that Eliot's poetry is great or at the least a poetry
>>> be reckoned with, but that no one has been able to present, to in effect
>>> surface that greatness in their critical prose; we know he's great, but
>>> one ultimately has been able to demonstrate that greatness critically.
>>> This, the primacy of instinct in responding to Eliot's poetry (as memory
>>> serves), Guy assented to with some enthusiasm. And this really is not to
>>> denigrate scholarship, insofar as it is scholarship and not prejudice
>>> carried in on the shoulders of scholarship or would-be scholarship,
>>> has grown and continues to grow around Eliot; but it is to say that
>>> criticism proper has not met the challenge and scholarship can never be
>>> sufficient to the cause of exposing the nature of the poetry in critical
>>> I realize how hard it is to make a point on this list, and this with the
>>> help of Hughes and Brown is what I'm trying to do. But I invite you to
>>> look at _Dancer to God_ and to reflect for yourself what the relative
>>> accomplishment of Eliot criticism is in the face of Eliot's poetry.
>>> Ken A