Nancy Gish: "It's hardly news, as it is written about in books and articles for--oh--maybe 40 years or more."
My point, of course, is both specific to Eliot and a more general historical point. That's been written about for rather more than a century. See the reply of Mrs. Croft to Wentworth's idiocy about not wanting women on his ship! But also see the poignant final sentences of the fourth volume of Parade's End.
And who can miss the question Prufrock dare not ask. I've just been listening to a reading of Paradise Regained:
Belial the dissolutest Spirit that fell,
The sensuallest, and after Asmodai
The fleshliest Incubus, and thus advis'd.
Set women in his eye and in his walk,
Among daughters of men the fairest found;
Many are in each Region passing fair
As the noon Sky; more like to Goddesses
Then Mortal Creatures, graceful and discreet,
Expert in amorous Arts, enchanting tongues
Perswasive, Virgin majesty with mild
And sweet allay'd, yet terrible to approach. . . .
PR II. 151-61
TERRIBLE: Terrifying. Prfrcock's thoughts precisely!