What would Smart be getting at with the term "official version" do you suppose? I've been ploughing through the most recent letters volume and he seems to have been a punctilious man at the extremes of the term.
From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Materer, Timothy J.
Sent: Thursday, 12 May 2016 6:47 AM
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Subject: TSE's second wedding
Most accounts of Eliot’s second wedding suggest that he left John Hayward’s flat to go to the early morning ceremony, though a story in the Guardian claims that he left from the Atheneaum club (http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2009/may/24/ts-eliot-valerie-fletcher-scrapbooks). Lyndall Gordon also thinks that Eliot left from the Hayward-Eliot flat, and states that when Eliot did not return from church on 10 January 1957, the date of the ceremony, Hayward thought of calling the police.
But John Smart in Tarantula’s Web states (1) Hayward told Helen Gardner that Eliot gave him a letter notifying him of the departure before spending the night with his lawyer, and Smart also states (2) Hayward told Christopher Sykes that [Eliot] gave him the letter early on the morning of the wedding. Smart mentions a third, “official version” from Valerie that “Eliot met Hayward two days before the wedding and had a long talk in Hayward’s room whilst Valerie waited outside.”
Mrs. Eliot’s version sounds right, and I suspect Eliot spent not one but two nights after his departure at a friend’s house. Does anyone have thoughts about this interesting (to me) biographical issue?