--On Friday, January 25, 2002 3:35 PM -0500 "Rickard A. Parker" 
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Just get Gordon's "T.S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life" and skip her earlier
> books as they are incorporated into "Imperfect Life."

  Actually, if you are not just going to skip Gordon (which is what I would 
recommend if you are interested in Eliot's life rather than the current 
misinformation campaign it inspires), it would be instructive to read all 
of her books, as you can then see how she ratchets up the rhetoric of her 
prejudicial, not to say fanciful, case against Eliot.

 Beyond that, as has been suggested, the biographies all leave much to be 
desired, though that I think is a problem not with the authors not having 
read all of Eliot's letters but with the agendas brought to the writing by 
the individual biographers.

 A possible antidote, as just suggested in Guy Brown's post, is to to read 
around the many memoirs and shorter personal remembrances to get a sense of 
the actual man, rather than one writer's effort to rescript his life to her 
or his preference.

 Ken Armstrong