Peter and CR: At least one biographer has mentioned that Eliot married Viv partly to disabuse his family of their notion that he would return to America. Marrying Emily would have bound him to them and their expectations. They seem to have been overbearing; his father diminished Eliot's private income as punishment for his disobedience. Marriage, like most decisions, is usually overdetermined by a multitude of causes. Diana
Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote://There is the fact that he remained true to his marriage vow, if not to Viv.Curious that he didn't get a divorce, quite accessible at the time,// so hecould marry poor old Emily, if he really loved her all that much.P.Peter,It should be interesting in this context to note what Craig Raine wrotein his article PRIVATE PASSIONS,in The Guardian :Though initially Vivien was a valued, even essential literary confrere and a loved wife - "I have felt happier, these few days, than ever in my life", Eliot writes to Bertrand Russell on January 14 1916 - the marriage was not a success. On January 10 1916, Eliot writes to Conrad Aiken that financial worries and concern over Vivien's poor health had stopped him writing: yet "I am having a wonderful time nevertheless. I have lived through material for a score of long poems in the last six months. An entirely different life from that I looked forward to two years ago. Cambridge [Mass.] seems to me a dull nightmare now ..." Vivien committed adultery with Bertrand Russell, Eliot's ex-teacher and mentor. Eliot was legally separated from her in1933. Gradually, she went mad and in 1938 was committed by her brother Maurice. She died in a private mental hospital in Finsbury Park, London, on January 23 1947.Eliot never repudiated his first wife. Until she was committed by her brother, Eliot made sure she was watched over by mutual friends. He could not live with her, however. In the light of her extraordinary behaviour, his decision is reasonable -- route marches through London in full fascist uniform looking for him, well-and-widely-attested paranoia, pushing chocolate through the Faber letterbox.Emphasis, of course, ismine.Cheers!CR
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