This is an opinion about what happened, not a full description The affair is probably true though not verified in any text I know. But Russell seems to claim it in some letters. What is essential is to read the whole story. This is very one-sided and omits too much to explain the behavior of either. I have not yet read Raines, so he may improve on this in his book. But he has a very odd notion of "repudiation." Eliot came back from the US and did not go home, where she was expecting him, or ever see her again (except once when she went to a reading, walked up to him and asked him to come home. He said "I cannot talk to you now" and walked away.) He never told her what he meant to do; he just did not go home. He hid from her, communicated only through lawyers, and agreed to the commitment and never visited her once. Most people would, I think, call that "repudiation." In any case, there is no need to admire Viv to acknowledge that his treatment of her was cowardly. And anyone who has read "Ode" can not avoid thinking their distruction of each other was mutual from almost the beginning. He destroyed her as much as she damaged him. Why does all this matter? Because so much of the poetry does, in fact, evoke the images of their despair (as in "A Game of Chess" for Viv and the opening of Burnt Norton for Emily Hale.) And because one need not idealize a poet because of brilliant writing. Nancy >>> cr mittal <[log in to unmask]> 06/16/07 4:24 PM >>> 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 he could 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 wrote in 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 in 1933. 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. ( http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1983084,00.html ) Emphasis, of course, is mine. Cheers! CR --------------------------------- Got a little couch potato? Check out fun summer activities for kids.