Tom, in Painted Shadow,a book about Vivien Eliot,Carole Seymour-Jones asserts that Eliot was intimate with young men, including Léonide Massine, principal dancer of the Ballets Russes. One of them, a German named Jack, was invited by Eliot to share a cottage with himself and Vivien in 1923.

"...there is little doubt that he was, in fact, romantically and sexually involved with Tom...It is probable that at number 2 Milestone Cottages, Vivien shared a room with Pearl (Eliot's secretary) and Tom with Jack."

Whether or not Eliot was frankly bisexual at the time of writing TWL (and correspondence on the subject with Pound indicates that he was, though closeted), he apparently came to resemble the one-eyed Merchant more as he grew older. Diana


Tom wrote:

"the 'death' the narrator feels at being the victim of a sexual assault. It is these 'deaths', especially the spiritual death of an assault victim, not physical death, that Sosostris, (a fake fortune teller) unknowingly (but accurately) warns the narrator about. "

See what you’re getting into…before you go there