Dear David,

Thank you so much for sending on this link. I just listened to it all, and it is thoughtful and revealing.
It also is from one who says early on that he wants to be "as sympathetic as possible" to Eliot, and that seems, in his entire talk, to mean almost only to him and not to the relationship or to Emily. That is, Haffenden knows immense material about Eliot and is clearly perceptive as well as knowledgeable. But he also speaks throughout from the position of what it all means for Eliot.

I don't doubt or disagree with any of that if one means the Eliot Faber called "Jekyll." But his duality was apparent to his closest friends, not simply to me.

I have often noted how humorous and charming and fun Eliot was in early letters to his cousin. No one--and certainly not I--is likely to deny that people enjoyed him, cared about him, considered him important. But he was not a single character: he had other sides.

I do wish Haffenden had not not taken a swipe at anyone who blogs about the letters. I want very much to know what Frances finds, and I am waiting for Lyndall's take.

On Thu, Jan 9, 2020 at 1:07 PM David Boyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
see / hear too John Haffenden's comments, especially re intention of Eliot Estate / Faber to publish all these (still in copyright) letters soon

On Thu, 9 Jan 2020 at 02:35, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
There is no possible response to such a claim.

On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 9:33 PM Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
And more

Eliot and cruelty don’t go together.
It is just not there in his character.
He was a thorough gentleman.


On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 9:23 PM Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I for one don’t see any cruelty on Eliot’s part anywhere. 
He made his position clear after Vivienne ‘s demise. 


On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 8:09 PM Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I don't know how that got cut off. I said that I see no point in trying to justify his cruelty to Hale.

On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 8:07 PM Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
If you have not gone through this, the "grain of truth" is that we all create a fantasy of those we love but, in this case, according to Lyndall Gordon, it is not true:

Gordon, too, found Eliot’s statement belittling of Hale, but also said there was a “grain of truth” to his description.

“We have to think about the fact that all of us, when we’re in love, there’s an element of fantasy about the beloved,” Gordon said. “And so, what Eliot is doing is rebranding that in a belittling way — it was a delusion, it didn’t exist. And that’s not true, when you read the actual letters.”

In general, I think Frances Dickey is spot on. But I don't think this is any more "beneath" Eliot than his treatment of John Hayward. He was a mixed figure, and he was often disloyal and/or unkind to people who loved him.

I see no point in

On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 7:37 PM Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Why scholars think the unsealed T.S. Eliot letters are a big deal

By Joshua Barajas 

PBS NewsHour 

Jan 8, 2020