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Thomas Stearns (TS) Eliot
Poet and Playwright

1888 - 1965

The vast accumulations of knowledge—or at least of
information—deposited by the nineteenth century have
been responsible for an equally vast ignorance.

                                                                                 —TS Eliot

Thomas Stearns (TS) Eliot was born in Saint Louis, Missouri on September 26, 1888. Eliot's poetry and critical works helped shape modern literature, and in 1948 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

Eliot received his education at Smith Academy (closed in 1917) in Saint Louis, at Milton Academy in Massachusetts, and at Harvard University, where he obtained a B.A. and M.A. in philosophy. After studying at the Sorbonne in Paris and at Oxford University, he settled in London in 1914.

Eliot worked first as a teacher, then as a clerk for Lloyd's Bank, while writing poetry in his spare time. In 1917, with the encouragement of his friend and mentor, American poet Ezra Pound, he published his first major poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. "Prufrock" revealed Eliot's early style, mixing humor and pessimism. The Waste Land (1922) expressed his horror at the spiritual turmoil of modern Europe. Eliot's Ash-Wednesday (1930) is more traditional, and with its religious emphasis, more hopeful than his previous work. Eliot also wrote several plays including Murder in the Cathedral, (1935), The Family Reunion (1939), The Cocktail Party (1950), The Confidential Clerk (1954), and The Elder Statesman (1958).

In 1922 Eliot founded, and for seventeen years, edited the literary journal, Criterion. He also served as director of London publisher, Faber & Faber, from 1925 until his death in 1965.

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•  Other Poets in the Lucidcafé Library
•  T.S. Eliot Images
•  Books About/By TS Eliot
•  eTexts of Eliot's Work
•  Related Websites


  Other Poets in Lucidcafé's Library

  Books About/By Eliot

  • T.S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life - Author: Lyndall Gordon

    Gordon has combined her award-winning works, "Eliot's Early Years" (1977) and "Eliot's New Life" (1988), into one authoritative biography that acknowledges Eliot's literary greatness while conceding his personal flaws. Thoroughly researched and documented.

    Click here to purchase this Hardcover edition of "T.S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life"

  • The Cambridge Companion to T.S. Eliot - Author: A. David Moody (Editor)

    This compilation includes "Where is the real T. S. Eliot? or, The Life of the Poet" by James Olney; "Eliot as a product of America" by Eric Sigg; "Eliot as philosopher" by Richard Shusterman; "Religion, literature, and society in the work of T. S. Eliot" by Cleo McNelly Kearns and much more. A must for Eliot scholars.

    Click here to purchase this Paperback edition of "The Cambridge Companion to T.S. Eliot"




  eTexts of Eliot's Work

  Related Websites

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Copyright © 1995-2016 Robin Chew
Article written by Robin Chew - September 1995