In May 1910 a suspected case of scarlet fever almost prevented Eliot's graduation. Byfall, though, he was well enough to undertake a postgraduate year in Paris. He lived at151 bis rue St. Jacques, close to the Sorbonne, and struck up a warm friendship with afellow lodger, Jean Verdenal, a medical student who later died in the battle of theDardenelles and to whom Eliot dedicated "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."With Verdenal, he entered the intellectual life of France then swirling, Eliot laterrecalled, around the figures of Émile Durkheim, Paul Janet, Rémy de Gourmont, PabloPicasso, and Henri Bergson. Eliot attended Bergson's lectures at the College de France andwas temporarily converted to Bergson's philosophical interest in the progressive evolutionof consciousness. In a manner characteristic of a lifetime of conflicting attitudes,though, Eliot also gravitated toward the politically conservative (indeed monarchistic),neoclassical, and Catholic writing of Charles Maurras. Warring opposites, theseenthusiasms worked together to foster a professional interest in philosophy and propelledEliot back to a doctoral program at Harvard the next year.
Despite his feelings of alienation from both of the regions he called home, Eliotimpressed many classmates with his social ease when he began his studies at Harvard in thefall of 1906. Like his brother Henry before him, Eliot lived his freshman year in afashionable private dormitory in a posh neighborhood around Mt. Auburn Street known as the"Gold Coast." He joined a number of clubs, including the literary Signet. And hebegan a romantic attachment to Emily Hale, a refined Bostonian who once played Mrs. Eltonopposite his Mr. Woodhouse in an amateur production of . Among his teachers,Eliot was drawn to the forceful moralizing of Irving Babbitt and the stylish skepticism ofGeorge Santayana, both of whom reinforced his distaste for the reform-minded, progressiveuniversity shaped by Eliot's cousin, Charles William Eliot. His attitudes, however, didnot prevent him from taking advantage of the elective system that President Eliot hadintroduced. As a freshman, his courses were so eclectic that he soon wound up on academicprobation. He recovered and persisted, attaining a B.A. in an elective program bestdescribed as comparative literature in three years, and an M.A. in English literature inthe fourth.
Works George Eliot Scenes Clerical Life - AbeBooks
Although no authorized biography of Eliot has yet appeared, Peter Ackroyd, (1984), and Lyndall Gordon,(1988), are extremelyuseful, supplemented by smaller specialized studies such as John Soldo, (1983), and by studies in biographical criticism such as LyndallGordon, (1977), and Ronald Bush, (1984). The indispensable bibliography of Eliot's work is DonaldGallup, (1947; rev. ed., 1969). Standard criticalstudies begin with an early group including F. O. Matthiessen, (1935; rev. ed., 1947); Helen Gardner, (1949);Grover Smith, (1950); and Hugh Kenner, (1959). F. R. Leavis's early and important appreciation in (1932) was expanded and qualified in essays collected in (1975). Essential studies of the composition of andcan be found in A. Walton Litz, ed., (1973),and in Helen Gardner, (1978).
George Eliot's homes in Coventry and beyond - BBC News
Eliot spent much of the last half of his career writing one kind of drama or another,and attempting to reach (and bring together) a larger and more varied audience. As earlyas 1923 he had written parts of an experimental and striking jazz play, (never finished, it was published in fragments in 1932 and performed byactors in masks by London's Group Theatre in 1934). In early 1934 he composed a churchpageant with accompanying choruses entitled , performed in May and June1934 at Sadler's Wells. Almost immediately following these performances, Bishop Bellcommissioned a church drama having to do with Canterbury Cathedral, which, as was performed in the Chapter House at Canterbury in June 1935 and wasmoved to the Mercury Theatre at Notting Hill Gate in November and eventually to the OldVic. In the late 1930s, Eliot attempted to conflate a drama of spiritual crisis with aNoël Coward-inspired contemporary theater of social manners. Though Eliot based on the plot of Aeschylus's he designed it to tell astory of Christian redemption. The play opened in the West End in March 1939 and closed tomixed reviews five weeks later. Eliot was disheartened, but after the war fashioned morepopular (though less powerful) combinations of the same elements to much greater success. modernizing Euripides's with some of the insoucianceof Noël Coward, with a cast that included Alec Guinness, opened to a warm criticalreception at the Edinburgh Festival in August 1949 and enjoyed popular success starting onBroadway in January 1950. Eliot's last two plays were more labored and fared less well. had a respectable run at the Lyric Theatre in London in September1953, and premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in August 1958and closed after a lukewarm run in London in the fall.
1. Introduction - Victorian Web
Eliot, however, was too consumed by domestic anxiety to appreciate his success. In 1923Vivien nearly died, and Eliot, in despair, came close to a second breakdown. The next twoyears were almost as bad, until a lucky chance allowed him to escape from the demands ofhis job at the bank. Geoffrey Faber, of the new publishing firm of Faber and Gwyer (laterFaber and Faber), saw the advantages of Eliot's dual expertise in business and letters andrecruited him as literary editor. At about the same time, Eliot reached out for religioussupport. Having long found his family's Unitarianism unsatisfying, he turned to theAnglican church. The seeds of his future faith can be found in thoughthe poem was read as a sequel to 's philosophical despair when itappeared in (1925). In June 1927 few followers were prepared forEliot's baptism into the Church of England. And so, within five years of his avant-gardesuccess, Eliot provoked a second storm. The furor grew in November 1927 when Eliot tookBritish citizenship, and again in 1928 when he collected a group of politicallyconservative essays under the title of prefacing them with adeclaration that he considered himself a "classicist in literature, royalist inpolitics, and anglo-catholic in religion." Eliot's poetry now addressed explicitlyreligious situations. In the late 1920s he published a series of shorter poems in Faber'sAriel series--short pieces issued in pamphlet form within striking modern covers. Theseincluded "Journey of the Magi" (1927), "A Song for Simeon" (1928),"Animula" (1929), "Marina" (1930), and 'Triumphal March" (1931).Steeped in Eliot's contemporary study of Dante and the late Shakespeare, all of themmeditate on spiritual growth and anticipate the longer and more celebrated (1930). "Journey of the Magi" and "A Song for Simeon" are alsoexercises in Browningesque dramatic monologues, and speak to Eliot's desire, pronouncedsince 1922, to exchange the symbolist fluidity of the psychological lyric for a moretraditional dramatic form.