"The Hyacinth Girl: T.S. Eliot's Hidden Muse" by Lyndall Gordon
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, T.S. Eliot was considered the greatest English-language poet of his generation. His poems The Waste Land and Four Quartets are classics of the modernist canon, while his essays influenced a school of literary criticism.
Raised in St. Louis, shaped by his youth in Boston, he reinvented himself as an Englishman after converting to the Anglican Church. Like the authoritative yet restrained voice in his prose, he was the epitome of reserve. But there was another side to Eliot, as acclaimed biographer Lyndall Gordon reveals in her new biography, The Hyacinth Girl.
While married twice, Eliot had an almost lifelong love for Emily Hale, an American drama teacher to whom he wrote extensive, illuminating, deeply personal letters. She was the source of “memory and desire” in The Waste Land. She was his hidden muse.
That correspondence―some 1,131 letters―released by Princeton University’s Firestone Library only in 2020―shows in detail the hidden Eliot.
The new book is "The Hyacinth Girl" and we welcome Lyndall Gordon.