© 2023
1078x200-header-mic.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

"The Hyacinth Girl: T.S. Eliot's Hidden Muse" by Lyndall Gordon

lyndallgordon-thehyacinthgirl-wwnortonandcompany.jpg
W.W. Norton & Company
/

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.

Stay Connected
Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book.
Related Content
  • Renowned as one of the world’s greatest poems, T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" has been said to describe the moral decay of a world after war and the search for meaning in a meaningless era. It has been labeled the most truthful poem of its time — it has also been branded a masterful fake. A century after its publication in 1922, T. S. Eliot’s enigmatic masterpiece remains one of the most influential works ever written, and yet one of the most mysterious. In "The Waste Land: A Biography of a Poem," Matthew Hollis reconstructs the intellectual creation of the poem and brings the material reality of its charged times vividly to life.
  • Sam Quinones is a journalist, storyteller, former LA Times reporter, and author of four acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction, including New York Times bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award winner "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic." His new book is "The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth."
  • "Bloodbath Nation" by Paul Auster traces centuries of America’s use and abuse of guns, from the violent displacement of the native population to the forced enslavement of millions, to the bitter divide between embattled gun control and anti-gun control camps that has developed over the past 50 years and the mass shootings that dominate the news today. Auster's text is interwoven with Spencer Ostrander’s haunting photographs of the sites of more than thirty mass shootings in all parts of the country.