Thomas Stearns Eliot

Thomas Stearns Eliot T.S. Eliot was born in 1888 in St. Louis, MO. He is described as one of the most distinguished literary figures of the 20th centurey. Eliot studied at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Oxford.

In 1914 he established residence in London. After working as a teacher and a bank clerk, he began a publishing career; he was assistant editor of the Egoist (1917-1919) and edited his own quarterly, the Criterion (1922-1939). In 1925 he was employed by the publishing house of Faber and Faber, eventually becoming one of its directors. His first marriage, to Vivien Haigh-Wood was troubled and ended with their separation. His early poetical works-Prufrock and Other Observations (1917), Poems (1920), and The Waste Land (1922)-express the anguish of modern life and the isolation of the individual, particularly as reflected in the failure of love.

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The Waste Land compelled imediate critical attention. In his later poetry, notably Ash Wednesday (1930) and the Four Quartets (1935-1942), Eliot turned from spiritual desolation to hope for human salvation. He became Anglo-Catholic in 1927. Eliot’s plays include Murder in the Cathedral (1935), The Family Reunion (1939), The Cocktail Party (1950), The Confidential Clerk (1954) and The Elder Statesman (1959). His complet poems and plays appeared in 1969 and his letters in 1988.

Thomas Stearns Eliot died in 1965 in London. Biographies.

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