T. S. Eliot

Thomas Stearns Eliot was born on 26th September 1888 at St. Louis, Missouri, an industrial city in the centre of the U.S.A. He was the seventh and youngest child of Henry Ware Eliot and Charlotte Champe Stearns. He enjoyed a long life span of more than seventy-five years. His period of active literary production extended over a period of forty-five years.

Eliot completed his school education in 1905 from St. Louis day school where he was considered a brilliant student. He won a gold medal for Latin in 1900. At school, his favourite writers were Shelley, Byron, Edgar Allan Poe, Canon Doyle, R.L. Stevenson, Swinburne and D.G. Rossetti. He graduated from Harvard University where he spent four years in the study of philosophy.

His meeting with Ezra Pound in London in 1914, and his introduction through him to the lively literary circles of the London of the time, and finally his marriage to an English girl, Vivienne Haigh, in July 1915, strengthened his decision to make England his home.

Around this time, his poems began to appear, first in magazines and journals, and later in small volumes. The first collection of his poems entitled Prufrock and Other Observations was published in 1917, and The Sacred Wood, a book of essays, in 1920, but it was with the publication of The Waste Land, in 1922, that Eliot came to be recognized as a leading light of English poetry in the period after the first World War.

Eliot became the editor of The Criterion in 1923 and in 1925 he joined the new publishing firm, Faber and Faber, of which he soon became the director and worked in that capacity till the end of his life.




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