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Dispatches from hell

At the peak of his powers, TS Eliot battled misery and melancholia. This second volume of his letters offers a fascinating guide to these harrowing years

By Kevin Jackson   January 2010

“Schmoozing the great”: TS Eliot with WB Yeats in 1925

The Letters of TS Eliot Volume Two: 1923-1925 Edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton (Faber and Faber, £35)

In October 1922—about three months before this second volume of TS Eliot’s letters picks up the threads of a life left dangling at the end of volume one—its 34-year-old protagonist had published the greatest poem of the 20th century, The Waste Land. What’s more, he had published it in the first issue of an exceptionally distinguished literary magazine, the Criterion, of which he was the editor. Already well established as…

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