A collection of over 1000 letters, written by acclaimed poet TS Eliot to Emily Hale, his confidante and muse who taught drama at US universities, is all set to be unveiled this week. According to a report in The Guardian, these letters were kept in sealed boxes for 60 years at a US university library. It is being anticipated that the letters, written between 1930 and 1956, will shed light on the life and work of the poet.
They were donated by Hale to Princeton University Library more than 60 years ago. The same report states that she had wished the letters to be kept sealed for 50 years after either Eliot’s death or her own, whichever occurred last. He died in 1965, and she in 1969. Eliot and Hale had met in 1912 in when he was attending Harvard. In 1927, their friendship got a fresh start and even though Eliot was in England, they began communicating more frequently. As per biographers, he had apparently ordered the letters to be burned.
“I think it’s perhaps the literary event of the decade. I don’t know of anything more awaited or significant. It’s momentous to have these letters coming out,” Anthony Cuda, an Eliot scholar and director of the TS Eliot International Summer School, told the Associated Press. He also added the relationship “must have been incredibly important and their correspondence must have been remarkably intimate for him to be so concerned about the publication.”
The 12 boxes consist of clippings and photographs. They were opened by the library staff of Princeton University and will be scanned for digital viewing from January 2.
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