A Writer’s Life

  • Lyndall Gordon
Part of the Studies in 20th Century Literature book series (STCL)


‘Come to lunch’, Virginia Woolf invited her brother-in-law, Clive Bell. ‘Eliot will be there in a four-piece suit.’ It was easy to caricature Eliot’s respectable façade; later, when she knew him better, she was more searching. ‘How he suffers!’ she noted when he came to tea on 4 February 1935:

Yes: I felt my accursed gift of sympathy rising … Suddenly T. spoke with a genuine cry of feeling. About immortality: … he revealed his passion, as he seldom does. A religious soul: an unhappy man: a lonely very sensitive man, all wrapt up in fibres of self torture, doubt, conceit, desire for warmth & intimacy. And I’m very fond of him — like him in some of my reserves & subterfuges.1


Usual Story Centenary Perspective Time Literary Supplement York Public Library Religious Vision 
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© Lyndall Gordon 1984

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  • Lyndall Gordon

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