T.S. Eliot


1888

26 September: Thomas Stearns Eliot born in St. Louis, Missouri to Henry Ware and Charlotte Stearns Eliot.

1898

A student at Smith Academy in St. Louis

1905

To Milton Academy in Massachusetts

1906-10

Undergraduate years at Harvard. Reads Symons’s The Symbolist Movement in Literature and the poetry of Laforgue. Studies with George Santayana and Irving Babbitt.

1910-11

Having finished BA and MA degrees at Harvard, spends a year at the Sorbonne in Paris. In the summer of 1911, finishes a version of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."

1911-14

Returns to Harvard to study philosophy as a graduate student. Begins doctoral thesis on F.H. Bradley.

1914

To England on fellowship; meets Ezra Pound.

1915

Marries Vivien Haigh-Wood on June 26th; begins publishing poems that later appear in the Prufrock volume.

"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" published June in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, by Harriet Monroe, at the urging of Ezra Pound, the magazine's foreign editor. This is TSE's first published poem outside of a school or university publication.

1916

Working as teacher at Highgate Junior School and as a University Extension Lecturer.

1917

Prufrock and Other Observations published. TSE takes a position at Lloyds Bank in the Colonial and Foreign Department.

1919

"Tradition and the Individual Talent" appears in The Egoist.

1920

The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism published.

1921

Ill and exhausted, TSE takes leave from Lloyds Bank. Recuperating at Margate and Lausanne, finishes the drafts of "The Waste Land," which he then shows to Pound.

1922

"The Waste Land" published in the first issue of Criterion.

1925

Poems 1909-1925 published (with "The Hollow Men"). Eliot joins the publishing house of Faber & Gwyer, leaves Lloyds bank.

1927

Enters the Church of England and assumes British citizenship

1928

For Lancelot Andrewes published. The preface notes, "the general point of view [of the essays in the book] may be described as classicist in literature, royalist in politics, and anglo-catholic in religion."

1930

Ash Wednesday is published. Three of the five sections had already been published as separate poems: "Perch' Io non Spero" (part I ) was published in the Spring 1928 issue of Commerce. "Salutation" (now part II ) was published in December, 1927 in Saturday Review of Literature. It was also published in January, 1928 in TSE's own Criterion. "Som de l'escalina" (part III ) was published in the Autumn, 1929 issue of Commerce.

1932

Selected Essays 1917-1932.

1933

TSE's 1932-33 Norton lectures at Harvard published under the title The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933). At the University of Virginia, he delivers the lectures later published as After Strange Gods (1934). Obtains legal separation from Vivien.

1935

Murder in the Cathedral first performed.

1936

Collected Poems 1909-1935 (first appearance of "Burnt Norton").

1939

The Family Reunion performed. The Idea of a Christian Society published. Last issue of Criterion.

Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats published.

1940

March: "East Coker" published in the Easter edition of New English Weekly.

1941

"The Dry Salvages" published in the February issue of New English Weekly.

1942

"Little Gidding" published in the October issue of New English Weekly. The Four Quartets—originally titled The Kensington Quartets—which TSE saw as a response to the pessimism of "The Waste Land," are now complete.

1943

The Four Quartets first published as a series in New York. The poems were kept as a separate entity in the US until they were collected in 1952 (in The Complete Poems and Plays), and in the UK until 1963 (in The Complete Poems 1909–62.)

1947

Vivien Eliot dies.

1948

Wins Nobel Prize for Literature. Notes Towards the Definition of Culture published.

1949

The Cocktail Party first performed.

1957

January 10: Marries Valerie Fletcher. On Poetry and Poets published.

1963

Collected Poems 1909-1962.

1965

January 4: TSE dies. His ashes are buried in East Coker.

 

We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.


PRUFROCK

A DIFFERENT SIDE OF ELIOT