Not Quite the Chap

Reading T.S. Eliot’s letters is not quite like reading C.S. Lewis’s, or the collection of the persnickety Tolkien’s. C.S. Lewis seems to have made a point always to be as interesting as possible. I know his letter writing was a burden on him, and that’s no doubt in part due to his being so conscientious about it, not to mention prompt. Not that I’m saying Eliot’s strike one otherwise, but they’re more routine. In a way, his wife’s letters are more interesting, less reserved. Eliot, like Miss Fairfax, is rather reserved, one observes. The book would be considerably thinner were it only to include letters from Eliot himself, by the way, but one doesn’t find oneself complaining that it doesn’t.

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