Eliot Biography/ Lawrence Portrait Purchase – Poetry News Roundup May 23rd

Today”s news round up looks at a new biography about TS Eliot and a portrait of DH Lawrence.

TS Eliot’s Life Seems Grim in New Biography

“Eliot After The Waste Land” is the second volume of a biography by Robert Crawford that looks at the life of the poet TS Eliot. It moves on from the aspects of the poet”s life that he covered in Young Eliot, which was published in 2015.

In this second volume however, Crawford paints a very different picture of Eliot, with the poet appearing more as an anti-Semite who is emotionally twisted. The book is named after one of Eliot’s poems and refers to the time in his life when the poems stopped coming to him. He was working in a bank as an analyst during the day and spending his evenings editing The Criterion. He was in an unhappy marriage; he still loved another woman and his wife had an affair. When he finally managed to escape from his unhappy marriage, it was many years later.

Whilst Eliot would have denied it at the time, the book claims, it was hard to deny that he was anti-Semitic. He was full of praise for the articles about “Fascismo” that appeared in one of the papers and even argued


His views may not have been that unpopular at the time. However, he was a rather unpleasant character.

In 1957 Eliot did find happiness once again when he married his secretary, Valerie Fletcher. When he died, she became a staunch protector of his estate and didn’t give her approval easily to Crawford’s books.

Nottingham City Council to Purchase Portrait of DH Lawrence

A portrait, believed to be the last one ever painted of DH Lawrence the writer and poet, has been offered for sale to the Nottingham City Council by its current owner, a private collector in the USA.

The Council are hoping that once the sale of the portrait has been completed, they will be able to put it on public display. Lawrence had links to Nottingham, he was a teacher at the now University of Nottingham. He was a cultural figure recognised on an international scale. He made history as one of the first novelists from a working class background to rise to international fame.

In 1914 when World War One broke out, he left the UK, he was married to a German woman – the wife of one of his former professors at university. He went on to travel all over the world and whilst in France the portrait that has been acquired by Nottingham City Council was painted by Joep Nicolas, a Dutch artist. Nicolas was related to Aldous Huxley the author of Brave New World, who was also a friend of Lawrence.

There are very few portraits of Lawrence in existence, and this is believe to be the last one that was ever done. It was purely by chance that the portrait was even done. Lawrence visited the Huxley’s late in 1929 and Nicolas happened to be staying there at the same time. It was during these travels in France that Lawrence became ill with TB and Malaria, and he died in March 1930.

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