T. S. Eliot's "The Wasteland" was the voice of a disillusioned generation and reflected a world in disarray. Then in 1928 Eliot announced to a startled world, and the disapproval of his contemporaries, that his general point of view could be described as 'classicist in literature, royalist in politics and anglo-catholic in religion.' The previous year he had been baptised behind closed doors in Finstock Church, near Oxford.
This lecture will consider that conversion with three interlinked questions in mind: From what was he converted? Why did he convert? What was the immediate effect of that conversion? The recently published 6 volumes of Eliot's letters covering the period help shed light on the answers.
The lecture will also explore how this new direction in his life is reflected in the poems he wrote at the time.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/the-conversion-of-t-s-eliot
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 2,000 lectures free to access or download from the website.
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