restricted access To the Editor of The Egoist
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686 ] To the Editor of The Egoist The Egoist, 5 (Mar 1918) 47 MADAM,–I shall be grateful to you if you will allow me to state in your columns (in response to numerous inquiries) that to the best of my knowledge and belief, Captain Arthur Eliot, joint author of “The Better ’Ole,” is not, roughly speaking, a member of my family.1 –Yours, etc., T. S. Eliot LITTLE TICHESTER, BUCKS2 Notes 1. In Aug 1917, the Oxford Music Hall in London booked a musical comedy, The Better ’Ole, by two wartime officer-comedians, Captain Bruce Bairnsfather and Captain Arthur Eliot (d. 1936). In the Dec issue of the Egoist, under the pseudonym of Muriel Schwarz, TSE had referred to the production when he asked sardonically if Wyndham Lewis’s objection to the ubiquitous English Grin was not really “a slur upon the cheery philosophy of our brave boys in the trenches, which has been so happily caught by the witty pen of Capt. Bairnsfather?” (614). By Mar 1918, as the popular production headed toward a record number of performances, some of TSE’s friends had nicknamed him “Captain Eliot” (L1 256). 2. The imaginary address is based on one of TSE’s favorite music hall comedians, “Little Tich” (Harry Relph, 1867-1928). ...


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