Autobiographical Note. Harvard College Class of 1910: Seventh Report
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[ 245 Autobiographical Note. Harvard College Class of 1910: Seventh Report1 Cambridge, MA: Cosmo Press (1935) 219-21 THOMAS STEARNS ELIOT BORN: St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 26, 1888. PARENTS: Henry Ware Eliot, Charlotte Chauncy Stearns.2 PREPARED AT: Smith Academy, St. Louis, Mo.; Milton Academy, Milton, Mass. YEARS IN COLLEGE: 1906-1910. DEGREES: A.B., 1910; A.M., 1910; Hon. Litt.D. (Columbia University), 1933. OCCUPATION: Company Director. MARRIED: Vivienne Haigh Haigh-Wood, London, England, June 26, 1915. HARVARD BROTHER: Henry Ware Eliot, Jr. ’02. ADDRESS: (business) 24, Russell Square, London W.C,1., England. After graduation I spent a year in Paris, attending lectures mostly on philosophy , and then three years in the Harvard Graduate School working for a Ph.D. in philosophy, and also studying Sanskrit and Pali. I was given aSheldonFellowshipforayear,whichIspentatOxfordworkingatAristotle under Harold Joachim. At the end of the year I married, and took a job as a master at High Wycombe Grammar School at £140 p.a. with dinner. I never returned to take my final examinations for the Ph.D. but perhaps the dissertation on “Meinong’s Gegendstandstheorie considered in Relation to Bradley’s Theory of Knowledge” is still preserved in some archive of Emerson Hall.3 It was accepted, I suppose, because it was unreadable. After one term at High Wycombe I got a better job at the Highgate School, which brought me £160 p.a. with dinner and tea. I stayed at that for four terms, then chucked it because I did not like teaching. I had a couple of months out of work, and then got a job in the Colonial and Foreign Department of Lloyds Bank at £120 a year and no food.4 To supplement this I assisted in editing The Egoist, which was pleasant, and gave Workers Educational Lectures in the evening, and reviewed books for several periodicals : this meant often enough a fourteen or fifteen hour day. Essays, Reviews, Commentaries, and Public Letters: 1935 246 ] I entered the bank under the false pretence of being a linguist; nevertheless I was earning £600 p.a. with income tax paid at the time when I left to join the board of Faber & Gwyer, a newly constituted firm which is now Faber & Faber. I was on inward bills, foreign coins and notes, and documentary credits until I was sent to Head Office to take charge of Pre-War Enemy Debts for the bank and its customers. This was a really interesting job, requiring a bookkeeping system which nobody could understand but myself, and a good deal of legal work. When that petered out, I was put in joint charge of the Foreign Information Bureau, and when the other man left for a better job I was the sole head. We had to look through twenty or so foreign papers a day and turn outadailysheet of “Extracts from the Foreign Press,” which a couple of typists printed on a machine in the office. Sometimes they used too much ink, sometimes not enough. I also wrote a monthly commentary on Foreign Exchange Movements for the Bank Monthly, and had general charge over the ordinary Confidential Reports. I liked the bank and most of the people in it; but I was luckier than most in getting interesting work. In 1922, as an evening employment, I undertook The Criterion. Lady Rothermere wanted to start a literary review, so I ran it for her; but I couldn’t take any money for that, as a bank official is not allowed to hold any other regular job. I gradually gave up reviewing, but in 1919 I wrote very regularly for the Athenaeum under Middleton Murry; and continued to write leaders for the Times Literary Supplement. Since 1925, when I joined the board of Faber & Gwyer Ltd., my public life has been less eventful. I was Clark Lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge,in1926;buttherulesofthatenlightenedcollegedonotrequire that these lectures be printed. In 1932 I returned to Harvard for a year as Norton Professor.5 My ordinary day’s work is that of a publisher and an editor. (When I joined Faber & Gwyer The Criterion was rearranged as a limited company under the ownership of the firm and Lady Rothermere; later Lady Rothermere retired and the review now belongs solely to Faber & Faber.) I spend a great deal of time talking to authors whose work I do not want to print. And I have to read a great many manuscripts, most of which are uninteresting. I find that the number of things one is called upon...