T. S. Eliot (Thomas Stearns Eliot) | First Editions

1888 - 1965

Thomas Stearns Eliot OM (26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965) was an American-born British essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic and "one of the twentieth century's major poets", according to biographer Ronald Bush. Indeed, Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry". T.S. Eliot moved to England in 1914 at age 25, where he settled, worked and married. He was eventually naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39, renouncing his American citizenship.

Eliot attracted widespread attention for his poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915), which is seen as a masterpiece of the Modernist movement. It was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including The Waste Land (1922). The Waste Land received mixed criticism and praise. Charles Powell called Eliot's poems 'incomprehensible', whilst the writers of Time magazine were similarly baffled by the poem. However, Edmund Wilson praised Eliot as "one of our only authentic poets",  concluding, "I doubt whether there is a single other poem of equal length by a contemporary American which displays so high and so varied a mastery of English verse."

See below our stock of T. S. Eliot First Editions.