Eliot’s Life


Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He was educated at Harvard and did graduate work in philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and Merton College, Oxford. He settled in England, where he was for a time a schoolmaster and a bank clerk, and eventually literary editor for the publishing house Faber & Faber, of which he later became a director. He founded and, during the seventeen years of its publication (1922-1939), edited the exclusive and influential literary journal Criterion.


26th September 1888:

1906 – 1910:

October 1910:

Summer 1911:

September 1911:


April 1915:

May 1915:

June 1915:












Eliot born

Undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Harvard

Eliot goes to Paris to study at the Sorbonne where he meets Verdenal

Eliot travels to Munich where he writes much of ‘Prufrock and Other Observations’

Eliot returns to America

Eliot awarded a scholarship to Oxford University

Eliot meets Vivienne Haigh-Wood, a ballet dancer, his first wife

Verdenal dies at Gallipoli

Eliot marries Vivienne Haigh-Wood

Prufrock and Other Observations’ is published, dedicated to Verdenal

Recovering from a physical and mental in Lausanne Eliot finishes ‘The Waste Land’

‘The Waste Land’ is published and Eliot begins editing ‘The Criterion’ magazine

Eliot became a British citizen and joined the Anglican Church

Vivienne Haigh-Wood is committed to a mental institution

Eliot divorces his wife while on a lecturing tour of America

Eliot closes ‘The Criterion’ at the outbreak of World War 2

Vivienne Haigh-Wood dies

Eliot awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Eliot marries his secretary Valerie Fletcher (she is 38 years his junior)

Eliot dies