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American-born poet, playwright, essayist and publisher.
Eliot, born into a prominent upper-class Boston family, moved to England in 1914 and became a British subject in 1927 at the age of 39, renouncing his American passport.
Eliot attracted widespread attention for his poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915), which was 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 Hollow Men (1925), Ash Wednesday (1930), and Four Quartets (1943). He was also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Cocktail Party (1949).
Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry". He was raised to the Order of Merit the same year.
In 1939, Eliot published a book of light verse, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats ("Old Possum" was Ezra Pound's nickname for him). After his death, the book was adapted as the basis of the musical Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber, first produced in London's West End in 1981 and opening on Broadway the following year.
This is a very fine signature and date (16.iii.52) in dark blue fountain pen ink on a 3.25" x 3" piece cut from a scrapbook put together by a Mr & Mrs Birer, who ran the upmarket Bailiffscourt Hotel in Sussex in the 1940s and 1960s. One small stain below the signature and an unrelated part-photograph to the reverse but otherwise in good condition. SCARCE.