Eliot and His Age: T.S. Eliot's Moral Imagination in the Twentieth Century / Edition 2

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Though much has been written about T. S. Eliot since it was first published, Eliot and His Age remains the best introduction to the poet's life, ideas, and literary works. It is the essential starting place for anyone who would understand what Eliot was about. Russell Kirk's insights into Eliot's writings are informed by wide reading in the same authors who most influenced the poet, as well as by similar experiences and convictions. Kirk traces Eliot's political and cultural ideas to their true sources, showing the balance and subtlety of Eliot's views. Eliot and His Age is a literary biography that will endure when much of the more recent writing on Eliot is gathering dust.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This literary biography is being reissued because editor Lockerd (English language & literature, Grand Valley State Univ.; Aethereal Rumours: T.S. Eliot's Physics and Poetics), who pens a new introduction, feels it is the best such work on poet T.S. Eliot among the many other Eliot biographies published since its initial appearance in 1971 (rev. ed., 1984). Lockerd notes that the book's author, Kirk (The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot), now deceased, was especially qualified to write about Eliot because they were friends toward the end of the poet's life. As a result, the book is somewhat subjective in its adulation as Kirk analyzes Eliot's works and relates them to various aspects of 20th-century civilization. Kirk defines "moral imagination" as a means to establish order in the soul and the commonwealth, and he focuses on Eliot's conservatism, which, opposing both fascism and communism, saw Christianity as the basis for the ideal state. The postscript to the 1984 edition evaluates other works on Eliot and refutes what Kirk called "psychobiographers," or writers attempting to read too much into their subject's life and literary output. A scholarly study recommended for academic libraries not owning the earlier editions.
—Denise J. Stankovics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933859538
  • Publisher: ISI Books
  • Publication date: 7/15/2008
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 460
  • Sales rank: 992,565
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Russell Kirk (1918-94) was an independent man of letters whose best-known book is The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot. Several of his other books, including The American Cause, The Roots of American Order, The Politics of Prudence, Redeeming the Time, and The Sword of Imagination, are available from ISI Books.

New introduction by Benjamin G. Lockerd Jr.  

Lockerd is a professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Grand Valley State University. He is a former president of the T. S. Eliot Society and is currently on the society’s board of directors. His books include The Sacred Marriage: Psychic Integration in “The Faerie Queene” and Aethereal Rumours: T. S. Eliot’s Physics and Poetics.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to New Edition   Benjamin G. Lockerd, Jr.     xiii
Eliot and the Follies of the Time     1
The Burial of Matthew and Waldo     9
Sir Edmund Gosse and the Hippopotamus     9
The Youngest Eliot of St. Louis     18
Harvard, Babbitt, and Paris     21
Expatriation     29
Rebellion against the Abstruse     34
Hell and Heartbreak House     43
Henry James's Successor     43
Prufrock and Tradition     48
Gerontion and Servitude to Time     53
The Inner Waste Land and the Outer     61
A Criterion in a Time of Hollow Men     77
Raising a Standard     77
Orthodoxy Is My Doxy     87
A Strong Cry from a City Cellar     95
Publishing and Placemen     101
Death's Dream Kingdom     108
Catholic, Royalist, Classicist     111
Pilgrim's Progress Toward Ember Day     111
A Capacity for Salvation     119
Abide with Me     129
Regaining the Higher Dream     142
The Poet, the Statesman, and the Rock     151
Commentaries on a Time of Troubles     151
Enfeebled Heroismand Small Dusty Creatures     159
No Man Is Saved by Poetry     166
Claims of Strange Gods     174
Do Lions Need Keepers?     182
Christians and Ideologues in Heartbreak House     191
The Ideologue Against the Person     191
The Witness of Blood     201
The Loss of a Standard     208
Reunion at Heartbreak House     219
The Communication of the Dead     231
Is a Christian Society Conceivable?     231
The Pleasing Dreadful Thought     239
Still Point and Numinous Depths     245
On the Edge of a Grimpen     249
Fare Forward, Voyagers     254
Redeemed from Fire by Fire     258
Culture and Cocktail Parties     267
All Hallows' Eve, 1948     267
Culture and Class     272
The Blessings of Cultural Diversity     280
The Mystery of the Guardians     285
The Mystery of Martyrdom     292
Illusions and Affirmations     299
Notes towards the Definition of Educational Purpose     299
The Virtue of Resignation     312
The Literature of Politics     323
Age and Decrepitude Have No Terrors      333
The Elder Critic     333
The Last Act at Heartbreak Clinic     341
Belonging to Another     348
In My End Is My Beginning     352
Postcript: Pilgrims in the Waste Land     357
A Note of Thanks     369
Notes     371
Index     385
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