The Waste Land: A Biography of a Poem

The Waste Land: A Biography of a Poem

by Matthew Hollis
The Waste Land: A Biography of a Poem

The Waste Land: A Biography of a Poem

by Matthew Hollis


    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


A riveting account of the making of T. S. Eliot’s celebrated poem The Waste Land on its centenary.

Renowned as one of the world’s greatest poems, The Waste Land has been said to describe the moral decay of a world after war and the search for meaning in a meaningless era. It has been labeled the most truthful poem of its time; it has been branded a masterful fake. A century after its publication in 1922, T. S. Eliot’s enigmatic masterpiece remains one of the most influential works ever written, and yet one of the most mysterious.

In a remarkable feat of biography, Matthew Hollis reconstructs the intellectual creation of the poem and brings the material reality of its charged times vividly to life. Presenting a mosaic of historical fragments, diaries, dynamic literary criticism, and illuminating new research, he reveals the cultural and personal trauma that forged The Waste Land through the lives of its protagonists—of Ezra Pound, who edited it; of Vivien Eliot, who sustained it; and of T. S. Eliot himself, whose private torment is woven into the seams of the work. The result is an unforgettable story of lives passing in opposing directions and the astounding literary legacy they would leave behind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393240252
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 12/20/2022
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 668,647
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Matthew Hollis is the author of Ground Water, Earth House, and Now All Roads Lead to France: A Life of Edward Thomas, a Sunday Times Biography of the Year. He is the poetry editor at Faber & Faber, London, and lives in the United Kingdom.

Table of Contents

Armistice 1

The Waste Land 11

A Biography of a Poem

Acknowledgements 389

Notes on Sources 393

Notes 439

Permissions 484

Index 489

The Waste Land T.S. Eliot Text of the first edition (1922) 501

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews