A letter written by T.S. Eliot — publisher, playwright, literary critic, and one of the most important poets of the 20th century — has emerged, after being hidden for 40 years, reports BBC News.
The letter was addressed to his friend Jacob Isaacs, an author and lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London in 1957 — the academic’s archives, which were part of a collection donated to Queen Mary by Isaacs’ wife upon his death in 1973, were being catalogued when Eliot’s correspondence was discovered. In it, Eliot asked Isaacs about an essay he’d written about Shakespeare. Eliot, a Shakespeare scholar, published his milestone essay on the Bard, “Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca,” in 1927 — it was originally written as an address he’d delivered before the Shakespeare Association in March of that year, which looked at the way the popularity of the Seneca’s tragedies in Elizabethan England influenced Shakespeare’s writing. The essay was due for a reissue in 1957, which is what prompted the poet/scholar to get in touch with Isaacs.