WOOLF, Virginia.

Autograph letter signed to T. S. Eliot.

Hogarth House, Paradise Road, Richmond, Surrey: Sunday [12 November 1922?] Stock Code: 126655
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An exceptional letter connecting two of the key figures of the English modernist movement, here in their capacity as publisher/editors in the annus mirabilis of modernist publishing. Virginia Woolf writes to T. S. Eliot, addressing him familiarly as "Tom", on Hogarth House stationery towards the end of 1922, the year in which the Woolfs began to run the Hogarth Press as a serious publishing concern - starting with Woolf's first full-length novel Jacob's Room in October of that year. Woolf and Eliot were close literary collaborators around this time: the Hogarth Press had published Eliot's collection Poems in 1919, and would print the first UK edition of The Waste Land in 1923 (though it first appeared in Eliot's magazine The Criterion in October 1922). Eliot, for his part, published in the very same October issue of The Criterion a joint English translation of a Dostoevsky short story by Virginia Woolf and S. S. Koteliansky, which appeared soon after in the Hogarth Press publication Stavrogin's Confession and The Plan of the Great Sinner.

This letter comes in the wake of that Hogarth publication, with Woolf thanking Eliot for his support: "We're very glad you like the Dostoevsky. I think it is far the best thing we have done, but none of the reviewers seem to see anything in it. We are glad you had it. The publicity seemed to me very great." She then promises to send Eliot a new story, before complaining of her lack of leisure: "We are in the middle of the General Election and the publishing and so I have no time to read the Criterion as I wish to, nor to write an intelligible letter." She closes "ever yours, Virginia Woolf", before sending best wishes for his wife Vivienne's health and wishing they "have a chance of a holiday".

Though the letter is dated only "Sunday", the likely date is 12 November 1922, from the mention of being "in the middle of the General Election", which was held on Wednesday, 15 November and won by Bonar Law for the Conservatives.

Letters of this associative calibre are rare indeed. We can trace no letters from Woolf to Eliot at auction, and have only ever handled one other.

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Single page letter on Hogarth House stationery (c.270 x 210 mm).


Letter folded thrice with creases and tape repair to verso quite badly tanned. The ink faded to the fringes of legibility in some places.


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