The Waste Land: A Facsimile & Transcript of the Original Drafts Including the Annotations of Ezra Pound


Product Details

$40.00  $37.20
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
8.99 X 11.1 X 0.79 inches | 2.04 pounds

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About the Author

T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) was a British poet of American descent. Born in St. Louis, Missouri to a prominent family from Boston, Eliot was raised in a religious and intellectual household. Childhood ailments left Eliot isolated for much of his youth, encouraging his interest in literature. At the age of ten, he entered a preparatory school where he studied Latin, Ancient Greek, French, and German. During this time, he also began writing poetry. From 1906 to 1909, he studied at Harvard University, earning a Master of Arts in English literature and introducing himself to the poetry of the French Symbolists. Over the next several years, he studied Indian philosophy and Sanskrit at the Harvard Graduate School before attending Oxford on a scholarship to Merton College. Tiring of academic life, however, he abandoned his studies and moved to London, where he met the poet Ezra Pound. With Pound's encouragement and editing, Eliot published such poems as "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915) and "The Waste Land" (1922), works that earned him a reputation as one of the twentieth century's leading poets and a major figure in literary Modernism. Living in England with his wife Vivienne--from whom he would separate in 1932--Eliot worked as a prominent publisher for Faber and Faber, working with such poets as W.H. Auden and Ted Hughes. He converted to Anglicanism in 1927, an event that inspired his poem "Ash-Wednesday" (1930) and led to the composition of his masterpiece Four Quartets (1943). Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.

Valerie Eliot (1926-2012) was the executor of T. S. Eliot's literary estate and edited his published letters.


The Albemarle receipts were not included by Valerie Eliot in her 1971 edition of the drafts of The Waste Land but have been added to this centenary edition, which seems aimed at the Eliot aficionado ready to pore over every scrap surviving in the archive and eager to discover new angles on a poem more exhaustively interpreted than any in the language--or rather languages, for it is the most polyglot of poems. This gala volume is the first to reproduce manuscripts and type-scripts in color and boasts of various 'additional materials, ' namely those bills and the versos of three leaves: on one of these Eliot has jotted down a couple of cosmetic skin creams that he has been instructed to purchase for his first wife, Vivien, at a pharmacy on the Champs-Élysées, and on another a compressed account of the plot of The Duchess of Malfi. On the third, the verso of the ending of 'A Game of Chess, ' Vivien has written, 'Make any of these alterations--or none if you prefer. Send me back this copy & let me have it.--Mark Ford "New York Review of Books"
First published in 1971, edited by Eliot's widow, they revolutionized the understanding of the poem's creation, by making apparent Ezra Pound's outsized editorial role, including many ruthless cuts, and also the input of Eliot's troubled first wife, Vivienne. These pages--some handwritten, some typewritten, with wordless loops and slashes scrawled across the text and brusque observations at the side--have become famous in their own right.... Few Eliot fans will be able to resist.--New Yorker, Best Books of 2022