Eliot and His Age - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Eliot and His Age

T. S. Eliot's Moral Imagination in the Twentieth Century


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“The best introduction to the twentieth century’s greatest man of letters.” —Benjamin G. Lockerd Jr., from the introduction

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Four decades after it was originally published, Russell Kirk’s masterful work remains the best introduction to T. S. Eliot’s life, ideas, and literary works. Eliot and His Age is the essential starting place for anyone who would understand what the great poet was about. Kirk’s view of his older friend is sympathetic but not adulatory. His 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 elaborates here a significant theory of literary meaning in general, showing how great literary works awaken our intuitive reason, giving us profound visions of truth that transcend logical processes. And he 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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“The best introduction to the twentieth century’s greatest man of letters.” —Benjamin G. Lockerd Jr., from the introduction

Eliot and His Age offers what no modern study can: a substantial, biographically structured examination of T. S. Eliot’s work by a conservative thinker who knew the poet well.” —Robert Crawford, University of St. Andrews

“Eloquent and variegated testimony to Eliot’s greatness as a poet and also to his enduring value as a challenging critic and social thinker, as relevant today as he was eighty years ago.” —William Harmon, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Russell Kirk’s bedrock study of T. S. Eliot grew out of their friendship and Kirk’s rare, comprehensive command of the intellectual conservatism that informed Eliot’s critical, cultural, and political writings. This welcome reprinting invites and richly rewards the reader’s return to a personal critical engagement that retains its perceptive and provocative power for a new generation.” —Ronald Schuchard, Emory University

“What impresses me most about Eliot and His Age is its wholeness of viewpoint. Kirk’s book does justice to its subject, and, in doing so, it reminds us of what real justice feels like: it does so through its command of facts, its erudite and rich perspective, its sympathetic and critical eye, and its original style.” —Lee Oser, College of the Holy Cross

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