Historical Events  People
TS Eliot

The famous poet

MMDE: TS Eliott?

Current: TS Eliot

Considered one of the 20th century's major poets, in 1948 he won the Nobel Prize for literature for his "outstanding contribution to poetry", but was he called 'TS Eliot' or 'TS Eliott'?

Many remember it as "Eliott", but are they just assuming this because it's the more familiar spelling for a boy's first name?

He was born in the US in 1888 and moved to England in 1914, when he was only 25 and spent the rest of his life there, having become a British citizen in 1927. He was a pioneer of the Modernist movement, and also a renowned playwright of his day where his popularity was unprecedented.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Thomas Streams Eliot's breakthrough was in 1915 with the publishing of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock". Many people not familiar with his life and works are still aware of the notorious line comparing the evening sky to "a patient etherised upon a table", which broke many conventions for the day and was considered quite shocking to some.

Eliot's life wasn't without controversy. He was accused of anti-semetism, and there is suspicious evidence of this in some of his works and lectures. Nevertheless, his influence cannot be underestimated, with such notaries ranging from Virginia Woolfe and Bob Dylan quoting his as influences.

The confusion of the spelling of his surname is likely down to it's pronunciation being identical in both cases, and many people hearing it without seeing it written down would assume it's the same spelling as the boy's first name.