Henry James, the conquest of London.nEliot intended nothing less than tonmake himself the preeminent authority,nin England, on literature, philosophy,nand culture. The process by which henmastered Anglo-American literary politicsnis fascinating. It involved his immersionnin the literary tradition and modernncultural developments. He undertook ancalculated program of reading, he gavenlectures in a university extension program,nhe cultivated British and Americannwriters and journal editors, and hencomposed an intentionally small bodynof influential poems and stunning worksnof contemporary criticism like The SacrednWood. These, together with hisnmanagement of issues for the Egoistnand his taking on the editorship ofnCriterion, disclose a young man astutelynat work in the creation of an extraordinarynliterary career. As he told hisnmother in 1919:nThere is a small and selectnpublic which regards me as thenbest living critic, as well as thenbest living poet, in England. Inshall of course write for thenAth[eneum]., and keep mynfinger on it. I am much innsympathy with the editor, whonis one of my most cordialnadmirers. With that and thenEgoist and a young quarterlynreview which I am interestednin, and which is glad to takenanything I will give, I can havenmore than enough power tonsatisfy me. I really think that Inhave far more influence onnEnglish letters than any othernAmerican has ever had, unlessnit be Henry James. I know angreat many people, but therenare many more who would likento know me, and I can remainnisolated and detached.nYet Eliot’s conquest of London couldnnot have been accomplished withoutnthe help of a good many people. Andnwhat seems evident from these letters isnthat Eliot, pampered as a boy, projectednthe persona of one who very muchnneeded to be taken care ofnOne may infer an image of Eliot’sndependency in the letter of his mother,ndated 1905, to the headmaster of thenMilton Academy: “I thought perhaps Inhad better explain to you just why Tomncould not participate in football andnother such strenuous sports, involvingnrisk of strain. He has had a case ofncongenital rupture which, our physiciannthinks, is superficially healed, but asnthe abdominal muscles there arenweak. …” Later, he persuaded thenfamily to support him, even after henhad become a married man. Duringnhis catastrophic marriage to Vivienne,nalthough he unarguably worked like anslave to support them (and the physiciansnwho treated her), he inducednVivienne to correspond with many ofntheir acquaintances, explaining whynTom was physically or emotionally unablento do this or that. Meanwhile, henwas enormously productive in the lifenof letters.nConvinced as he was of what hencalled the “barbarism” of Americannlife, Eliot apparently induced EzranPound to write to Henry Ware Eliot,nthe poet’s father, to explain why hisnson’s decision to remain in London asna writer was the only rational choice.nPound’s quotation is from GeorgenMoore’s Confessions of a Young Man:nAs to his coming to London,nanything else is a waste of timenand energy. No one in Londonncares a hang what is written innAmerica. After getting annAmerican audience a man hasnto begin all over again here ifnhe plans an internationalnhearing. . . . The situation hasnbeen very well summed up innthe sentence; “Henry Jamesnstayed in Paris and readnTurgenev and Flaubert, Mr.nHowells returned to Americanand read Henry James.”nWhen Vivienne broke down, it wasnBertie Russell whom Eliot pressed intonservice, to take her down to his place innthe country for rest and recuperation.nWe have long known that Pound putntogether the Catholic Anthology fornthe simple purpose of getting 15 pagesnof Eliot into print at once, and that henorganized a public subscription to getnEliot out of the Lloyd’s bank, where henhad taken a job, so that the poet couldndevote himself wholly to letters. AsnVivienne put it in a letter to the poet’snbrother, “Tom is wonderful. I havennever met a man who gets so muchnpushing and helping and who impressesnpeople so much with the feeling thatnhe is worth helping.” Charles W.nnn• : / ^nCommentaries onnJohn Paul IIV Encyclicaln”The Social Concernsnof tfje Church”nWith the completentext of the encycSicainby Peter Berger, RichardnJohn Neuhaus, MichaelnNovak, Roberto Suro,nGeorge WeigelnEdited by Kenneth A. MyersnIn this book five interestednand informed students ofnCatholic social teachingnoffer comment on the papalnencyclical, Sollicitudo ReinSocialis, each from thenpefspective of his own areanof expertise. The introductionnprovides anninformative discussion ofnwhat an encyclical is (and isnnot), a brief survey of pastnpapal encyclicals, and anlook at the importance ofnthe current encyclical fornChristians (both RomannCatholics and others) andnnon-Christians. In additionnthe book reprints the fullntext of the encyclical, whichnoffers readers a convenientnreference while reading thencommentaries that follow.nPaper, $10.95nAt your bookstore, or call 1-800-633-9326nWM. B. EERDMANSnPUBLISHING Co.nVn(jvand Rnpids, MichijjnunAPRIL 1989/33n