The Papers of the Hayward Bequest of T.S. Eliot Material

Scope and Content

These papers comprise the typescripts, manuscripts, letters, and photographs given by T.S. Eliot to his friend, John Davy Hayward. They include drafts and proofs for some of T.S. Eliot's most famous works, including 'The Waste Land', 'Sweeney Agonistes', 'Four Quartets', 'Murder in the Cathedral', 'The Family Reunion' and 'The Cocktail Party'. Also included are the texts of several broadcasts and lectures, books from T.S. Eliot's library (many of them annotated), and over 350 photographs charting the life of Eliot and his family both in England and America. Many aspects of these materials can be illuminated by study of T.S. Eliot's correspondence with John Davy Hayward, which can be found at the end of the Letters sequence.

Administrative / Biographical History

T.S. Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest son of Henry Ware Eliot (1843-1919) and Charlotte Stearns Eliot (nee Charlotte Champe Stearns, 1843-1929). One of the Eliot's children had died in infancy, but five siblings remained to share T.S. Eliot's life: Ada (1869-1943), Margaret (1871-1956), Charlotte (1874-1926), Marian (1877-1964) and Henry (1879-1947).

In his youth, Eliot attended private schools, and then went to Harvard where he studied French literature. After graduation in 1910 he spent a year in Paris, returned to Harvard for doctoral studies in philosophy (1911-14), and went to seminars of the visiting lecturer Bertrand Russell, who became a friend. Eliot arrived in Europe on a travelling fellowship in 1914, landing in London and more particularly in Bloomsbury. His first literary contacts were other expatriate Americans, notably Ezra pound, and he spent some time in the Autumn of that year studying philosophy at Merton College, Oxford.

In 1915, Eliot published 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' in 'Poetry' magazine, and in the same year he married Vivienne Haigh-Wood, making their first home in Bertrand Russell's Bury Street flat. In need of a steady income, Eliot became a teacher, and then a clerk at Lloyd's bank. In 1919, he published 'Poems' with Hogarth Press, the publishing house presided over by Leonard and Virginia Woolf, and in 1923 Hogarth came out with the English edition of 'The Waste Land'. In 1922 he began his own literary magazine 'The Criterion', which continued publication until 1939.

In 1925 he joined the publishing firm of Faber, with whom he published 'Murder in the Cathedral' (1935) and 'The Family Reunion' (1939). During the same period, he became great friends with John Davy Hayward, Geoffrey Faber and Frank Morley, a coterie that - once establised in the late 1920s - would last for the next 30 years. Hayward eventually became indispensable to Eliot as his literary advisor, providing particularly helpful suggestions for improvements in the phrasing and construction of 'Four Quartets' (1935-42). During the war he also became the self-styled 'Keeper of the Eliot Archive' and thereafter Eliot systematically gave Hayward groups of manuscripts and typescripts, and all printed editions.

After the war, Eliot moved into a flat with Hayward, having separated from his wife, Vivienne, several years earlier. At the same time, Eliot's stature as poet, dramatist and critic increased, with many arguing that he was England's greatest living poet. In 1938 he was awarded an honorary degree by Cambridge University and in 1948 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Order of Merit. In 1957 Eliot married Valerie Fletcher.

Access Information

The photocopies of letters from John Davy Hayward to T. S. Eliot (reference L/13/1-3) are reserved. Permission to read them must be obtained from Mrs T. S. Eliot, c/o Faber and Faber Ltd, 3 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AU.

These papers are available for consultation at King's College, Cambridge, four days a week most of the year, by appointment only. For further details or to make an appointment please email

Acquisition Information

John Davy Hayward (1905-1965, KC 1922) bequeathed to King's College his valuable library of the works of his friend, T. S. Eliot. For many years Eliot systematically gave Hayward groups of manuscripts and typescripts and all printed editions. The last comprise almost everything recorded in Donald Gallup's 'T. S. Eliot: a Bibliography' (1969) with the addition of a mass of cuttings, programmes of performances of the plays, critical books and articles on Eliot, and other items outside the scope of Gallup's list.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue of the Hayward Bequest of T.S. Eliot Material is available as an html document on the University's Janus website.

Archivist's Note

The present catalogue of the Hayward Bequest is the third edition compiled for the use of researchers visiting the Archive Centre. The first edition, in thirty-five copies, was produced in March 1966 by Fellow and College Librarian A. N. L. Munby. A handful of copies was retained in the College Library, augmented in 1970 by photocopied slips recording additions and corrections. Further new material was incorporated in the second edition, of 100 copies, produced by the University Printer in 1973. The present catalogue represents several new developments: the originally separate catalogue of T. S. Eliot photographs has been amalgamated with the Hayward Bequest catalogue; a number of new accessions have been added; previously uncatalogued material of unknown provenance, and material formerly held on reserve, has been included; and the catalogue itself has been thoroughly revised and reformatted in line with current archival cataloguing standards.

Conditions Governing Use

The physical ownership of the papers in the Hayward Bequest is vested in King's College, but the copyright of all T. S. Eliot's writings, published and unpublished, is the property of his Literary Executrix, Mrs. T. S. Eliot. Readers wishing to consult these materials may therefore submit a request in the normal way in the Reading Room, but, unfortunately, King's College is not able to supply photocopies of any of T. S. Eliot's writings in the Hayward Bequest. All requests for permission to publish from T. S. Eliot's writings should be directed to the Literary Executrix, Mrs. T. S. Eliot, c/o Faber and Faber Ltd, 3 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AU.

Related Material

Books from T.S. Eliot's library are listed in this catalogue. Other printed material in the Hayward Bequest, comprising books by and about T.S. Eliot and others, may be found by reference to a card catalogue held by the Archivist. Full details of the printed works by T.S. Eliot may be found in an annotated copy of Donald Gallup's T.S. Eliot: A Bibliography, 1969, available in the Reading Room. This annotated copy shows which works by T.S. Eliot are held in the King's College Library, including page proofs.

There is a separate catalogue of the papers and correspondence of John Hayward not relating to T.S.Eliot directly, which may also be consulted in the Archive Centre Reading Room. This material, the 'Hayward Papers', was given to the College by John Hayward's sister, Mrs. Oakeley, in 1968.


Much of the biographical information above was taken from A. and V. Palmer, 'Who's Who in Bloomsbury' (Brighton: Harvester, 1987), pp. 46-7. For more information, see L. Gordon, 'T.S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life' (London: Vintage, 1998).