T.S. Eliot's Summer Home to Become Writer's Retreat, Complete With Ghost
Posted on March 31, 2015
T.S. Eliot's Gloucester summer home may soon be a luxurious writer's retreat. The seven bedroom home on Eastern Point, where Eliot spent his childhood summers, was purchased by the T.S. Eliot Foundation for $1.3 million in December.
Clare Reihill, who recently left her job as Editor at Fourth Estate to run the foundation, was the driving force behind the acquisition. She told The Boston Globe that renovations are ongoing and that she hopes that by the end of 2016 the home can be used as a writer's retreat. In addition to housing five poets, playwrights or essayists at a time, the house will also be used to hold symposia on poetry for adults and children, and for programs about Eliot and his work. The property will be renamed Eastern Point.
T.S. Eliot won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948 for his contributions to poetry. He was born in the U.S., but moved to England in 1914 when he was 25. He became a British citizen in 1927. Eliot, the author of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men and Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (which was turned into the hit musical Cats) receives a great deal more acclaim in his adopted country than he has in the U.S. But the T.S. Eliot Foundation plans to change that with the launch of Eastern Point.
The Guardian quotes the home's former owner Dana Hawkes as saying that locals have absolutely no idea that one of the world's most famous poets used to live in Gloucester. She says that her late husband Jerry Weist, pop cultural historian and author of The 100 Greatest Comic Book, maintained that he used to see T.S. Eliot's ghost. Now what writer could resist that staying in a retreat haunted by Eliot's ghost?