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The Poems of T. S. Eliot: Volume I, Collected and Uncollected Poems, edited by Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue

Faber & Faber (1344 pp. £40 hardback).

If I were teaching Eliot I’d see this book as an indispensable support. It will clearly be a vital quarry for lecturers and researchers for many years to come. My concern is with its interest for the general reader, however.

It isn’t for the Eliot beginner or for someone happy to enjoy the words of the poems without worrying how their resonances may have changed: its sheer weight makes it something to read alongside, rather than instead of, the kind of slender volume you can hold comfortably in an armchair. This one needs to lie … Continue Reading