Said Valerie Eliot, the second wife of T.S. Eliot. "He was made for marriage, he was a natural for it, a loving creature, and great fun, too." She died last week at the age of 86. He died in 1965 at the age of 76.
After her husband’s death, Mrs. Eliot was wounded by criticism that he had been cold and self-absorbed, that he had been an anti-Semite, that his treatment of his first wife had been ruthlessly self-serving. She rarely responded publicly, though the release in 1994 of a movie about Eliot’s first marriage, “Tom & Viv,” starring Willem Dafoe and Miranda Richardson, prompted her to [defend] her husband on every front, even producing copies of letters to refute the film’s unflattering assertions, including a scene in which Vivienne pours melted chocolate into the Faber & Faber mailbox after being unable to get into the office.It was all about ice cream and chocolate and cheese and Drambuie and Scrabble and cards and... poetry!
The doors at Faber were always open, Mrs. Eliot said, so the chocolate story was a fabrication.
“What Tom did like was vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce,” she added. “He was eating it in a restaurant once and a man opposite said, ‘I can’t understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.’ Tom, with hardly a pause, said, ‘Ah, but you’re not a poet,’ and went on eating.”