Robert Crawford

Poems, Possum & Pram

The Poems of T S Eliot: Volume I, Collected and Uncollected Poems


Faber & Faber 1,311pp £40 order from our bookshop

The Poems of T S Eliot: Volume II, Practical Cats and Further Verses


Faber & Faber 667pp £40 order from our bookshop

One winter’s day in the late 1950s, the book designer Frank Herrmann and his wife, Patricia, left their baby daughter in her pram near the entrance to the offices of Faber & Faber in London’s Russell Square. The Herrmanns went upstairs for a business meeting. When Patricia came back downstairs, she was shocked to find both pram and baby were gone. Anxiously, she interrupted a busy secretary, demanding to know what had happened. ‘Oh,’ came the reply, ‘Camilla had kicked off all her blankets when Mr Eliot came by on his way out to lunch. So he tucked her up and is pushing the pram round the Square.’ After about three-quarters of an hour, T S Eliot (who was childless and then aged about seventy) pushed the pram back to the Faber building: mother and child were reunited. ‘We often wondered’, Frank wrote later, ‘whether the experience was a vicarious substitute for unfulfilled parenthood.’

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'It is one of those nice linguistic ironies that English should have attempted to make sex respectable by clothing… ,
    • 'He was to my mind the father of the idea that journalism – yes, even journalism – can have a moral dimension to it… ,
    • RT : Feeling old, as exhumes a piece I wrote 37 years ago. But a joy to see Kathy O’S there too. Here’s why:… ,
    • 'Enough of his character remains just out of reach for Barnes to relish the challenge of imagining him.' Patrick M… ,
    • RT : I did a thing about the new Penguin Book Of Oulipo for this month’s Literary Review: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Moore’s work has been so influential that the former ministers who provided him with much of his information now r… ,
    • 'Although he travels through time and space to find the best produce, his choices, delightfully, are not obvious.'… ,