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.’

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,