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Mrs. T.S. Eliot’s Estate to be Auctioned at Christie’s Today

By Harriet Staff

Cats

Hmmm…. let me see here… gee, I, uh, sure hope they let cats into the auction… Jacket Copy reports on the findings at Christie’s “A Life’s Devotion: The Collection of the Late Mrs. T.S. Eliot.”

Nobel Prize-winning poet T.S. Eliot died in England in 1965; his widow Valerie made it her mission to keep his work alive. She died in 2012 at the age of 86, and her estimable estate goes up for auction in London on Wednesday. Christie’s is calling the auction “A Life’s Devotion: The Collection of the Late Mrs T.S. Eliot.”

Thirty-eight years his junior, Valerie, Eliot’s second wife, carefully guarded his legacy. Literary watchers were surprised when she allowed the poems in Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” to be made into a musical. Few could have imagined that a book of cat poems by one of the most challenging poets of the early 20th century would find success on the stage.

Of course, it did: “Cats” opened in 1981 in London and played for almost 9,000 performances. It was performed on Broadway for 18 years, and has toured the world, having been translated into 20 languages.

With the success of “Cats,” Valerie Eliot began collecting fine art. The Guardian writes that her estate has been declared “one of the finest collections of British art to come to the market in generations.”

Read more at Jacket Copy.

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Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 by Harriet Staff.