Years of Growing Fame
A long absence from Vivienne in a congenial social and academic environment must have strengthened Eliot’s conviction that he could no longer sustain a tolerable career and continue to live with her. No doubt he had been told this more than once. His final decision could not have been an impulsive one, like that which he made when he married precipitately; otherwise he could not have maintained his inflexible policy never, if possible, to see her again. Either before leaving England, more probably during his prolonged stay in the States, he made up his mind, and began preparatory moves to cope with the situation. His lawyers drew up a deed of separation, and sent Vivienne the requisite papers with a letter of explanation from Tom. Mrs Enid Faber agreed to do everything she could, in concert with Maurice Haigh-Wood, to look after her welfare. As soon as he returned to England, Eliot spent one night at his club, and then took refuge, as arranged, at Pikes Farm, where he lived most of the time for several months. Vivienne remembered how, sitting by him when their separation was given its final legality a few weeks after his return, she held his hand, and he never looked at her.
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