• Gareth Reeves


This book is not simply an account of Virgil’s influence on T. S. Eliot; it is about the extent to which Eliot is a Virgilian poet. The claim that his poetry is Virgilian has been made before, notably by W. F. Jackson Knight as long ago as 1944, in Roman Vergil. Few critics have followed up the suggestion, although a considerable amount has been written on Eliot’s ideas about Virgil, especially as these inform his thinking on literary tradition and religion.


Literary Tradition Cultural Complex Ideal City Christian World Influential View 
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  1. 3.
    See G. Wilson Knight, ‘T. S. Eliot: Some Literary Impressions’, in T. S. Eliot, The Man & His Work, ed. Allen Tate (New York: Delacorte Press, 1966), p. 251.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    W. F. Jackson Knight, Roman Vergil (London: Faber and Faber, 1944), p. 74.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    ‘Tradition and the Individual Talent’ (1917), rpt. in T. S. Eliot, Selected Essays, 3rd ed. (London: Faber and Faber, 1951), p. 16.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Jackson Knight, Roman Vergil, pp. 83–4. T. S. Eliot, ed., A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1941; rpt. London: Faber and Faber, 1963), p. 18Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Jackson Knight, ‘T. S. Eliot as a Classical Scholar’, in T. S. Eliot: A Symposium for His Seventieth Birthday, ed. Neville Braybrooke (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1958), p. 126.Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    E. J. Stormon, S. J., ‘Virgil and the Modern Poet’, Meanjin, 6 (Aut. 1947), 13–14.Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    ‘Virgil and the Christian World’ (1951), rpt. in T. S. Eliot, On Poetry and Poets (London: Faber and Faber, 1957), p. 122.Google Scholar
  8. 16.
    See Herbert Howarth, Notes on Some Figures Behind T. S. Eliot (London: Chatto and Windus, 1965), pp. 64Google Scholar
  9. 21.
    Donald Davie, ‘Virgil’s Presence in Ezra Pound and Others’, in Virgil in a Cultural Tradition: Essays to Celebrate the Bimillenium, eds. Richard A. Cardwell and Janet Hamilton, University of Nottingham Monographs in the Humanities, IV (Nottingham: University of Nottingham, 1986), pp. 134–5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gareth Reeves 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gareth Reeves
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DurhamUK

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