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Eliot, T.S.

Eliot, T.S. ( Thomas Stearns) (1888–1965) British poet, playwright and critic, b. USA. His poem The Waste Land (1922), with its complex language and bleak view of contemporary life, is one of the keystones of literary modernism. Later poems, notably Ash Wednesday (1930) and the Four Quartets (1935–43), held out hope through religious faith. An influential literary critic, Eliot also wrote verse plays, including Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Cocktail Party (1950). His children's poems, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939), formed the basis for the musical Cats. He received the 1948 Nobel Prize in literature.

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