T.S.Eliot, author of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
His great grandniece has a T.S. Eliot cat item for auction, including old family photographs, found in the attic of the family’s home. The author of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats was no slouch –
T.S. Eliot wrote The Waste Land, published 1922 and considered
…by many to be the single most influential poetic work of the twentieth century, Eliot’s reputation began to grow to nearly mythic proportions; by 1930, and for the next thirty years, he was the most dominant figure in poetry and literary criticism in the English-speaking world.
T.S.Eliot’s writings ranged from the dark despair of The Hollow Men, 1925, to the whimsical Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, 1939. The name “Old Possum” came from Ezra Pound, his nickname for Eliot.
In 1982 the cover of the book was illustrated by the fabulous Edward Gorey. The book is the basis of the successful Broadway musical, Cats written by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, where he lived until he was sixteen.
At six years old, he created this playful cat needlepoint as a Christmas gift; it’s signed “Tom” in pencil on the back.
Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw –
For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime – Macavity’s not there!
And they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known
(I might mention Mungojerrie, I might mention Griddlebone)
Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time
Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Crime!
The kitty needlepoint work is conservatively valued at $1,000. Bidding opens online this Friday and concludes online and as a live auction in Dallas on September 14, 2017.