Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot

Deceased Person

Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot (28 May 1888 – 22 January 1947) was an English governess and writer who became the first wife of the American poet, T. S. Eliot (1888–1965). She is also known by the name she preferred to call herself, Vivien. Her legacy, and the extent to which she influenced Eliot's work, has been the subject of much debate. She has been seen variously as a neurotic femme fatale who enticed the patrician Eliot into an inappropriate and disastrous marriage, or as his muse, without whom some of his most important work would never have appeared. His second wife claimed the copyright of Vivienne's writings in 1984, including her private diaries, which has complicated the research into her role in Eliot's life. They met in Oxford in March 1915, while he was studying philosophy at Merton College and she was working as a governess in Cambridge; they were married in Hampstead Register Office three months later. They remained married until her death in 1947, but Vivienne's poor physical and mental health, and Eliot's apparent intolerance of it, produced a stormy relationship, made worse by Vivienne apparently having an affair with the philosopher Bertrand Russell. Eliot arranged  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Date of birth
Place of birth


Date of death
Place of death
Stoke Newington

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