T.S. Eliot was born to a wealthy Boston family in 1888; in 1896 they built a summer house near the shore in Gloucester. Situated on 1.96 acres, the seven-bedroom, three-bath home is now for sale for $1.3 million.
The home, which the real estate listing describes as “grand and gracious,” has served as a meeting place for the TS Eliot Society of the UK. Realtor Gretchen Parker writes, “maybe it will find its way to a fan of his.”
Eliot, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1948, was considered one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. Could the summers he spent near the beach in the Gloucester house have helped shape the writer he would become?
It’s impossible to say, but the idea of the beach made it into one of his most famous poems, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” which concludes:
...Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
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