Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Tom Eliot (T.S. Eliot) cut an impressive figure when he arrived in England. To Vivienne Haigh-Wood, meeting him for the first time in March 1915, he seemed an old-fashioned American 'prince' and his 'deep and thrilling voice' with its slow drawl added a dash of glamour. Vivienne was a young woman who, as she wrote years later, found 'the shout of the baseball team... deep, stirring, madly exciting'...........

In 1938 she was committed to a mental asylum. (Northumberland House)

Vivienne's committal took place in July 1938. Her brother Maurice's letter of 14 July 1938 to Tom, who was on holiday in Gloucestershire, appears to exonerate him and Eliot from any responsibility: 'Dear Tom, I am very sorry to write to you on your holiday but I'm afraid I must. V. was found wandering in the streets at 5 o'clock this morning and was taken into Marylebone police station... The inspector told me she had talked in a very confused manner and appeared to have various illusions. Dr Miller feels V. must go either to Malmaison or to some home, and I am also inclined to think that. I would be grateful if you would send me a telegram in the morning to say what you decide.'

Read more in The Guardian (2001)......

Tags for Forum Posts: northumberland house, t.s. elliott, vivienne haigh-wood

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Replies to This Discussion

Interesting to read this. By the way I have edited the Wikipedia section on Northumberland House (part of the History of Harringay, 1750-1880 page). My understanding is that this was built as a private mansion but for some reason was quite quickly converted for use as a lunatic asylum. This is supported by the page on the British History Online site (extracted from the book on the History of the County of Middlesex). It all seems a little strange but, to me, the building looks in the picture like a typical mansion house of that period rather than a purpose built mental institution.
You've been doing a brilliant job tidying up and adding to the Harringay stuff on Wikipedia!

Here's my latest on the origins of the house, Dubmill. 

That's fascinating and impressive research.

A little more about Vivienne here.



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