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One of the most influential and celebrated writers of the twentieth century was T S Eliot In his writings he was able to successfully capture the feelings of his time His contributions to the genre of poetry has had a profound effect on modern literature While Eliot is most well known for his poetry he was also an accomplished playwright and author of several books of social criticism Kunitz 303 Thomas Stearns Eliot the youngest of seven was born September 26 1888 in St Louis Missouri His father Henry Ware Eliot was a Washington University graduate and son of a very respected Unitarian minister At the time of his sons birth he had risen to the position of chairman of the Hydraulic Press Brick Company The city of St Louis was growing rapidly and the Eliots brick firm was becoming very successful Unger 567 Thomas Eliots mother Charlotte Champe Eliot came from an affluent family in Massachusetts In her spare time she wrote several books including a biography of her father-in-law Sencourt 3 The childhood of Thomas Eliot was especially pampered because he was afflicted with a hernia His parents wealth allowed them to hire an Irish nurse to look after him Later when Eliot was to attend grammar school at Smith Academy he was unable to partake in games with his peers because of his infirmity Instead young Eliot used this time to develop his reading and writing skills As a child Eliot was an admirer of Mark Twains classic novels Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn Having grown up in a city on the Mississippi he was able to relate to many of the people and places in the story Thomas grew up in a very strict Unitarian household where both his grandfather and uncle were very prominent ministers His father held strongly to his religious teachings and encouraged his children that through thrift and intelligence the goal of a Unitarian was to
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