Evelyn Underhill

(2352 words)

Evelyn Underhill is remembered principally for her 1911 study, Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Man's Spiritual Consciousness. For literary scholars, she is of particular interest because T. S. Eliot read this work as a Harvard PhD candidate, some time after his return from Paris (where he had attended Bergson's lectures) in the autumn of 1911. Underhill heard the same lectures later in 1911, when Bergson delivered them in London (in French). His copy is preserved in the Houghton library, and is heavily marked (Gordon 89). Unfortunately his biographer, Lyndall Gordon, does not indicate which edition Eliot read. We know that she revised the work substantially after hearing Bergson, for the third edition of …

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Surette, Leon. "Evelyn Underhill". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 April 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12081, accessed 07 July 2015.]