T. S. Eliot Marries Esme Valerie Fletcher

Valerie Eliot, née Fletcher, who in middle age resembled Margaret Thatcher, was not a conventionally pretty girl, but in letters written in the weeks after their secret marriage in January 1957, Eliot was rhapsodic about his new wife's charm and beauty. She would say, "Tom liked bright frocks." Photos from the 50s show her in unflattering colours and styles much too old for her. But Eliot was enchanted. He loved the fact that her new initials were EVE (Esmé Valerie Eliot) and had them engraved on a silver dressing table set as a wedding gift. He went through her books, crossing out Fletcher and writing in Eliot.