TS Eliot and George Bell, Bishop of Chichester

TS Eliot, CEM Joad’s fellow communicant at Stedham, accepted the commission to write a play – “Murder In The Cathedral” – for the Canterbury Festival in June 1935, at the request of George Bell, Bishop of Chichester.

In September 1944, Bishop Bell convened a Conference on the Church and the Artist. Attendees included Duncan Grant, TS Eliot, Hans Feibusch, Edward Maufe and Dorothy Sayers.

The Bishop confronted his Dean in November 1947 when the latter sold 120 rare books from the Cathedral Library to Christie’s without telling him:

“The Dean, Duncan-Jones, was apparently impenitent, affirming that the books were the property of the Dean and Chapter and nothing to do with the Bishop. Bell thereupon took legal advice and, though the sale of 120 books went ahead, he was able to arrange for the withdrawal [from Christie’s] of 10 volumes” ~ Source: “Chichester Cathedral – An Historical Survey” – Editor Mary Hobbs (Phillimore 1994)

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