Day Job: T.S. Eliot – Clerk

"In 1917, Eliot took a job as a clerk at Lloyds Bank, in London ... Eliot was grateful for the job. Previously, he had been devoting all his energies to writing reviews and essays, teaching school, and delivering an ambitious lecture series — a devouring workload that left him little time for poetry and, worse, barely earned him enough money to scrape by. By contrast, Lloyds was a godsend. Two days after his appointment there, he wrote to his mother, “I am now earning two pounds ten shillings a week for sitting in an office from 9:15 to 5 with an hour for lunch, and tea served in the office.… Perhaps it will surprise you to hear that I enjoy the work. It is not nearly so fatiguing as school teaching, and is more interesting.” He often used his lunch hour to discuss literary projects with friends and collaborators. In the evening he had time to work on his poetry, or to earn extra money from reviews and criticism ...

It was an ideal arrangement, but over time the routine became dulling. Sensing his weariness, some of his literary friends, led by Ezra Pound, invented a scheme to free Eliot from his employment: they would create a £ 300 annual fund by soliciting £ 10 a year from thirty subscribers. When Eliot found out about the plan he was appreciative but embarrassed; he preferred the security and independence afforded by Lloyds."

–Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. Mason Currey.