Bringing my discussion of Box 1 to a close, and taking stock of an unbelievable seven days of letter-reading, I wanted to look ahead to Eliot’s statements about his intentions for his and Hale's letters. From the beginning, it seems, Eliot imagined a correspondence that would enshrine their love in a literary monument consisting of their letters together. Already in December 1930—barely two months into their correspondence—Eliot broached his plans to repose her letters with his other papers at the Bodleian Library. Skipping ahead to spring 1932, Eliot returns to this matter in several letters whose importance seems to justify violating the chronological order of my reports.
On 19 February, he explains why he desires to preserve her letters with his other papers, to be opened sixty years following his death: without her words, the truth about him cannot be told. Concealed behind a mask, he has watched people draw the wrong conclusions about his poetry, wishing that he could set them straight. The truth is far simpler than they believed; he would like to say something along the lines of “That is not what I meant at all/That is not it, at all.” On 15 March, he asks her what reason she could have for withholding her letters from the archive he intends. What difference will propriety make a century hence when all personally concerned have passed away? His motive for wishing to preserve her letters is not the desire for fame, but for posthumous understanding. He believes that her letters will unlock the meaning of his poems for future readers.
So far, he has not said anything about the preservation of his letters, but on 6 July, after telling her that his letters are her property to dispose of as she sees fit, he admits to hoping that she will save them. He assents to her suggestion of going through Willard Thorp, Princeton University English professor and husband of her close friend Margaret, to safekeep the letters for posterity (it seems she has suggested Thorp). On July 29 he repeats that the letters belong to her, and she may entrust them to whomever she chooses, either Thorp or to the Bodleian, only with the stipulation that they should be opened fifty or sixty years after his death.
Further boxes may reveal whether or how Eliot changed his mind, but it is remarkable that he regarded their letters as the only key to his poetry.