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August 23, 2011

Guardian: Protect TS Eliot’s East Coker

By Spear's

Poets, academics and residents have launched an attempt to win world heritage status for an English village beloved of TS Eliot that they say is threatened by developers.

Andrew Motion, the former poet laureate, is among those who have written to Unesco asking for East Coker in Somerset to be added to its list of the most precious sites on the planet.

The campaigners hope that heritage status could help block proposals to build 3,700 homes between the village and nearby Yeovil.

East Coker is one of the places Eliot celebrates in his Four Quartets series and is the final resting place of the his remains. A plaque in the church bears the opening line of his East Coker poem: “In my beginning is my end.”

Jim McCue, who is editing a new anthology of Eliot’s work and also signed the Unesco letter, said: “The poem was written at the beginning of the second world war and was a symbol of a kind of England that is precious and worth fighting for.”

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