A New England Affair

Written by Steven Carroll



During a night of amateur theatre in 1913, Emily Bale, a twenty two year old with theatrical aspirations and 25 year old Tom Eliot, a philosophy student with poetic ambitions are brought together in a promise of love and happiness.

Fast forward to 1965, Emily is left haunted by the memory of her unrequited love and known to all as the old lady who once had a thing with someone famous.

Following the devastating news of Tom’s death, Emily heads out in her Ford Roadster, reflecting on their time together.

From the fateful day she witnessed the Tom Eliot she knew become T. S. Eliot after discovering a book that transformed his poetic ambition into a secret destiny, to the thousand plus letters he wrote to her spanning from from 1930 to 1958.

This novel by award winning Australian novelist, Steven Carroll is based on true events between the famous poet, T. S. Eliot and his muse, Emily Bale.

T. S. Eliot was one of the most influential poets of the 20th century. His works include ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,’ a book of short stories about cats which Cats the musical was based upon.

What’s most fascinating about this story are the letters T. S. Eliot wrote to Emily, considering the real Emily Bale entrusted them to the Princeton University Library, only to be revealed to the public in 2020.

It is obvious reading his work just how inspired Steven Carroll is about T. S. Eliot’s work. Like poetry in itself, his words fall off the pages beautifully in this moving tale of unrequited love.

This is the third of Steven Carroll’s novels based on T. S. Eliot. It is a must read for any lover of poetry or romantic at heart.

 is available now from Raven’s Parlour book store, Tanunda.

A New England Affair is available now from Ravens Parlour Book Store, Tanunda.


Todd Kuchel, The Barossa Mag contributor