After talking about Eliot's personal biography today, I wondered if his depictions of women were influenced by his unhappy marriage to Vivenne Haigh-Wood Eliot. Some critics consider her to be a sort of "femme-fatale" character that seduced Eliot in a turbulent and disastrous marriage. Her and Eliot met while she was working as a governess in Cambridge and were married 3 months later. They were married until her death in 1947, but her physical and mental illnesses plagued their relationship during the entirety of their marriage. Eliot arranged for a formal separation after learning of her affair with philosopher Bertrand Russell. Five years later she was committed to an asylum. I feel that she influenced the female characters in the Waste Land, who are often depicted as apathetic temptresses. Many of the females are also characterized by their inability to maintain meaningful connections with men and barrenness. Perhaps this obsession with fertility was relevant due to the fact that Vivenne suffered from heavy, irregular menstruation that often impeded her daily life and sexual relations. Eliot's sister-in-law Theresa once said, "Vivienne ruined Tom as a man, but she made him as a poet."