The Collected Letters of W. B. Yeats: Volume IV, 1905-1907

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John Kelly, Ronald Schuchard
OUP Oxford, Dec 22, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 1190 pages
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This volume covers a tumultuous period in Yeats's public and personal life, beginning with the acrimonious collapse of Maud Gonne's marriage to Major MacBride (who not only accused Yeats of being her lover but also threatened to shoot him). Dramas at the Abbey Theatre were hardly less intense, both on and off the stage: the euphoria which followed the successful opening of the new theatre quickly dispersed in a relentless cycle of quarrels and schisms. Yeats's attempts to turn an enthusiastic but ill-disciplined amateur society into a professional company led to a permanent division in the company, while the vagaries of Annie Horniman, the irascible patron of the theatre, put the whole movement under permanent tension. Violence actually broke out in January 1907 when the audience rioted at the production of John Synge's The Playboy of the Western World, believing it to be a libel on Ireland. Through all this we see Yeats maturing as an artist: discussing the writing and revising of his poems and plays, preparing the first elaborate American edition of his poems, and undertaking an ambitious eight-volume Collected Works through which he hoped to define his artistic personality. The letters not only record this energetic and often bruising period, but also bear witness to Yeats's indomitable fighting spirit and artistic integrity.

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The collected letters of W. B. Yeats

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This is the first of 12 or more volumes of Yeats's correspondence planned for publication over the next decade. Containing some 350 letters, Volume 1 is a comprehensive, meticulous work of scholarship ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

John Kelly is a Fellow and Tutor in English, St John's College, Oxford. Ronald Schuchard is at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

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