W. B. Yeats and George Yeats: The Letter

by Ann Saddlemyer


W. B. Yeats and George Yeats: The Letter | 9780198184386 | Ann Saddlemyer

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Published:03/03/2011 by Oxford University Press


During the twenty-two years of their married life, W. B. and George Yeats corresponded regularly and fully whenever they were apart. They discussed his writing and other projects, their family and friends, and the social, artistic, and political scene in Ireland and the United Kingdom in far more detail than with anyone else. Both were splendid and enchanting storytellers. This edition includes 149 letters from George, 436 from W. B., and 29 written to their
children. Anne, who lived at home, preserved 22 from her father and several important ones from her mother; when both her parents were away. The letters include fascinating drafts of poems, statements of belief, candid descriptions of people and events, and in some cases offer biographical and historical
corrections to the popular narrative of Yeats’s life. Like Oscar Wilde, Yeats frequently practised a phrase or an anecdote to provide the best effect in his correspondence. And not for nothing would he write to his wife, ‘you are much the best letter writer I know, or have known’. The letters between them not only tell the story of the marriage of two minds and the world they created, but also illuminate how Yeats worked on his writing and reveal a refreshing image of the poet as a family