A brilliant, learned tracing and explanation of the intellectual as well as literary growth of William Butler Yeats which treats his personal life only in its influence on his ideology and works. The author deals at length with his disquietude about the scepticism imparted by his father, his feelings of guilt over his failure to follow his father to Trinity College, his inability to escape from his father's influence, his battle of imagination versus science, his unrequited love for Maud Gonne, and his need for self assertion which led to his occultism and nationalism. Here is described his part in the Theosophy Society and the Hermetic Students of the Golden Dawn, and his attempted fusion of his occult and national interest in the dramatic movement which resulted in Lady Gregory's Abbey Theatre. The later part of the book deals with Yeats' symbols and symbolism, representing his literary maturity. A difficult subject, expertly handled and scholarly.