THE LETTERS OF W. B. YEATS by Allan- Ed. Wade


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A treasure trove of Yeatsiana this covering as it does the letters of the poet over a period from 1887 to his death in 1939. The latter half is particularly interesting, containing many enchanting letters to his friend and mentor, Lady Gregory, to his charming artist father, with whom he had a rich relationship, and to the woman he loved, Olivia Shakespeare -- delicate intimate letters, with no suggestion of the relationship being merely a platonic one. Two major omissions mar a book otherwise definitive:- the lack of letters to his wife, who is still living, and at whose request the letters were left out; and the letters to Maud Gonne, the great inaccessible love of his life and a central focus of it until his marriage in middle years. One might hope, too, for letters to Synge, to George Moore, to MacGregor Mathers, intimates in the secret society of the Golden Dawn, where much of his symbolism and philosophy was formed. But even with the lacks, and with the inclusion of some rather dry material of his early years, this constitutes a most attractive portrait of the poet. He reveals himself in his masculine vigor and tenderness, his poetic sensibility and subtlety, his humanity and other-worldliness. Allan Wade knew Yeats and has published a definitive bibliography of his works. This latest compilation will be welcomed by the Yeats aficionados, by students of literature, drama and the art of letter writing.

Publisher: Macmillan