W. B. Yeats

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William Butler YeatsWilliam Butler Yeats, (1865 – 1939) is considered by many the greatest Irish poet, dramatist, and prose writer, one of the greatest English-language poets of the 20th century. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.




Yeats was born in Sandymount, Ireland, and educated there and in London. He spent childhood holidays in County Sligo and studied poetry from an early age, when he became fascinated by Irish legends and the occult. From 1900, his poetry grew more physical and realistic. His brother Jack is considered Ireland’s greatest contemporary artist, while his sisters Anne and Elizabeth operated the Dun Emer Press, later to be called the Cuala Press located in Dundrum, Dublin. Yeats’s father, John Butler Yeats, was a barrister who eventually became a portrait painter.

He largely renounced the transcendental beliefs of his youth, though he remained preoccupied with physical and spiritual masks. In 1923, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Some of his most famous works include – The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems, Irish Fairy Tales, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, The Celtic Twilight, Cathleen Ní Houlihan, The Hour-Glass, The Wild Swans at Coole, The Wild Swans at Coole, The Second Coming, Later Poems, The Trembling of the Veil, Stories of Red Hanrahan, The Secret Rose,The Tower, The Winding Stair and Other Poems, On the Boiler. It is belived that the love of Yeats life was Maude Gonne and in 1891 he visited her in Ireland to proposed marriage, but was rejected. She later married the Irish nationalist Major John MacBride. In 1896, Yeats was introduced to Lady Gregory, together they up The Abbey Theather.

He died in 1939 Menton, France at the age of 73. and buried at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

William Butler Yeats ‘If I die, bury me up there [at Roquebrune] and then in a year’s time when the newspapers have forgotten me, dig me up and plant me in Sligo’.”[91]

In September 1948, Yeats’s body was moved to St Columba’s Church, County Sligo. The person in charge of this operation for the Irish Government was Seán MacBride, son of Maud Gonne MacBride, and then Minister of External Affairs.

In 1989 Rowan Gillespie commemorated Yeats in Sligo town with a statue outside the Ulster Bank, beside Markievicz Road. Yeats had remarked on receiving his Nobel Prize that the Royal Palace in Stockholm “resembled the Ulster Bank in Sligo”. Across the river is the Yeats Memorial Building, home to the Sligo Yeats Society. In Dublin there is a W. B. Yeats Memorial Garden located at St Stephen’s Green.

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OSHIMA, Shotaro: W.B. Yeats and Japan
OSHIMA, Shotaro. W.B. Yeats and Japan. Tokyo: The Hokuseido Press, 1965. Royal octavo. pp xiv, 198. Green buckram, title in gilt on spine. Laid in is publisher’s envelope with “”improved images”” for four of the plates. Limited first edition. Complimentary slip, signed by Shotaro Oshima to Miss Aileen Harte loosely inserted. A fine copy in […]
YEATS, W. B: A Full Moon in March
YEATS, W.B. A Full Moon in March. London: Macmillan, 1935. First edition. pp. vii, 70. Dark green cloth, title in gilt on spine. From the library of Denis Johnston, with his bookplate. A fine copy in fine dust jacket with a few nicks.  “Wade 182. Contains the plays: A Full Moon in March; The King […]
YEATS, W. B: Last Poems and Plays
YEATS, W.B. Last Poems & Plays. New York: Macmillan, 1940. First edition. pp. vii, [1], 125, [1]. Green cloth with design by Sturge Moore, blind-stamped on upper cover, lettering in gilt on spine. Previous owner’s signature on front free endpaper. A fine copy in original dust jacket with evenly faded sun-tanning to spine, light wear […]
YEATS, W. B: Poems [With Tipped-In Signature of Yeats]
YEATS, W.B. Poems. London: T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd. Adelphi Terrace, 1922. pp. xv, [1], 314, [1]. Light blue cloth, with gilt-stamped design by Althea Gyles on spine and blind-stamp floral design on covers. Signed by W.B. Yeats, obviously in a hurry, on 6th December, 1922, on the back of a torn slip of paper announcing […]
YEATS, W. B: The Celtic Twilight
With portrait frontispiece of the author by John B. Yeats on frontispiece. 137 London: A.H. Bullen, 1902. pp. x, 235. Dark blue cloth with lettering and design in gilt on upper cover and spine. Edges untrimmed. A very good copy. Revised and enlarged edition of a work whose title Yeats later found difficult to shake […]
YEATS, W.B. The Celtic Twilight.  Men and Women, Dhouls and Faeries.  With frontispiece ‘The Last Gleeman’ by John B. Yeats facing title. London, Lawrence and Bullen, 1893.  First edition. pp. xii, 212.  Olive-green ribbed cloth, title author and publisher in gilt on spine.  Inscribed by W.B. Yeats ‘With the author’s best regards, Feb 19. 94’ […]
YEATS, W. B: The Celtic Twilight [First Edition]
YEATS, W.B. The Celtic Twilight. With frontispiece ‘The Last Gleeman’ by John B. Yeats facing title. London, Lawrence and Bullen, 1893. First edition. First issue. pp. xii, 212. Fine copy in olive-green ribbed cloth. The first edition, first issue with the publisher’s imprint in capital letters at foot of spine. A work whose title Yeats […]
YEATS, W. B: The Land of Hearts Desire
YEATS, W.B. The Land of Hearts Desire. Portland Maine: Mosher, 1903. pp. 35. Grey paper boards, title on printed label on upper cover and spine. Edition limited to 950 copies. Repair to spine. A good copy. First American edition in book form of the revised text. One of 950 ordinary copies on Van Gelder, from […]
YEATS, W. B: The Secret Rose
YEATS, W.B. The Secret Rose. Illustrations by John B. Yeats. 137 New York: Dodd, Mead & Company. London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1897. First American edition, issued in the same year as the English edition. pp. xi, 265, [2]. Title in red and black. Dark blue cloth, with design by Althea Gyles stamped in gilt on […]
YEATS, W.B, Plays in Prose and Verse.
YEATS, W.B, Plays in Prose and Verse.
YEATS, W.B. Plays in Prose and Verse. Written for an Irish Theatre, and Generally with the Help of a Friend. 140 SCHOOL PRIZE BINDING London: Macmillan, 1926. pp. ix, 447. Bound by Bickers of London in full dark blue calf, spine divided into six panels by five gilt raised bands, title and author in gilt […]
YEATS, W.B: Fairy Tales
YEATS, W.B. Ed. by. Irish Fairy and Folk Tales. Selected and edited with introduction. Twelve illustrations by James Torrance. London: Scott, n.d. (October, 1893). pp. xix, 326, 6 (publisher’s list). Tan pictorial cloth, title in gilt on upper cover and on spine. Illustrated endpapers. Spine sun-tanned. All edges gilt. A good copy. Very scarce. Wade […]
YEATS, W.B. The Collected Plays of W.B. Yeats. Portrait frontispiece. London: Macmillan, 1934. First edition. Crown octavo. pp. vi, 617. Bound by Bumpus of London in contemporary half calf on cloth boards, with their name stamped on lower turn-in. Spine divided into six panels by five gilt raised bands, title and author in gilt direct […]
YEATS, W.B: The Hour Glass
YEATS, W.B. ‘The Hour-Glass’ and Other Plays. Being volume two of plays for an Irish theatre. ‘The Hour Glass’; ‘Cathleen Ní Hoolihan’; ‘A Pot of Broth’. 80 LIMITED EDITION OF 100 COPIES New York, Macmillan, 1904. Edition limited to 100 copies on Japanese vellum. pp. vii, 113. Fine in paper parchment in d.j. Wade 52 […]