Irish poet and dramatist.
Autograph Letter Signed, WBYeats, three pages, octavo, 3 Upper Ely Place, Dublin, September 4, no year . To [W. E.] Henley, the influential editor of the National Observer.
“I sent you a book of sonnets by Rhys with drawings by my brother who is about 19 years old & means to take to illustrating. The drawings seem to me to have a very genuine tragic intensity that makes them something much more than curiosities. Perhaps you might if you care for them get some one to say a good word for them of some kind in the National Observer.
“Unwin will send you in a day or two a story of mine called ‘John Sherman’. There is a little thing bound up with it called ‘Dhoya’ that may please you. There is a poem of mine that was in my book embedded in ‘Dhoya’ so the pseudonymer-the thing comes out in the Pseudonym Library-is not very profoundly kept. I send you by the same post with this an article on a curious Dublin visionary and a little poem. My visionary by the by showed me your ‘God in the garden’ poems & called it one of your best things. He is a reader of your verse & in all ways one of the few true students of poetry I know. I think with him about your “God in a garden’. Its verse has a fine ringing sound.” In a postscript Yeats adds, “Please send proofs-if enclosed poem etc suits you-to 3 Upper Ely place Dublin.”
William Butler Yeats’s younger brother, Jack Butler Yeats, born on August 23, 1871, later became a leading Irish painter of the twentieth century, whose scenes of Irish daily life and Celtic mythology contributed to the surge of nationalism in the Irish arts after Irish independence was won. At the time of the present letter (1890), Jack’s early work was primarily confined to illustrations for books and broadsheets produced by his sisters at the Dun Emer, later the Cuala Press of Dundrum near Dublin. Ernest Rhys was “an engineer turned journalistÖwho edited the Camelot Classics.Ö Early in 1891 Rhys, [W.B.] Yeats and T. W. Rolleston, the Anglo-Irish poet of Bedford Park, founded the Rhymers’ Club” [Frank Tuohy, Yeats].
John Sherman is William Butler Yeats’s “only completed novelÖa partly autobiographical effort of his twenty-fourth year [which] sets up in its two chief characters the opposition between Sligo as a place ‘to burrow away from the world’ and London: ‘the motif’, he wrote ‘is hatred of London.’ London is only tolerable when it suggests Sligo, which provides the imaginary landscape of his early poetry” [Tuohy]. T. Fisher Unwin was William Butler Yeats’ London publisher, to whom he had proposed a series of Irish books.
This item is associated with the following category in our inventory:
- Literature – English/Irish