The Life of W. B. Yeats: A Critical Biography

by Terence Brown

Wiley | April 25, 2001 | Trade Paperback

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W. B. Yeats is widely regarded as the greatest English-language poet of the twentieth century. This new critical biography seeks to tell the story of his life as it unfolded in the various contexts in which Yeats worked as an artist and as public figure.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 436 pages, 9.07 × 6.14 × 0.93 in

Published: April 25, 2001

Publisher: Wiley

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0631228519

ISBN - 13: 9780631228516

Found in: Literary

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– More About This Product –

The Life of W. B. Yeats: A Critical Biography

by Terence Brown

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 436 pages, 9.07 × 6.14 × 0.93 in

Published: April 25, 2001

Publisher: Wiley

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0631228519

ISBN - 13: 9780631228516

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations.

Preface and Acknowledgements.

Abbreviations.

Prologue: Sindbad''s Yellow Shore.

1. Victorian Cities: London and Dublin.

2. The English 1890s.

3. Poems 1895.

4. Conflicts and Crises.

5. Patronage and Powers.

6. An Irish Ireland.

7. The Strong Enchanter.

8. The Mid-Life Mask.

9. Darkened Rooms.

10. The Lonely Height.

11. All Changed.

12. Occult Marriage.

13. The Weasel''s Tooth.

14. Senator and Seer.

15. Visionary Modernist.

16. Home and Abroad.

17. An Old Man''s Frenzy.

18. Stroke of Midnight.

Epilogue: Afterlife.

Works Cited.

Select Bibliography and Guide to Further Reading.

Index.

From the Publisher

W. B. Yeats is widely regarded as the greatest English-language poet of the twentieth century. This new critical biography seeks to tell the story of his life as it unfolded in the various contexts in which Yeats worked as an artist and as public figure.

From the Jacket

W.B. Yeats, widely regarded as the greatest English-language poet of the twentieth century, believed that the life of a lyric poet was an experiment in living that should be told. This new critical biography seeks to tell that story as it unfolded in the various contexts in which Yeats worked as an artist and as a public figure. It considers a career that began in the late Victorian world of 1880s and 1890s London, which involved a deep commitment to the life of an emergent Ireland in the twentieth century, disillusionment and the alienation from the modern world that made Yeats, who began as a symbolist poet, one of the major figures of the Modernist movement in the second decade of the century.

A central focus of this study is Yeats''s perennial pursuit of sacral power which he saw as being vested in traditional institutions. It examines how at various stages of his life he sought to acquire such power for himself in such "institutions" as a magical order, a nation, a theatre, the community of the dead, and, climactically, an occult marriage. The concluding stages of the book assess Yeats''s final years as a crisis of that faith in institutions, which had hitherto sustained him in all he attempted. At the last only the institution of the verse itself retained its efficacy in the end.

This study allows us to gain a much deeper appreciation of the poet''s engagement with occult knowledge and power and with spiritualist illumination. It explores this problematic aspect of the poet''s career as bearing on key elements in the experience of modernity: the roles of science and religion, the emancipation of women and the artistic representation of the body.

In this book all Yeats''s major works as poet and dramatist are considered in the contexts in which they came to be written and published.

About the Author

Terence Brown is Professor of Anglo-Irish literature in Trinity College, Dublin and a Fellow of the College. He is also a member of the Royal Irish Academy and of the Academia Europaea, and has lectured widely on Irish literature and on Irish cultural history. Among his books are studies of Louis MacNeice and of Northern Irish poetry. His numerous publications include Ireland: A Social and Cultural History (1985) and Ireland''s Literature: Selected Essays (1988). He is also editor of Derek Mahon: Journalism (1996) and Celticism (1996), and was formerly a contributing editor of the Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing.

Editorial Reviews

"For general readers and undergraduates, Brown''s is the best choice. Brown''s excellent biography is highly recommended for all readership levels."Choice <!--end-->

"This is a wonderful critical history, meticulously providing a full context in time and place for all of Yeats''s writings."The Sunday Tribune

Brown is especially good at showing how Yeats constructed his volumes of poetry as a ''work in progress'', and at rooting his acheivements in the venemous politics of Dublin culture wars."New York Times Book Review

"The work is fascinating and a pleasure to read, Brown an illuminating and companiable guide."John McGahern, The Irish Times

"One of the many splendid qualities of Terence Brown''s recent biography is its critical appreciation of the poet''s extraordinary cultural accomplishments within the broader context of a brilliantly rendered political and social history of modern Ireland.
"Brown''s book is nonetheless the finest single-volume biography of the Irish poet since the publication of Richard Ellmann''s seminal Yeats: The Man and the Masks in 1948." Reason

"Exceptional!!!!" Today''s Books

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