"Rob Doggett's Deep-Rooted Things is a wonderfully nuanced, deeply thoughtful study which should have a lasting place in Yeats studies. Richly responsive to the twists and turns of Yeats's thinking, profoundly revealing of the currents and crosscurrents in his magnificent oeuvre, this is a major contribution." —Jahan Ramazani, University of Virginia
"Doggett defines Yeats's nationalism in a particularly effective, original, and compelling way. Yeats's nationalism is not a new topic, but many scholars have tended to see it as something that is intellectually simple, divorced from the complexities of Yeats's thought. Of those who acknowledge its complexity, few actually demonstrate this complexity at length, which is what Doggett has done."--Marjorie Howes, Associate Professor of English, Boston College and author of Yeats's Nations: Gender, Class, and Irishness
In Deep-Rooted Things, Rob Doggett examines Yeats's shifting relationship with the warring discourses of British cultural imperialism and Irish nationalism during Ireland's transition from colony to partially independent nation. By focusing on key historical events that Yeats witnessed and on the nationalist movements he both embraced and resisted, Doggett identifies the core features of Yeats's aesthetic program through new readings of central poems and plays in the Yeats canon.
Deep-Rooted Things is organized around two historical periods—the first decade of the twentieth century, when Yeats was involved in the creation and promotion of the Irish National Theatre Society; and the period from 1919 to 1928, when Yeats the artist and senator struggled to reinvent himself as a cultural nationalist against the backdrop of the Anglo-Irish War, the Irish Civil War, and the consolidation of the Irish Free State. A rich and rewarding reading of Yeats that places the poetry and plays in a new context, Deep-Rooted Things will interest students of literary criticism and Irish studies.