Behind Many Veils

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Poems, W. B. Yeats

Reader Services For more information about research in the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, please call, write, or visit our website: Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library Robert W. Woodruff Library Emory University Atlanta, Georgia 30322-2870 “

Phone 404.727.6887 Fax 404.727.0360 (top) Last Poems and Plays. New York:

Email [email protected]

The Macmillan Company, 1940. From

Web http://marbl.library.emory.edu

the library of Richard Ellmann.

“Behind Many Veils: The Public and Private Personae of W. B. Yeats” is drawn from Emory’s W. B. Yeats collection (MSS 600), the Gregory Family Papers

(bottom) The Tower. London: Macmillan,

(MSS 624), the Maud Gonne Collection (MSS 771),

1928. Cover and dust jacket designed

the Maud Gonne and W. B. Yeats Papers (MSS 930);

by Thomas Sturge Moore. From the

also from the Woodruff Library’s rare book collec-

Raymond Danowski Poetry Library.

tion, including the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, and from the personal collection of Emory alumnus Stuart Rose 76C.

Behind Many Veils The Public and Private Personae of W. B. Yeats April 1, 2006–August 11, 2006

Curated by Elizabeth Chase

(top, right) Maud Gonne, photograph [c. 1892]. (center) Maud Gonne and others, photograph [April 1902]. Gonne and other cast members of Cathleen Ni Houlihan. (bottom) W. B. Yeats to Maud Gonne, signed autograph letter [January 1903].

For W. B. Yeats, the public’s perception of both himself and his writing was of the utmost importance. It is often difficult to separate Yeats the poet from his many poses, masks, and veils. These veils include his relationship to the Irish theater, his tenure

W. B. Yeats, painting by Augustus John [1907].

as a senator of the Irish Free State, the contrast between his early, mystical image and his later, statesman image, his work in the occult, and the roles he adopted in his more than thirty-year correspondence with Maud Gonne.

In Letters to the New Island, Yeats acknowledges that his own life

entailed a struggle towards a firmer grounding in some stable identity. “Behind Many Veils: The Public and Private Personae of W. B. Yeats” examines the ways in which Yeats’s adopted veils overlap, complement, and contradict one another. The exhibition brings together a wide variety of items, including previously unpublished letters between Yeats and Maud Gonne; letters between Yeats’s contemporaries, including George Russell and Lady Gregory; early versions of poems such as “Easter, 1916”; and a number of works at various stages of publication that demonstrate Yeats’s obsession with revision and how that revision was affected by both public and private events in his own life. Such items reveal that each new veil was the result, not simply of external influences, but also of Yeats’s purposeful self-fashioning.

Drawing upon the Robert W. Woodruff Library’s W. B. Yeats Collection,

the Gregory Family Papers, the Maud Gonne and W. B. Yeats Letters, the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, and newly acquired items from the J. O. Edwards Collection, the letters, photographs, manuscripts, and published works included in this exhibition were selected to highlight Yeats’s interest in the occult, his work in theater, the nationalist writings he later deemed “propaganda,” and his private letters in which, late in life, he came to express

(above) George Russell to Lady Augusta Gregory, signed autograph letter [7 February 1898]. (top, right) Yeats and George Russell, “‘Chin

his views with a greater degree of honesty than he had previously or publicly

Angles’—Or How the Poets Passed,” caricature

allowed himself. By focusing not on one of these areas, but on the compet-

by “Mac” [Isa MacNie] with autography deletions and revisions, undated.

ing interests they represent, this exhibit offers a view of Yeats as a poet well-aware of his public image and determined to shape and reshape that image to suit himself and his art.

(right) Poems. London: T. F. Unwin, 1912.

“All one’s life one struggles towards reality, finding always but new veils.”

—W. B. Yeats, Letters to the New Island

Behind Many Veils The Public and Private Personae of W. B. Yeats

“Red Rose, Proud Rose”—Early Yeats 1. Mosada. A Dramatic Poem. Dublin: Sealy, Bryers, and Walker, 1886. Frontispiece portrait by J. B. Yeats. On loan from the collection of Stuart Rose. 2. John Sherman and Dhoya. London: T. F. Unwin, 1891. Lady Gregory’s vellum-bound copy. 3. The Book of the Rhymers’ Club. London: Elkin Mathews, 1892. Presentation copy inscribed: “To Maud Gonne with the faithful friendship and entire alegeance [sic] of WB Yeats, Feb 9th 1892, in memory of her visit to the Rhymers Club”; stamped: L’Irlande Libre, 6, Rue des Martyrs, 6. 4. W. B. Yeats, “From a drawing by J.B. Yeats,” November 1896. Lithographic reproduction by Emery Walker. 5. George Russell to Lady Augusta Gregory, signed autograph letter, 3 September 1898. 6. The Bookman. London: Hodder & Stoughton, January 1905. Special issue on “The New Irish School,” with cover photograph of W .B. Yeats taken by Russell and Sons. 7. John Quinn and W. B. Yeats, photograph by Arnold Genthe [1903?]. 8. W. B. Yeats, painting by Augustus John [1907]. Photographic reproduction.

Mysticism and the Occult 9. Poems. London: T. F. Unwin, 1895. Lady Gregory’s vellum-bound copy, with multiple poems in Yeats’s hand inscribed or tipped in: [“O Do Not Love Too Long”], “Hanrahan the Red upon his Wanderings,” “The Valley of the Black Pig,” “To his heart bidding it have no fear,” “The Rose in my Heart,” [“The Sorrow of Love”] (second stanza only), and [“He Tells of the Perfect Beauty”] (in two versions). 10. W. B. Yeats and George Russell, “‘Chin Angles’—Or How the Poets Passed,” caricature by “Mac” [Isa MacNie] with autograph deletions and revisions, undated. 11. George Russell to Lady Augusta Gregory, signed autograph letter [7 February 1898].

12. The Wind Among the Reeds. London: E. Mathews, 1899. This is one of four known copies bound in vellum, with a cover design stamped in gold. Presentation copy inscribed: “Lady Gregory, from W B Yeats, April 14 1899,” followed by an untitled quatrain in Yeats’s hand beginning “The loud years come the loud years go”; with penciled holograph revisions to the text.

30. The Green Helmet and Other Poems. Churchtown, Dundrum [Ireland]: Cuala Press, 1910. With an errata slip which reads: “An error. By a slip of the pen when I was writing out the heading for the first group of poems, I put Raymond Lully’s name in the room of the later alchemist, Nicolas Flamel. W.B. Yeats. The poems have been copyrighted in America.”

13. Stories of Red Hanrahan. Dundrum: Dun Emer Press, 1904. Inscribed “[3 symbols, i.e., Mabel Dickinson] from her friend WB Yeats March 1908.”

The Irish National Theatre

14. W. B. Yeats, painting by Charles Shannon, [c. 1908]. Lithographic reproduction by Emery Walker. Signed “From W.B. Yeats” on the front, and inscribed “Mabel Dickinson From W.B. Yeats” on the back. 15. [“His Dream”], holograph manuscript, signed and dated July 3, 1908, Coole Park.

31. Maud Gonne and others, photograph [April 1902]. Gonne and other cast members of Cathleen Ni Houlihan. 32. [Cathleen Ni Houlihan], Fragment; autograph drafts for the Old Woman’s two songs in Cathleen Ni Houlihan.

16. “The Members of the Arts Club aiming at immortality procure a painter and proceed to pose for their portraits.” Cartoon drawing by Beatrice Elvery in The Irish Review, II (May, 1912).

33. The Land of Heart’s Desire. Portland, ME: T. B. Mosher, 1903. One of ten copies printed on vellum by Mosher and signed by him; has binder’s stamp: Hatchards, 187 Piccadilly, and the bookplates of William Maxwell and J. O. Edwards.

“I, the poet William Yeats”

34. Cathleen Ni Houlihan. London: A. H. Bullen, 1906. First theater edition. From the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library.

17. W. B. Yeats to Lady Augusta Gregory, signed autograph letter, 3 November 1917.

35. Maud Gonne to W. B. Yeats, signed autograph letter, 15 September 1911.

18. George Yeats, photograph by Elizabeth Yeats, 1917. Verso inscribed by W. B. Yeats: “George – at her house [?] where we knew her first. 1917. Taken by E. Yeats.”

Writings and Revisions

19. W. B. Yeats with Anne Yeats, aged three weeks, photograph [1919?].

36. The Countess Cathleen. [London: T. F. Unwin, 1899] This is a rare edition of the play, probably from an actor’s prompt copy, printed from Yeats’s Poems; autograph presentation copy to Lady Gregory, with her bookplate.

20. Michael Yeats, W. B. Yeats, and Anne Yeats, portrait proof [c. 1926]. 21. The Tower. London: Macmillan, 1928. Cover and dust jacket designed by Thomas Sturge Moore. From the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library. 22. Anne, George, Michael, and W. B. Yeats, portrait by the Graphic Studios, Dublin [c. 1930]. 23. W. B. Yeats at Lennox Robinson’s cottage, Dalkey, Co. Dublin, photograph by F. J. McCormack [c. 1933].

“Perhaps . . . I shall be known by these poems of yours” 24. Maud Gonne, photograph [c. 1892].

37. [The Countess Cathleen], Fragment; autograph manuscript of the end of the second scene of The Countess Cathleen. 38. The Shadowy Waters. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1900. Early verse edition. 39. The Shadowy Waters. London: A. H. Bullen, 1907. This edition is the acting version, as it was first played at the Abbey Theatre on 8 December 1906. 40. A Vision. London: T. Werner Laurie, 1925. Number 462 of a total edition of 600 copies, signed by Yeats. From the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library. 41. Thomas Werner Laurie to H. Watt, carbon copy of letter, 28 September 1925.

25. Maud Gonne to W. B. Yeats, signed autograph letter [12 January 1898]. 42. A Vision. London: Macmillan, 1937. 26. W.B. Yeats to Maud Gonne, signed autograph letter [January 1903]. 27. W. B. Yeats, photograph [c. 1905]. 28. Maud Gonne to W. B. Yeats, signed autograph letter [December 1908]. 29. Maud Gonne to W. B. Yeats, signed autograph letter, 13 January 1909.

“Perfection of the life, or of the work” 43. “To Recover the Lane Pictures for Ireland.” Broadside, with art by J. B. Yeats [c. 1912].

44. W. B. Yeats to Lady Augusta Gregory, signed autograph letter, 19 February 1913. 45. Responsibilities and Other Poems. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916. From the library of Richard Ellmann. 46. “Easter, 1916.” Fair copy in Lady Gregory’s hand, with her note: “Copy before printing – A Gregory.” 47. “Easter, 1916.” [London?: Privately printed by Clement Shorter, 1916]. Number four of twenty-five numbered copies “for distribution among his friends,” dated 25 September 1916 and signed by Shorter. From the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library. 48. Maud Gonne to W. B. Yeats, signed autograph letter, 8 November 1916. 49. W. B. Yeats to Maud Gonne, signed autograph letter, 16 June 1938. 50. W. B. Yeats to Maud Gonne, signed autograph letter, 1 November [1938]. 51. On the Boiler. Dublin: Cuala Press, [1939]. Preface is dated 1938, this edition was published in 1939; only four copies were issued before the majority of the edition was destroyed and a new edition was substituted.

“In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart”—Later Yeats 52. W. B. Yeats to Maud Gonne, signed autograph letter, 29 September 1927. 53. Maud Gonne to W. B. Yeats, signed autograph letter, 1 October 1927. 54. W. B. Yeats to Maud Gonne, signed autograph and typed letter, 7 October 1927. 55. W. B. Yeats, photograph, taken in Rapallo at the Caffe Aurum, 1929. 56. George Yeats and W. B. Yeats, photograph, taken in Rapallo at the Caffe Aurum, 1929. 57. W. B. Yeats to Maud Gonne, signed autograph letter, 16 June [c.1930s]. 58. The Winding Stair and Other Poems. London: Macmillan and Co., 1933. From the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library. 59. W. B. Yeats, photograph [1938?]. 60. “W. B. Yeats, Menton, 1938,” photographic reproduction. 61. Last Poems and Two Plays. Dublin: Cuala Press, 1939. Makes up one of five hundred copies printed by Elizabeth Corbet Yeats; the author’s holograph table of contents has been laid in.