Yeats' literary activities now began to gather momentum. In 1886 his first dramatic poem, Mosada, had been published in Dublin. Now, in 1887, his verse was published in England for the first time, when a poem of his, "The Madness of King Goll" ... appeared in The Leisure Hour. In the same year he edited an anthology of poetry which was published under the title Poems and Ballads of Young Ireland. In 1888 he compiled a volume, entitled Fairy and Folktales of the Irish Peasantry, which was published in London. His circle of readers grew steadily wider; he was beginning to be accepte by a growing body of opinion as an authority on Irish folklore and a poet of importance. He made the acquaintance of G. B. Shaw and Oscar Wilde; he also met William Morris and W. E. Henley, and attended many gatherings in their homes. — Micheál Mac Liammóir and Eavan Boland, p. 30

Yeats owed more than he cared to admit to Matthew Arnold, and it is during the years up to 1901 that he forged his aesthetic philosophy. Yeats in part created or constructed his version of Victorianism, and in creating it and living it, in grappling with the substance as well as the shadow of the Victorian age, he forged lifelong aesthetic and philosophical positions. – George Watson, p. 36

Yeats in 1911, by G. C. Beresford, © National Portrait Gallery,
London. [Click on the image for more information.]

Biographical and introductory material




Material Including and/or Relevant to Yeats


Bubb, Alexander. Meeting Without Knowing It: Kipling and Yeats at the Fin de Siècle. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Ellmann, Richard. Yeats, the Man And the Masks. New York: Dutton, 1948.

Foster, R. F. W. B. Yeats: A Life. Part I: The Apprentice Mage. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Harwood, John. Olivia Shakespear and W. B. Yeats: After Long Silence. London: Macmillan, 1989.

Mac Liammóir, Micheál, and Eavan Boland. W. B. Yeats and His World. London: Thames and Hudson, 1971.

Schuchard, Ronald. The Last Minstrels: Yeats and the Revival of the Bardic Arts. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

_____. "Yeats and Spirituality." The Princeton University Library Chronicle 59, no. 3 (1998): 321-49. Web. 2 July 2021.

Unterecker, John. A Reader's Guide to William Butler Yeats. New York: The Noonday Press, 1959.

Watson, George. "Yeats, Victorianism, and the 1890s." The Cambridge Companion to W. B. Yeats. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. 36-58.

Yeats, W. B. Autobiographies. London: Macmillan, 1955.

Created 28 June 2021