The first edition, by the late Edward Malins, of this informative guide to the life and works of one of the most important and difficult poets of the 20th century, has now been extensively revised by John Purkis. It begins by providing biographical details on Yeats, with particular emphasis on his education, his appearance and his characteristics. It then places the poet in his cultural background, discussing the history of Ireland and major ideas which influenced his poetry. This is followed by an updated critical section which includes careful close readings of ten of his poems. The book concludes with an extensive reference section containing information about his many friends and their influence on and connection with particular poems.
List of illustrations and maps. Foreward to the Second edition. Acknowledgements. List of Abbreviations.
Part 1: Historical and literary background. Chronological table. 1. Biographical summaries
. 2. The history of Ireland as it concerned the poet. 3. The poet's reading. 4. A vision. Part 2: Critical survey
Introduction. Early years - the 1880s. "The Stolen Child". "Cuchulain's Fight with the Sea". "The Players Ask for a Blessing on the Psalteries and on Themselves". "The Magi". "On a Political Prisoner". "The Second Coming". "Meditations in Time of Civil War - Part IV". "Sailing to Byzantium". "The O'Rahilly". "The Circus Animals' Desertion". Part 3: Reference section Yeats' family, friends and acquaintances. Gazetteer. Yeats' symbols, their origins, connections and attributes. Common Irish (Gaelic) place names. Derivations and pronunciation. Further reading. General Index. Index to Yeat's works