Becoming George: The Life of Mrs W. B. Yeats by Ann Saddlemyer

By Ann Saddlemyer

Ann Saddlemyer's biography of W. B. Yeats's spouse, George, portrays an awfully gifted, clever, and self-effacing lady, whose inventive impact hasn't ever sooner than been totally understood. She was once spouse and supervisor of a recognized poet, and mom to his teenagers, yet in her personal correct additionally an encouraged visionary and a realistic girl of the humanities. Georgie Hyde Lees used to be raised in London's literary salons, the place arts, anthroposophy and the occult met. An complete linguist, paintings pupil and literary student, she married W. B. Yeats while she used to be 25, and he fifty two. Her supernatural "automatic writing" grew to become the foundation of Yeats's poetry and proposal for the final two decades of his existence, but she constantly hid the intensity in their collaboration. shut pal of many writers and poets, between them Frank O'Connor and Ezra Pound, she spent her lengthy widowhood steerage the "Yeats undefined" and actively helping more youthful students and writers. For the 1st time, this clever and inventive lady is authorized to take heart level. Drawing on memoirs and a wealth of unknown and unpublished assets, this biography via the prestigious student Ann Saddlemyer finds anyone even more major than simply '"Mrs. W. B. Yeats"--a character immediately visionary and useful, and an enormous determine in twentieth-century literary historical past.

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Additional resources for Becoming George: The Life of Mrs W. B. Yeats

Example text

Even more significant to Nelly and her mother, she published the memoirs of both the Earl of Sandwich and Sir David Erskine. Beatrice Erskine remained on good terms with all the Woodmasses, doubtless serving at times as a useful conduit of information between mother and daughter; later, through her exploration of the occult, she was to become an even closer associate of Georgie. 46 Two of their brothers were now dead—Harry, whose promising career in the Merchant Navy was cut short by consumption in , and John, who after the war returned to South Africa as a commercial traveller and died of pneumonia in a Cape Town hotel in .

Family gossip suggests that the Andrew women were an eccentric bunch. Nelly Munn, obese in her later years, sensibly insisted on travelling with her own bathtub. 7 Montagu’s wife Edith Alice, strikingly beautiful, was noted for the number of her lovers; of the seven Woodmass children only Nelly the eldest, Georgie’s mother, was known for certain to be legitimate. ‘If I had known then about birth control what I know now, I would never have had any children,’ she once said to her second daughter (who did not look at all like her sister Nelly).

11 Ezra was one of the first to call her ‘George’. Does she still dream as Georgie? An intolerable name. But names do stick—like ‘Dobbs’, which must have come from a round man, a character in one of their children’s books perhaps. As Harold would be her ‘Hokel’, she would forever be ‘Dobbs’ to him, even to Eva Ducat and Jelly d’Aranyi. Willy always refuses to call her that, though he sometimes addresses her so in letters. —‘Georgiana’! Of course, to Dorothy she will always be ‘Coz’ . George was not the only name she chose: to members of the Order of the Golden Dawn she was ‘Nemo Sciat’, Let Nobody Know.

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