Yeats: The Expat Buys Property ‘Back Home’

  • Michael O’Sullivan
Part of the New Directions in Irish and Irish American Literature book series (NDIIAL)


This chapter reads Yeats through his desire to buy property “back home”, what is also a widely held desire among the present generation of Irish migrants and expats. Yeats writes of his desire to find a secluded home in nature back in Ireland as early as his poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” written when he was an expat in London at the age of 24. This interest in buying property back home develops into his later obsession with his “Tower” at Ballylee, a property he later bought from Lady Gregory. In the end, Yeats could only spend eight summers at Ballylee as the environment and the house itself proved too damp. This chapter therefore examines how this interest in buying property “back home” evolved in Yeats’s poetry and how it relates to his understanding of his own Anglo-Irish identity.


Yeats Property Ballylee Anglo-Irish The Tower 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael O’Sullivan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishChinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong

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