Yeats and Gogarty
Since the number of people who knew Yeats personally and remember him in real life is rapidly dwindling, it has seemed to me as one of the fortunate few who enjoyed the privilege of his society and indeed his friendship that I should record my recollections of him, such as they are. Although my first meeting with him took place in 1932, I had previously seen him in Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, the first truly Irish institution of its kind, which he had founded and where many of his plays were first performed. I think I first saw him there during the original production of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars in 1928, when there was a riot in the audience, the stage curtain was cut down and the leading actor Barry Fitzgerald was kidnapped by the IRA. At that time I was a student of history at the Queen’s University in Belfast, and most of my fellow students in the arts faculty were enthralled by Yeats, the poet, the dramatist and the politician, since he was also a member of the Irish Free State Senate at this period. As one with political aspirations myself, I read Yeats’s courageous and outspoken speeches to this branch of the Free State legislature with avidity, particularly on such subjects as historic monuments, the Lane pictures, copyright protection and divorce (SS passim).
KeywordsDine Prep Hyde Verse
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- 1.On Edward William Godwin (1835–86) and his relations with Wilde, see H. Montgomery Hyde, Cases that Changed the Law (London: Heinemann, 1951) pp. 148–63. See also Au 134 et seq. It became characteristic of Yeats to retell anecdotes which he had used in his autobiographical writings.Google Scholar
- 2.Rupert Hart-Davis (ed.), The Letters of Oscar Wilde ( London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1962 ) p. 365.Google Scholar
- 3.H. Montgomery Hyde, Oscar Wilde ( London: Eyre Methuen, 1976 ) p. 232n.Google Scholar
- 4.On Emilie Grigsby, see H. Montgomery Hyde, Henry James at Home ( London: Methuen, 1969 ) p. 106. A copy of Jack B. Yeats’s Sligo (London: Wishart, 1930) which Yeats had inscribed “Miss Grigsby from W. B. Yeats, July 21, 1930” is in the poet’s library (YL item 2309 ).Google Scholar