11 March to 2 April 1918

  • George Mills Harper


Having been convinced by the assembled Communicators on 4 March 1918 that “all life is a return to its beginnings”, Yeats and his clairvoyant bride left for Ireland some time that week. Since there was no Script from 5 to 11 March, they may have been en route, lingering on the way. According to Lolly Yeats, writing to her father in New York, “They telegraphed from Chester to say they were crossing and would come to us on Sunday evening, asking us to get Jack and Cottie”1—that is, Yeats’s brother and his wife, who may have come from London earlier in anticipation of a family reunion. Upon receiving the wire that Yeats and George would arrive on Saturday, 9 March, Lolly’s sister Lily hurried into town, leaving a note at their hotel, the Royal Hibernian, inviting them to “Sunday night supper”. “All worked out beautifully”, Lolly informed her father. “The house looked festive”, and George was “evidently very nice altogether”: “We like George greatly. There is no doubt at all in our minds. She fitted in at once delightfully—is very quiet but sparkles now and again in an engaging way. And she and Willie seemed in such perfect accord.” “She has gaiety,” Lolly added, “and is I am sure intuitive.” But she made no mention of the experiments with automatic writing.


Family Reunion Death State Spiral Movement Rough Sketch Passionate Body 
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  1. 1.
    Unpublished letter dated 13 March 1918. For transcriptions of this and three letters by Lily commenting on Yeats’s return to Ireland I am indebted to William M. Murphy, whose indispensable biography, Prodigal Father: The Life of John Butler Yeats (1839–1922) (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1978), is based upon thousands of unpublished letters, diaries and related materials. For Murphy’s brief account of the visit see p. 484.Google Scholar
  2. 23.
    In September 1920 Yeats stayed with Maud, her son, and their friend Cecil Salkeld, who were spending their holiday at the cottage in Glenmalure. See Joseph Hone, W. B. Yeats (London: Macmillan, 1967) p. 326.Google Scholar
  3. 36.
    H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy (1888; repr. Pasadena, Calif: Theosophical University Press, 1963) I 197n. Cf. her Isis Unveiled (London: Rider, [1891]) I 139–40n.Google Scholar

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© George Mills Harper 1987

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  • George Mills Harper

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