Graham Hough, The Mystery Religion of W. B. Yeats (Brighton: Harvester Press, 1984), p. 113. I am very grateful to Roger Nyle Parisious for several conversations on numerous, unacknowledged points in this article, especially those involving the tarot.
Richard Ellmann, The Identity of Yeats (London: Macmillan, 1954; rptd. Faber and Faber, 1964) p. 159. Ellmann withholds the basis for this remarkably specific statement from his readers. It is likely that the source of the remark is a conversation with Mrs Yeats (of which Ellmann had many, from 1946 onwards), but if so, it is not recorded here.
Harold Bloom, Yeats (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972) pp. 274, 206.
Ibid. pp. 185, 219, 220.
A critique of Bloom’s ahistorical assumptions about Yeats’s grasp of Gnosticism in his later books is provided in Warwick Gould’s review essay on The Anxiety of Influence, A Map of Misreading, Kabbalah and Criticism, Poetry and Repression, ‘A Misreading of Harold Bloom’, English, XXVI:124, (Spring, 1977), pp. 240–254.
George Mills Harper, ‘Yeats’s Occult Papers’ in Yeats and the Occult ed. George Mills Harper (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1975) p. 6. I have not consulted those plentiful volumes and scraps still unpublished.
John Eglinton, A Memoir of AE (London: Macmillan: 1937), pp. 27. Though the name began as the diphthong or ligature ‘Æ’, ‘AE’ and later ‘A. E.’ became more common as his self-signatures.
Kathleen Raine, Yeats the Initiate: Essays on Certain Themes in the Work of W. B. Yeats (Mountrath: The Dolmen Press, 1986), p. 65.
Gerald Massey, Gnostic and Historic Christianity. A Lecture (1887). Articles by Massey turn up in The Theosophist III:3 (27) Dec. 1881. See also David Shaw, Gerald Massey: Chartist, Poet, Radical and Freethinker (London: Buckland Publications Ltd., 1995). Roger Nyle Parisious tells me that he once examined a copy of Massey’s Ancient Egypt the Light of the World: a Work of Reclamation and Restitution in Twelve Books (1907), heavily annotated, possibly by Æ among others. Yeats and Æ founded the Dublin Hermetic Society, Æ also joining the Esoteric Section of the London Theosophical Society-but after Yeats had left.
S.S.D.D., Egyptian Magic, No 8 in W. Wynn Westcott’s Collectanea Hermetica (London: Theosophical Publishing Co., 1896), reprinted with an introduction by Timothy d’Arch Smith (Wellingborough: Aquarian, 1982), p. 80
Stuart Curran ‘Blake and the Gnostic Hyle: A Double Negative’ in Nelson Hilton (ed.), Essential Articles for the Study of William Blake, 1970–1984 (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1986), pp 15–37.
See also Peter J. Sorensen William Blake’s Recreation of Gnostic Myth: Resolving the Apparent Incongruities (Lewiston, New York; Salzburg: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1995).