‘Witch’ or ‘Bitch’ — Which? Yeats, Archives, and the Profession of Authorship

  • Warwick Gould


The Macmillan Archive in its various locations — the British Library, the University of Reading, the firm’s Basingstoke warehouse and even for a while in an apple barn at Birch Grove House (where I interviewed the late Lord Stockton) — has been the basis of much of my published research on W. B. Yeats’s texts for more than twenty years.1 Its sweep is comprehensive, from the Readers’ Reports which rejected Yeats in 1900,2 to his correspondence with Sir Frederick Macmillan and his successors, to that of his wife and executrix with Harold Macmillan, his trusted publisher’s reader Thomas Mark, and Mark’s protege, Mr Tim Farmiloe, who is now Director of Macmillan Press.3


Collect Work Authorial Intention Modernist Writer Reading Collection Macmillan Company 
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  1. 1.
    On the Macmillan Archive generally, see W E. Fredeman, ‘The Significance of a Publisher’s Archive: The Macmillan Papers’, Studies in Bibliography, 23 (1970), 183–91;Google Scholar
  2. Philip V Blake-Hill, ‘The Macmillan Archive’, British Museum Quarterly, 36 (Autumn 1972), 74–80; andCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Warwick Gould, ‘Selling the Macmillan Archive’, The Times Literary Supplement, 4553 (6–12 July 1990), p. 728.Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    See my ‘“Playing at Treason with Miss Maud Gonne”: Yeats and his Publishers in 1900’, in Ian Willison, Warwick Gould and Warren Chernaik (eds), Modernist Writers and the Marketplace (London: Macmillan Press, 1996), pp. 38–80.Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    Warwick Gould, ‘The Definitive Edition: A History of the Final Arrangements of Yeats’s Work’, in A. Norman Jeffares (ed.), Yeats’s Poems (London: Macmillan, 1989; 3rd rev. edn, 1996), pp. 706–49Google Scholar
  6. A partial account of both the Macmillan Edition de Luxe and the Dublin Edition projects will be found in Richard J. Finneran, Editing Yeats’s Poems: A Reconsideration (London: Macmillan Press, 1989).Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    See Warwick Gould, ‘Predators and Editors: Yeats in the Pre- and Post-Copyright Era’, in Warren Chernaik and Patrick Parrinder (eds), Textual Monopolies (Oxford: CT1/OHC, 1997), pp. 69–82.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    See Alexis Weedon and Michael Bott, British Book Trade Archives 1830–1939: A Location Register (Bristol: Simon Eliot and Michael Turner, 1996).Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    Simon Gatrell, Hardy the Creator, a Textual Biography (Oxford: Clarendon, 1988).Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    The Letters of W. B. Yeats, ed. Allan Wade (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1954), p. 576.Google Scholar
  11. 14.
    W B. Yeats, Essays and Introductions (London: Macmillan, 1961), p. 509.Google Scholar
  12. 16.
    W B. Yeats, Mythologies (London: Macmillan, 1959), p. 325.Google Scholar
  13. 17.
    H. W Nevinson, Fire of Life [London: James Nisbet, 1935], pp. 122–3;Google Scholar
  14. E. H. Mikhail (ed.), W. B. Yeats: Interviews and Recollections (London: Macmillan, 1977), p. 50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 18.
    W. B. Yeats, ‘I Became an Author’, The Listener, 4 August 1938.Google Scholar
  16. See John P Frayne and Colton Johnson (eds), Uncollected Prose by W. B. Yeats, vol. II: Reviews, Articles and Other Miscellaneous Prose, 1897–1939 (London: Macmillan, 1975), pp. 506–9 at p. 509.Google Scholar
  17. 24.
    T. S. Eliot (ed.), Literary Essays of Ezra Pound (London: Faber and Faber, 1954), pp. 17–18.Google Scholar
  18. I offer more detail on this incident in ‘The Unknown Masterpiece: Yeats and the Design of the Cantos’, in Andrew Gibson (ed.), Pound in Multiple Perspective (London: Macmillan, 1993), pp. 40–92 at pp. 42 and 79, n. 13.Google Scholar
  19. 26.
    Humphrey Carpenter, A Serious Character: The Life of Ezra Pound (London: Faber and Faber, 1988), pp. 308–9.Google Scholar
  20. 27.
    See Warwick Gould, ‘The Definitive Edition#x2019;, cited above in n. 3 and Warwick Gould, Phillip L. Marcus and Michael J. Sidnell, The Secret Rose, Stories by W. B. Yeats: A Variorum Edition (London: Macmillan, 1992), pp. xix–xl. Hereafter cited as VSR.Google Scholar
  21. 32.
    I have pondered the problem of this letter in another context in ‘Singular Pluralities: Titles of Yeats’s Autobiographies’, in Warwick Gould (ed.), Yeats Annual, 11 (London: Macmillan, 1995), pp. 205–18, at pp. 214–15.Google Scholar
  22. 36.
    Letters to the New Island: A New Edition (Collected Edition of the Works of W. B. Yeats, vol. VII), eds George Bornstein and Hugh Witemeyer (London: Macmillan, 1989).Google Scholar
  23. 40.
    J. M. Synge, Collected Works, vol. II: Prose (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1966; rptd Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1982), pp. ix–xiv.Google Scholar
  24. 41.
    Explorations, selected by Mrs W. B. Yeats (London: Macmillan, 1962), p. 397.Google Scholar
  25. 44.
    Antony Atkins sees his field of enquiry as a ‘strawberry field’ of intermeshing archives, and literary works themselves as rhizomes in their multiple patterns of growth and development. As he tries to recreate the lost archives of the firm of Duckworth from copy-letters in other collections, I think I sense the limitations of the ‘rhizome metaphor’ he adopts from Gilles Deleuze and Felix Gattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massume (1980; Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), p. 20.Google Scholar
  26. 45.
    Terry Eagleton, Criticism and Ideology: A Study in Marxist Literary Theory (London: New Left Books, 1976), p. 43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Warwick Gould 1998

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