Vividly entertaining and entirely unselfconscious, these early letters of W.B. Yeats reveal the sensibility of a great literary figure. This first volume of Yeats's correspondence contains 350 letters covering the first thirty years of his life, a creative period that saw the publication of his first three books of verse, the first performance of his plays, the beginning of his relationship with Maud Gonne,,and his increasing involvement with the Irish nationalist movement. The annotation is lively and detailed and gives the full literary, social, and historical context of the letters. Also included are an introduction, a detailed chronology of the whole of Yeats's life, and a biographical appendix on his principal correspondents and others mentioned in the letters.
'wonderfully edited by John Kelly ... nothing goes unexplained. The notes provide, often wittily, historical details about the 1880's and 1890's that no one has previously compiled. Kelly has performed many extraordinary feats of research. The biographical notes at the end are well written and helpful, and the analytical index on Yeats is just what is needed.' Richard Ellman, The New Republic
'it is no exaggeration to claim that it marks a milestone in Yeats scholarship. The significance of this first volume lies not only in the content of the letters alone, but also in the sheer mass of beckground erudition assembled in this volume...for a long, long time this monumental edition of Yeat's letters will be enlightening and delighting us' John P. Frayne, Journal of English and Germanic Philology
'This first volume sets a superlative standard for the books to come. Virtually every editorial and typographical decision taken here contributes to the usefulness, legibility, and attractiveness of the work' The Modern Language Review