The letters in this volume, the majority never before published, vividly document a tunultuous period in Yeats's life. They chart his transformation from a late Romantic, `Celtic' poet into a powerful and astringent modernist, the foundation of the Abbey Theatre and development of his own palywriting career, the emotional devastation of his beloved Maud Gonne's marriage to a man he despised, the encouragement of promising young writers including Joyce and
Synge, and the impact of his first exposure to the United States. Letter by letter we see how private concerns and public controversies forced him to redefine his views on artistic freedom and responsibility,
and to reshape his style. Rich and readable notes provide a narrative of these years, explaining allusions, and setting the correspondence in its cultural and political contexts as well as relating it to Yeats's canon as a whole. This book will be indispenable to anyone interested in the development of modern poetry, drama, and cultural history.
`magnificently edited volume ... an exemplary collection ... the present edition ... is a marvel'
Anthony Thwaite, Sunday Telegraph
`the book is a good read ... with a splendidly helpful chronology'
Eavan Boland, The Observer
maintains the outstanding high standards of scholarship of its predecessor...What gives this edition distinctive character is the annotation. the footnotes are comprehensive but not intrusive, meticulous but not pedantic. Above all thay are entertaining, often redeeming a lack lustre letter witha sparkle of wit or an amusing anecdote. During on surely unparralled knowledge of the literary milieu of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ireland, they
enrich considerably our grasp of the culture of this period.
`great publishing venture ... This book is a truly splendid achievement'
Irish Independent Weekender
`engrossing text ... an exhilarating achievement on the part of the editors, as well as their subject'
Independent on Sunday
`wonderfully complete edition ... the editors have fulfilled the task of providing a footnote for every recipient and obscure reference superbly ... it should delight all Yeats admirers'
`The foot and end notes are models of informativeness, clarity, and concision. ... John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard, two magnificent truffle hounds, have unearthed a wealth of material and organised it into lucidity. ... Reading one's way through this hugely entertaining volume enables one to appreciate as never before at least something of the process by which Yeats turned himself from the dreaming Celt into one of the great modern poets. ...the editors are
simultaneously scholarly, tactful and blessedly witty.'
Yeats could not be better served.'
'John Kelly, general editor of the Letters, probably knows more about this literary period in Ireland than anyone alive, and with the capable assistance of Ronald Schuchard has produced another scholarly masterpiece, deploying his immense erudition with tact and verve in a marvel of intricate cross-referencing and annotation. This is one of the great works of literary scholarship of our time.'
London Review of Books
'The editors have, in fact, not so much edited as written this book, bringing to life in their annotation the amazing cavalcade of cranks, scholars, demagogues, illumination and martyrs who gave birth to a nation.'
John Carey, Sunday Times
'what one can say with unfeigned pleasure is how fine Volume III is, in every way ... This is an exemplary collection, and one looks forward to the other umpteen, taking us up to Yeats's death in 1939.'
Anthony Thwaite, Sunday Telegraph
'wonderful volume of letters ... This fascinating volume, edited with care and precision, will become indispensable to any understanding of one of the greatest poets in the language.'
Peter Ackroyd, The Times
'This volume of letters provides immeasurably the most authoritative and revealing guide to an era when the fulcrum of his whole life shifted ... superbly edited letters.'
Roy Foster, The Independent on Sunday
'The high editorial standard with which the series began is superbly maintained in the present volume. No reference in the letters, however passing and apparently trivial, is left unglossed in footnotes which are often as vivid and entertaining as the text itself ... not only a great book, but a great event.'
Augustine Martin, Irish Times
'Publishing Yeats's letters is a large, most praiseworthy project. The editing is admirable.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
`magnificent edition of Yeats's letters, ... If there were a prize for fine editing it should go to Messrs. Kelly and Schuchard for an impeccable piece of work. The letters are beautifully presented, and the footnotes are a continual pleasure ... admirable book.
`extremely valuable edition of Yeats's letters ... It would be difficult to over-estimate the importance of this project to studies in Yeats and Ango-Irish literature. Most of the letters in this volume have never before been published and none have had the benefit of such extraordinarily careful and detailed scholarly examination. Certainly the hurrahs that greeted the arrival of the first volume may justifiably be repeated for this one.'
S.J. Caterson, Trinity College, Dublin, English Studies, Volume 77, Number 3, May 1996
`maintains the outstandingly high standards of scholarship of its predecessor ... A detailed chronology of Yeats's life, compact but authoritative essays on the leading personalities he knew and the institutions with which he associated, together with an exhaustive index, provide valuable help to the reader. The footnotes are comprehensive but not intrusive, meticulous but not pedantic. Above all, they are entertaining ... they enrich considerably our grasp
of the culture of this period.'
Alan Robinson, University of St Gallen, Review of English Studies, Vol. XLVII, No. 188 Nov '96