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William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

W.B. Yeats
Books by this author: The First Yeats
  • About
  • William Butler Yeats was born was born in 1865 to John Butler Yeats, an artist, and Susan Pollexfen. His family belonged to the Church of Ireland. He spent his childhood in London, Dublin and Sligo. He trained as an artist, enrolling at the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin in 1884. His lifelong interest in esoteric traditions found early expression in his membership of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn from 1890. Yeats espoused the cause of Irish national liberation, and he was the most significant figure in the Irish literary and dramatic revival, being founder-president of the Irish National Dramatic Society (1902), which was the basis for the Abbey Theatre (1904). In 1895 he achieved poetic recognition with Poems. His early poetry followed Romantic and Victorian models, but in the early years of the twentieth century he developed a clearer and more direct style. His later poems are counted among the major achievements of modern poetry in English. After the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, he became a senator. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. Yeats died in France in 1939.
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