This new volume assembles the earliest examples of Yeats's critical prose, from 1886 up to the end of the century. These articles and reviews were not gathered into book form by the poet himself, but show, in the earliest form, the development of Yeats's ideas on poetry, the role of literature, Irish literature, the formation of an Irish National theatre, the occult, and Yeats's interaction with his contemporary writers. The book adds new material, not included in a previous edition issued in 1970 (which included material to the end of 1896), and greatly expands the background notes and textual notes, bringing this compilation up to date with the busy world of Yeats scholarship of the last three decades. The new edition should quickly take its place as an essential source book of Yeats's reading, influences upon him, and his literary opinions about poets and writers of past history and the decades of the 1880s and 1890.
JOHN P. FRAYNE is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA where he has taught Anglo-Irish Literature and Modern British Literature for over three decades. MADELEINE MARCHATERRE is a research specialist for the University of Illinois Foundation. She earned her Ph.D in English Literature from the University of Illinois in 1997.