Did W.B. Yeats’ Work Draw Heavily From His Wife’s Writings?

The Daily Jstor recently ran a piece about Golden Dawn Adept (much disparaged by Crowley) W.B. Yeats’ involvement with “automatic writing” via his wife Georgie. The article claims that she may have starting channeling these sorts of communications from the immaterial world in order to sway her new husband’s attention from several former loves that he apparently was still obsessed with. Apparently the communiques offered the couple, most especially  Willie, advice on diet, how to make sex more enjoyable for his wife and to forget his previous loves. HMMMM! The piece also alleges that a lot of Yeats’ poetry drew on Georgie’s writing, without ever crediting her. An excerpt reads:

“Most importantly, the spirits provided Yeats with raw material for his poems. All of it was from George’s pencil. It took decades for Yeats scholarship to state the obvious: ‘We are having to take an extraordinary fact into far more serious consideration than we have before,’ wrote Margaret Mills Harper in 1988. ‘Much of the literary output of one of our century’s major poets from the year of his marriage on was directly influenced by a unique imaginative partnership with a highly creative woman.’ George’s supernatural writings were eventually published in a book called A Vision. Yeats’ name was the only one on the title page. In at least seven editions of A Vision, George has never been credited as a co-author. Yeats did offer to dedicate a later edition to her. ‘To my wife,’ the proposed dedication read, ‘who created this system which bores her, who made possible these pages which she will never read…’ George rejected it.”


Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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