The Yeats-Gonne-MacBride triangle

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Westport, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 154 pages
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This is the first book to examine the papers of Major John MacBride which are in the National library of Ireland under the name of the Fred Allen Papers. The author uses them to challenge the Yeats/Maud Gonne/Roy foster version of the bitter Parisian marital separation case in 1905 between Gonne and MacBride. It uses the Gonne-Yeats letters and Foster's biography to argue, persuasively ,that MacBride was a maligned man in the case. Becaue Yeats achieved such an icon status, his poems/letters condemning MacBride, whom he hater for marrying his muse Maud Gonne, are taken as veracious. MacBride defended the case successfully and there was no divorce, only an equable separation. He risked a long jail term by successfully challenging Gonne's accusations in an attempt to clear his name. Most poetry lovers do not understand why Yeats hated MacBride so. Yeats' iconic poem Easter 1916 was disliked by Maud Gonne as it was unfair to her husband, whom she said she could pray for and pray to, after his glorious death at the British firing squad. She knew what Yeats was at and why but modern scholars do not. This book challenges the received wisdom on Yeats and Gonne and each of Yeats' biographers especially Roy Foster, who knew of the existence of the MacBride papers, but whose biography demonstrates that he had not understood their volume or scope and had not accessed them and come to any well founded historical basis for what he wrote on MacBride. Instead he parroted Yeats' version. 



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