Version classiqueVersion mobile

Yeats’s Legacies

 | 
Warwick Gould

Essays

The Textual History of Yeats’s On the Boiler1

William O’Donnell

Texte intégral

  • 1 Note—Further information may have been gathered since this article was prepared for publication. If (...)
  • 2 But not invariably so, for John Kelly and I each were unsuccessful in getting in touch with Harry C (...)

1An editor serves the reader by providing useful access to the author’s work. Doing so inevitably involves editorial judgments as to the relative importance of a wide spectrum of textual information doggedly gathered but never fully complete. Sometimes an editor’s searching is rewarded, as when John Kelly used his legendary diplomatic skill at gently persuading elderly women to give him access to Yeats letters.2 Searches by generations of scholars have benefitted from the Yeats family’s long-sustained interest in the preservation of and access to manuscripts and other materials. The trove of letters now available and the archives of Macmillan and of Charles Scribner’s Sons have multiplied our information, but there will always be gaps, as I discovered in my unsuccessful hunt for information from the printing firm that first produced On the Boiler.

2The innate fascination of a search for information can sometimes bias an editor against recognizing that hard-won data can end up being of little or no use, for example one long-sustained opinion that differences between the house styles of an American and a British publisher were of key significance in the editorial history of John Sherman and Dhoya. The technology used in searching has expanded to an extent once unimaginable. Penn State University, which actively supported even Humanities faculty who wanted to use computing, in the days when a back-up of The Speckled Bird manuscripts was a three-foot tall stack of boxes of computer punch cards, arranged for a Computer Science graduate student to spend an entire summer to produce an alphabetical word list, all in uppercase, on green and white paper, and every search required the writing of a program. In those years before MS Word and WordPerfect (which first was issued on a single floppy disk), the main-frame computer’s wordprocessing program, Waterloo Script, was cruelly unforgiving of even the smallest error in formatting code, so that I once spent two days to find a single omitted semi-colon that was blocking all processing of my file. So perhaps if there are gods of punctuation, they belatedly rewarded me when a semi-colon in the page proofs (first state) of On the Boiler (Wade no. 201) proved to be the key that began unlocking a particularly complex aspect of the textual history.

3The profound impact of electronic search and storage and optical character recognition was similarly slow in its development. Optical character recognition arrived with the Kurzweiler in 1978–1979, but was so expensive that only Science and Engineering faculty were allowed access—Humanities faculty could only stare through the candy shop window of the special room devoted to it at the university computer center. Even a textual scholar as technically savvy as Peter Shillingsburg, who developed one of the early machine-collation programs, counselled that the most cost-effective procedure to obtain a reliably accurate computer-stored version of a text was to get a grant to hire off-shore typists, preferably who did not know English, to key in the text three times, and then to use machine collation on those three texts to identify the mistakes, for manual correction. When that process had been completed for another text, the two texts could be run through a machine-collation program.

  • 3 This supersedes the complicated and fragmentary account by Richard J. Finneran, in EYPR 140–45, as (...)

4The textual history of On the Boiler is of particular interest because it intersects such a wide range of issues. A substantial amount of documentary evidence about On the Boiler is available, but some key items are not extant, some are difficult to date, some were the product of multiple persons working singly or together, sometimes close by and sometimes separated by long distances, and sometimes on more than one occasion, sometimes separated in time by as much as two decades. To further enrich the textual complexity, sometimes a single document was reused and marked on different occasions for different end products, and sometimes it is difficult to assign a marking to a particular person or even to a particular occasion. A single instance of this for On the Boiler provides an introductory overview of the textual problems. Two sets of page proofs (first state) for Wade no. 201 from the Longford Printing Press, sixty miles outside Dublin, were sent to F. R. Higgins in Dublin, who forwarded them to Yeats in the South of France, where Yeats and George Yeats jointly corrected one set. Then as a precaution, George Yeats transcribed those corrections cleanly onto the other set (though inadvertently skipping two corrections). At an indeterminate date, Yeats mailed the main set to F. R. Higgins in Dublin, who passed them along to the Press, but did not report that to Yeats, despite multiple inquiries. Alarmed, Yeats concluded that Higgins was undependable, and so mailed the other set directly to the Press from France. The Press used the first set to produce the Wade no. 201 page proofs (second state), which were delivered several weeks later, after Yeats’s death.3 Those page proofs (second state) were corrected by George Yeats in February 1939 and the book was ready in July, but was so poorly printed that George Yeats, together with Higgins and Elizabeth C. (Lolly) Yeats, as the directors of the Cuala Press, decided to withhold publication and had a different printing firm prepare a completely reset version, Wade no. 202, that was published at the end of August 1939.

5In the interim, Macmillan (London) and Charles Scribner’s Sons (New York) each wanted the text of On the Boiler to include in their separate planned collected editions of Yeats’s works. In June, George Yeats mailed the corrected page proofs (second state) of W201 to London, where they were marked with queries and emendations by Thomas Mark, the long-time and much-trusted editor of Yeats, in postal consultation with her. Proofs were prepared in July 1939, but outbreak of World War II halted the project, but which was not abandoned until 1940. Meanwhile in June 1939, she had sent to Scribners (New York) pages from the cleanly transcribed set of earlier corrected page proofs (first state) from December 1938. In New York, Scribners labelled them but did not make emendations and did not typeset On the Boiler before the Scribners collected edition was cancelled. Then those materials were re-used and augmented for production of Explorations in 1960 to 1962. The complex web of primary textual materials ended up dispersed at London (Macmillan and then BL), Dublin (George Yeats to Michael Yeats and then NLI) and Austin, Texas (Scribners to HRHC), with some materials in the Charles Scribner’s Sons archive at Princeton.

6The author’s death in the midst of the publication process further complicates the evidence, as do the highly unusual factors, not expected in twentieth-century publishing, of the first printer’s extraordinary lack of expertise—for a Nobel laureate to have a book printed by a commercial job press that had never published a book—compounded by the unreliable intermediary, F. R. Higgins. Those circumstances had the effect of increasing the importance of George Yeats and then of Thomas Mark at Macmillan in the posthumous editing.

on the boiler (W. 1938; PUBL. 1939)

7In November 1937, in Dublin, Yeats began planning On the Boiler, which was initially planned to be a semi-annual miscellany with its first issue in spring (Beltaine) 1938. At that time the Cuala Press urgently needed to increase its income, as he explained in a letter written 17 December 1937 to Ethel Mannin:

  • 4 CL InteLex 7135, L 903. John Ruskin’s outspoken miscellany Fors Clavigera: Letters to the Workmen a (...)

The other day I discovered that I must increase the income of the Cuala Press by about £ 150 a year & decided to issue a kind of Fors Clavigera.4 I must in the first number discuss social politics in so far as they effect [sic] Ireland. I must lay aside this pleasant path I have built up for years & seek the brutality, the ill breeding, the barbarism of truth. Pray for me my dear, I want an atheist’s prayers, no Christian can do me any good.

8The practical, commercial necessity of producing revenue for the Cuala Press did nothing to quiet Yeats’s increasing relish for controversy, and the recent example of strong sales by his eccentric editing of the Oxford Book of Modern Verse could even have encouraged him to think of On the Boiler as parallel to John Ruskin’s Fors Clavigera. On 11 November 1937 he gleefully told Dorothy Wellesley, ‘I shall be busy writing a Fors Clavigera of sorts my advice to the youthful mind on all manner of things & poems. After going into accounts I find that I can make Cuala prosperous if I write this periodical and publish it bi-annually. It will be an amusing thing to do—I shall curse my enemies & bless my friends. My enemies will hit back & that will give me the joy of answering them’. (CL InteLex 7113, L 900). And that same day, he wrote to Edith Shackleton Heald, ‘I am at work on the Patangali aphorisms for the Swami & when this is done, as it should be this week, will take to writing verse, or writing the first number of my Fors. My working day is growing longer—it has been very short for some time’. (CL InteLex 7116). That enthusiasm continued, as he wrote to Dorothy Wellesley, three days later, ‘In my bi-annual (my Fors Clavigera) I shall do what I thought never to do—sketch out the fundamental principles, as I see them, on which politics & literature should be based. I need a new stimulant now that my life is a daily struggle with fateague [sic]. I thought my problem was to face death with gaety [sic] now I have learned that it is to face life’ (CL InteLex 7122, 20 November 1937). And on 28 November 1937 he wrote to Heald: ‘My head is full of my first Fors. I propose to write out a policy for Young Ireland’ (CL InteLex 7126, L 901).

9Yeats was at work on the manuscript of On the Boiler on 7 December 1937, in Dublin, when he announced to Dorothy Wellesley: ‘For the first time in my life I am saying what are my political beliefs …. I shall lose friends if I am able to get on to paper the passion that is in my head. I shall go on to poetry & the arts, & shall be not less inimical to contemporary taste’ (CL InteLex 7132; misdated as 17 December 1937 in LDW (1940) 166 & L 902).

  • 5 He wrote from France to George Yeats in Ireland, a week later, ‘I am writing at my essay. General a (...)

10He was in the south of France from early January through 19 March 1938; his wife arrived 4 or 5 February. By 4 January 1938 he had finished an early portion of the manuscript.5 And by 24 January 1938 he reported, to Ethel Mannin (CL InteLex 7169), ‘I have all but finished the first number of my political publication …’. And on 26 January 1938 he wrote to Dorothy Wellesley, ‘I am finishing my belated pamphlet and will watch with amusement the emergence of the philosophy of my own poetry, the unconscious conscious. It seems to increase the force of my poetry’ (CL InteLex 7171, L 904, LDW (1940) 168). The first typescript, dictated to and/or typed by George Yeats, contains an early version of ‘To-morrow’ s Revolution’and of the first two sections of ‘Private Thoughts’; a carbon copy is extant of that central portion of On the Boiler (NLI Ms. 30,551).

  • 6 CLInteLex 7179. See also Yeats to Ethel Mannin, 4 January 1938, cut from Yeats to Ethel Mannin, 24 (...)

11In early February 1938 he was nearing completion, reporting happily to Dorothy Wellesley, ‘I was ill more or less for two weeks, but now I am very well endeed [sic], and have done much work, my political pamphlet (which will amuse you), the proof sheets of my new poems, and the revision of somebody else’s work for the Cuala Press. In a few days I shall start writing poetry again (CL InteLex 7175, 6 February, [1938]). On 8 February 1938 he wrote to Edith Shackleton Heald, who had left only three days earlier, ‘I have written two poems since you left—one a kind of half nursery rhyme to wind up a note in On the Boiler. …’ (CL InteLex 7178). That would be the poem with which On the Boiler concludes, ‘I lived among great houses’ [‘Avalon’ or ‘A Statesman’s Holiday’] (CW5 250–51 and 441–42, n. 130). He added that later the same afternoon, when George Yeats returned from the post office, he planned to ‘dictate the untyped part of my On the Boiler essays. After that I shall, I hope, write nothing but verse’. Two days later, 10 February 1938, his letter to Olivia Shakespear implied he had completed drafting On the Boiler: ‘I have just written a long pamphlet which my sister will publish as no 1 of “On the boiler” an occasional publication of mine. I have taken the name from an old ships-boiler at Sligo where a mad ships-carpenter used to preach. This pamphlet is so tory that there is not a tory in the world will agree with it. It is violent, amusing & convincing & will be put down to the declining faculties of old age’.6

12The complete typescript (NLI Ms. 30,551) was finished by mid-February 1938, as shown by his letter to Edith Shackleton Heald, [c. 12 February 1938]: ‘The typed copy of my essay—40 pages—is finished & I have in my head poems on this subject matter & am according much happier’. (CL InteLex 7181). He continued in the same vein in a letter to Ethel Mannin on 17 February 1938: ‘I have decided that you will not dislike my pamphlet. It has meant a long explanation of my convictions, or instincts, & at first I had black moods of depression, thinking you & one or two other friends would turn against me. Certainly no party will be helped by what I say, & no class. You will find me amusing & I have begun writing poetry from this new subject matter’(CL InteLex 7182, L 904–5).

  • 7 See David Bradshaw, ‘The Eugenics Movement in the 1930s and the Emergence of On the Boiler’, YA9 18 (...)
  • 8 See L 907, n. 2 and Yeats to George Yeats, CL InteLex 7208, 6 April 1938; cited by Siegel, Cornell (...)

13But he at once began extensive revision of the typescript. On 20 February 1938 he wrote to Dr. C. P. Blacker, General Secretary of the Eugenics Society, London: ‘I am revising the typed script of a long essay on eugenics & various connected topics. I find one gap. Is there any authoritative definition or description of what quality constitutes “intelligence”? The men who made the tests must have had some clear idea of what they were testing. Is it power of attention & coordination? Or is it a sense of the significance & affinities of objects? Cattell gives me no adequate help[.] I would be greatly obliged if you could help me’ (CL InteLex 7183). Yeats’s correspondence with Blacker had begun 13 Jan 1938 (CL InteLex 7161).7 The revisions continued, reporting to Heald on 2 March that he was ‘patching [?] that long essay here and there’ (CL InteLex 7193, ALS Harvard), and on 3 March he gaily wrote to this sister Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats, ‘I am writing for Cuala a sort of Samhain but called On the Boiler in commemoration of “the great Macoys” sermons on the old shipsboiler in the Sligo quays. I have finished the first number & put in a note on your Diana Murphy embroideries. Some rich American may buy the lot’ (CL InteLex 7197). By 8 March, a full typescript had been completed and corrected (NLI Ms. 30,461). After nearly completing On the Boiler Yeats turned to writing the play Purgatory, which occupied him in the second half of March, when he went to England, and continued through April and into May 1938.8 He returned to Dublin on 13 May.

  • 9 Yeats to George Yeats, 31 March, 17 and 25 April 1938, CL InteLex 7205, 7216, and 7223.
  • 10 Yeats to Elizabeth C. (Lolly) Yeats, [26 April 1938], CL InteLex 7224.

14Visiting in England in March, Yeats read from the typescript of On the Boiler to two separate sets of friends. On both occasions they told him the content was very timely, which led Yeats to worry that a delay in publication might lessen its impact. And as he told his wife, ‘I count on a rumpus over “On the Boiler” to advertise Cuala’. He asked Lolly Yeats how soon the Cuala Press would be free, and was dismayed at her reply that it would be six months or longer.9 He wrote back to Lolly in a cautiously delicate but nonetheless futile attempt to persuade her to accept the new project at once. He described it as ‘merely a pamphlet on the lines of my old Samhains which I have written especially to advertise Cuala. It would take too long to explain. I expect much notice in the press & a quick sale. I spent two months on it while in France. It is now completely finished & typed. George knows all about it’.10 He was not willing to wait and so he turned to a completely new alternative, which he described to his wife in a letter of 27 April:

Lolly said she cannot do a third book till October. I think it will be best to get ‘On the Boiler’ printed by some commercial printers & made to look as like the old ‘Samhain’ as possible & put something of this sort upon the cover

‘On the Boiler’
An occasional publication, written by W. B. Yeats,
printed by (say) Peter Piper of Pepper Hill &
sold by Elizabeth Yeats at the Cuala Industries 132 Lower Baggot Street,
price 2/6 edition limited to 500 copies.

  • 11 CL InteLex 7227. The eventual price of On the Boiler (Wade no. 202) was 3/6. Frank O’Connor’s Engli (...)

I would pay the printer, & Lolly would make as much by selling it as if she had herself printed it, or almost. She could then have for October book O’Connors Art O Leary poem—14 pages—illustrated by Jack. A good Xmas book. O Connor & Jack have agreed.11

15This would be the approach used for the printing and publication of On the Boiler. All of the Cuala books had been printed in-house on their Albion hand press. But this printing method would be similar to Samhain: An occasional review edited by W. B. Yeats, of which the November 1905 number was published by Maunsel & Co., Ltd., 60 Dawson Street, Dublin and by A. H. Bullen in England, but printed by Sealy, Bryers and Walker, Middle Abbey Street, Dublin. On the Boiler would also generally resemble Samhain in its contents, with prose by Yeats followed by the text of a play (or plays), and also in its general physical size and appearance. The selection of a printing firm for On the Boiler would be delayed for at least six weeks.

  • 12 Yeats to Lolly (Elizabeth C. Yeats), CL InteLex 7224. Yeats to George Yeats, CL InteLex 7230. The n (...)
  • 13 Bradford 377–85; see also David Bradshaw, ‘The Eugenics Movement in the 1930s and the Emergence of (...)

16Although Yeats had reported on 26 April 1938 that On the Boiler was ‘completely finished and typed’, a week later, 3 May 1938, he is writing three short additional sections.12 After 13 May 1938, when Yeats returned to Ireland, a smooth typescript was made by George Yeats (NLI Ms. 30,552). In 1954–1955 and 1960 at the home of George Yeats, the late Curtis Bradford studied the extant partial manuscript and three typescripts, plus carbon copies with some separate revisions; he published a detailed account of those materials in 1965.13

17Then, in the first week of June 1938, with On the Boiler very close to being fully ready for publication, a new player enters who was to have a nearly catastrophic impact on the project, Yeats’s friend and protégé F. R. Higgins, a forty-two-year-old poet and a director of the Abbey Theatre. Higgins was returning to Dublin after managing an eight-month tour of the USA and Canada by the Abbey Theatre Players. It was the seventh such tour in the history of the Abbey Theatre. They had sailed from Belfast on 18 September 1937, opened in New York on 2 October 1937, and spent thirty-five weeks touring the USA and Canada.

18Yeats was looking forward eagerly to Higgins’s return. Half way through the long tour Yeats, who was enjoying a winter respite on the south of France, wrote to his wife, ‘I think well pleased of spending what will be left of spring & then summer and autumn in Dublin working with Higgins & then returning here to this bright dream’ (CL InteLex 7170, 26 January [1938]).

  • 14 Yeats to Anne Yeats, 6 and 12 April 1938, and to George Yeats, 17 and 21 April and 3 and 5 May 1939 (...)
  • 15 Yeats to Edith Shackleton Heald, 6 June [1938], CL InteLex 7249.

19And then throughout the two months before Higgins’s return Yeats impatiently asked his wife and their daughter, Anne, who was working at the Abbey Theatre, for news of when Higgins would be back.14 That Yeats had not heard from Higgins during that long absence was not unusual, for Higgins had an abysmal record as letter writer: he had sent his wife only one letter during the trip.15

  • 16 NLI Ms. 27,854 F. R. and May Higgins papers 1900–1982: biographical notes by May Higgins and Alan D (...)
  • 17 P&I 175–85, notes 300–5, and textual introduction 334; W249.

20Even though On the Boiler was written while Higgins was away from Ireland and not in communication with Yeats, the complicating impact of Higgins on the publishing history of On the Boiler is so considerable that we need to be acquainted with him. Frederick (Fred) Robert Higgins, born 24 April 1896 in the west of Ireland near Foxford, Co. Mayo, was the oldest of the nine children of a Protestant railway engineer and strict Unionist, from Co. Meath. His mother was from Clifton, Co. Galway. He first attended a nearby Convent school in Co. Mayo and then, from early in 1907, St. Columba’s (Church of Ireland) National School, Waterloo Avenue, North Strand, Dublin. In 1910, at age fourteen, he went to work in the office of a large Dublin builders’providers firm, where he met Beatrice May Moore, harpist and his fellow office-worker, whom he would marry in 1921. He was dismissed in 1913 for attempting to form a branch of the Clerical Workers’Union, which then hired him as secretary. He went on to edit a variety of trade journals and a short-lived women’s magazine.16 Six of his poems were published in a pamphlet titled The Salt Air, in 1923, which was followed by four books of poems, Island Blood (London: John Lane, 1925), The Dark Breed (London: Macmillan, 1927), Arable Holdings (Dublin: Cuala Press, 1933), and The Gap of Brightness (London: Macmillan, 1940). His fascination with the Gaelic culture of the west of Ireland is reflected especially the first two of those books. In his one-act verse play A Deuce o’Jacks, performed at the Abbey 16 September 1935, a character sings a comic Dublin ballad and the on-stage crowd of Dublin rabble join in for the last line. That same year Yeats and Higgins were editors of the Cuala Press’s series of monthly Broadsides, with music, which reflect Higgins’s lively interest in singing and in Irish folk ballads. Cuala’s bound version of the 1935 series Broadsides: A Collection of Old and New Songs has a prefatory essay ‘Anglo-Irish Ballads’, signed by Yeats and Higgins, but likely written by Yeats with input from Higgins on some technicalities of Irish music.17 Higgins is credited with a poem or an adaption of a traditional ballad in seven of the twelve issues.

  • 18 To-Morrow, Vol. 1, No. 1 (August 1924) included ‘Leda and the Swan’ and Higgins’s ‘Intrusions’ (2). (...)
  • 19 See Life 2 584; Yeats to Edith Shackleton Heald CL InteLex 6934, 18 May [1937], L 888; Yeats to Dor (...)

21Yeats’s earliest contact with Higgins was perhaps in 1924, when Higgins contributed poems to each of the only two issues of To-Morrow, in which Yeats had published ‘Leda and the Swan’.18 Yeats included Higgins in the Irish Academy of Letters by 1933, and at the Academy’s dinner on 25 May 1937, Higgins sang poems of his own and of Yeats.19 When Yeats chose poems for the Oxford Book of Modern Verse (1936), he famously favoured his friends, awarding fifteen pages to Dorothy Wellesley and twelve to Oliver St. John Gogarty, and six pages to Higgins; by comparison, T. S. Eliot had only four pages, but unlike Higgins was mentioned in Yeats’s introduction.

  • 20 The Gap of Brightness was published 27 August 1940. Regina M. Buccola, ‘f. r. Higgins’, in Modern I (...)

22Higgins’s penchants for alcohol and conviviality were well-known and persistent. Just a few months before his early death on 8 January 1941, when his wife showed him a favourable mention by the Irish Times of his newly published poems, he reportedly promptly got up from his sick bed for a celebratory tour through the Dublin pubs.20 A fragmentary biographical sketch of Higgins by his widow gives an exaggeratedly rosy and serene description of the friendship of the seventy-year-old Nobel laurate and her forty-year old husband:

… He & F R Higgins were near neighbours & living under contented & easy domestic circumstances, so that WB always felt quite at home with us when he called to see FR & George Yeats always made FR very much at home when he called to see WB. It was thus that they became close friends & co-workers in their devoted service to poetry (NLI Ms. 27,854).

  • 21 As told by Brinsley MacNamara in a BBC broadcast, June 1949, ‘w. b. Yeats: A Dublin Portrait’ by Wi (...)
  • 22 Interview with Frank O’Connor (Michael O’Donovan) by Richard Ellmann, 28 June 1947, Interview Book, (...)
  • 23 ‘[w. b. Yeats] As Irish Poet’, The Arrow, W. B. Yeats Commemoration Number, Summer 1939, 8.

23Another perspective, recounted with an edge of delighted Dublin malice aimed at Yeats’s sometimes stiff demeanour, and subscribing to the theory that Yeats would have been an even better poet if he had spent some time in pubs, has it that Yeats announced to Higgins, ‘I have never been in a pub in my life and I’d like to go into a pub’. Higgins dutifully selected a Dublin pub that he hoped would not offend Yeats’s refined sense of propriety. When the great moment came, Higgins took charge and prudently ordered mild drinks. Yeats looked around for a moment and then announced, as his first and last words in an Irish pub, ‘Higgins, I don’ t like it. Lead me out again’.21 To those must be added the flamboyant perspective of Yeats as the ‘wild old wicked man’ of his late poems, encouraging ribald talk: ‘When you get to be as old as I am, the thing you will find you need most is a young man to come and tell you dirty stories’. Higgins filled the bill.22 Higgins memorialized the friendship this way in the Yeats commemorative issue of the Abbey Theatre’s journal The Arrow, Summer 1939: ‘For fifteen years I was acquainted with him; for half of that time I knew him intimately as a close and constant friend: most generous, most frank, full of zest and humour, a magnetic personality, always arrogantly the Irish poet’.23

24In June 1938 Yeats was facing the daunting prospect of simultaneously reforming the artistic administration of the Abbey Theatre and the financial and artistic administration of Cuala Industries. Previously, on 9 March 1935, his campaign to rejuvenate the Abbey had led to adding Higgins, Brinsley MacNamara and Ernest Blythe as the Directors of the National Theatre Society Ltd. Now, with Hugh Hunt on his way out as Producer at the Abbey, Yeats lamented, in a letter to Edith Shackleton Heald on 13 June 1938, that at the Abbey he did not ‘have sufficient authority to control events’, but ‘as a consolation F. R. Higgins has returned from America full of dominating energy & amorous recollections. I hope that he will become the chief personage both at the Abbey and Cuala. He has joy & a man without joy cannot control our people’. (CL InteLex 7255)

  • 24 See Yeats to Ernest Blythe CL InteLex 7260, 23 June 1938; e. h. Mikhail ed., Abbey Theatre: Intervi (...)
  • 25 10 and 24 June 1938 (both chaired by Yeats), 1 July (chaired by Yeats), 29 July (Yeats absent), 5 A (...)

25Yeats lobbied successfully for the promotion of Higgins to become the Abbey’s Managing Director, which took effect in September 1938.24 And Higgins, despite his fondness for drinking, despite his notoriety for failing to write letters, and although perhaps exhausted after running the eight-month tour, was reliably attentive to the Abbey, attending every meeting of the Directors of the National Theatre Society from 10 June 1938 onwards.25

  • 26 Yeats to Dorothy Wellesley, [2 Nov 1937] (CL InteLex 7106).
  • 27 CL InteLex 7126, omitted from L 900–01.
  • 28 Yeats to S. C. Scroope, CL InteLex 7149, 2 January 1938.
  • 29 Yeats to S. C. Scroope, CL InteLex 7156, [c. 4 January 1938].

26Higgins was also key element in Yeats’s plans for reorganizing the Cuala Press, then under the often cantankerous management of Lolly Yeats. In early November 1937 when Yeats was formulating plans to reorganize Cuala, he wrote to Dorothy Wellesley to apologize for Cuala’s errors in the printing of her poem in the September 1937 Broadside, which were so extensive as to require a two-page errata in the bound volume. Yeats continued, ‘but I am in the highest spirits at the prospect I hope to make Higgins managing director. If he had been here there would have been no errors in your poem & a wrong artist would not have been chosen. I was never sent a proof…. All the able people in my circle are absorbed in the Theatre’.26 On 28 November, Yeats anticipated with relish using Higgins as a kind of secret weapon for Cuala, writing to Edith Shackleton Heald: ‘In a few minutes my sister comes to have our first talk on the reconstruction of Cuala. Her eyes will be like snails [sic] eyes for curiosity but I will tell her nothing until Higgins returns from America’.27 And two months later Yeats invoked again his idealized notion of Higgins as efficient manager when Yeats wrote in answer to the banker who was complaining about Cuala’s continuing debt. Yeats, who was about to leave for France for the winter, told the banker that he would reconstruct Cuala, but requested a delay because of his travel and also because Higgins was away on the American tour. Yeats said that he wanted ‘to work in conjunction with a man who has expert knowledge of printing etc. He is now in America with the main Abbey Theatre Company as business manager’.28 Two days later, Yeats wrote a more detailed letter to the banker, again highlighting Higgins (although again without naming him): ‘… my plans for reconstruction have been thought out in consultation with a man who has full knowledge of printing and publishing and he is at present acting as a business manager to the Abbey Theatre company which is now touring the United States. He returns with company probably in April. The Abbey Theatre has gone through exactly the same visiccitudes [sic] as Cuala. After a period of heavy loss it began to prosper a year or two ago and has now paid off its debts and is making a steady profit.29

  • 30 Minute book of meetings of Directors of Cuala Industries 12 October 1938–2 December 1941, Cuala Arc (...)
  • 31 William M. Murphy, Family Secrets: William Butler Yeats and His Relatives (Syracuse: Syracuse Unive (...)
  • 32 Life 2 623 citing Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats letter to her cousin Ruth Lane-Poole, 29 June 1938.

27Cuala was reorganized as a limited company, Cuala Industries Ltd., on 6 October 1938, with Yeats, George Yeats, Lolly, and Higgins as the four directors. The first meeting of the directors was 12 October, and with the appointment of Frank O’Connor as auditor, another Abbey director who was seven years younger than Higgins, Yeats’s plan for controlling Cuala seemed fully in place.30 But all was far from well. William Murphy, in his magisterial study of the Yeats family, comments: ‘Whether wby chose Higgins with malice aforethought is hard to know, but he could not have found anyone less temperamentally in tune with’ Lolly. In the prior months, Lily Yeats noted that Lolly and Higgins ‘were so rude to each other that they could not even talk to each other on the phone’.31 Roy Foster is even blunter about Yeats’s selection of Higgins: ‘His clear intention was to leave the succession tied up, hoping that Higgins would inherit his own function, there as at the Abbey. In this, as in several other ways, his estimate of his friend was ludicrously wide of the mark…. Higgins’s real idea of joy came in bottled form, and he was neurotically inefficient, incapable of answering letters or signing cheques. In Lolly’s eyes he had no redeeming features whatsoever …’. Foster goes on to acknowledge that anyone would find Lolly extremely difficult, quoting Lily’s deliciously tart remark about Lolly, that ‘“an angel from heaven” could not work with her, “perhaps a very strong person from the other place might do it & live”’.32

  • 33 CL InteLex 7258, [19 June 1938].

28In mid-June Yeats was confident of timely publication of On the Boiler, now that the typescript was finished and Higgins was tasked with making all the arrangement for printing, including selecting a printing firm. Yeats began planning a second issue. He told Edith Shackleton Heald: ‘I am studying for my On The Boiler, No 2. My theme is that the soul is once more established in its old place. I make from this a number of deductions’.33 And three days later he expanded on that in a letter to Dorothy Wellesley:

  • 34 CL InteLex 7259, 22 June 1938 (with literatim misspellings ‘my self’, ‘beleifs’, ‘beleived’ and ‘be (...)

Yesterday I reminded myself that an eastern sage had promised me a quiet death & hoped that it would come before I had to face On the Boiler No. 2. Today I am full of life & not too disturbed by the enemies I must make. This is the proposition on which I write ‘There is now overwhelming evidence that man stands between two eternities, that of his family, that of his soul’. I apply these beliefs to literature & politics & show the changes they must make. Lord Acton said once that he believed in a personal devil, but as there is nothing about it in The Cambridge Universal History which he planned he was a liar. My belief must go into what I write, even if I estrange friends; some when they see my meaning set out in plain print will hate me for poems which they have thought meant nothing.34

  • 35 We know Science and Physical Phenomena arrived promptly because on the inside back cover of his cop (...)

29On 7 June Yeats had ordered a copy of Science and Physical Phenomena, a newly published book by g. n. m. Tyrell, a British mathematician, physicist, and—importantly for Yeats—parapsychologist. He later was President of the Society for Psychical Research (1945–1946) and is credited with coining the term ‘out-of-body experience’. Tyrell’s prior book Grades of Significance (1931) parallels the motifs that Yeats mentioned in his plans for a second number of On the Boiler, and although there is no record of Yeats having owned a copy, his eagerness to purchase Tyrell’s new book suggests that Yeats had some familiarity with the content of Grades of Significance.35

  • 36 Yeats to Dorothy Wellesley, 26 September 1938, CL InteLex 7306); Yeats to Edith Shackleton Heald CL (...)

30Yeats made arrangements to meet Tyrell in England for a weekend in October at the home of Dame Edith Lyttelton, President of the Society for Psychical Research 1933–1934, explaining in letters to Edith Shackleton Heald and to Dorothy Wellesley, ‘I am to meet a certain Tyrell, whose book will be the foundation of On the Boiler No 2. at Mrs Alfred Lyttleton’ s [ sic] on Oct 15. It has turned out to be the only possible date. I was to have gone there on Oct 8 but events have upset my plans’.36

31Yeats left in two very brief but fascinating typescripts evidence about his plans for a second number of On the Boiler. Both of them have significant, but generalised links with Tyrell, especially Grades of Significance (1931), as well as to Yeats’s A Vision (1925 and 1937). The first, titled ‘Seven Propositions’ is two pages and undated:

  1. Reality is a timeless and spaceless community of Spirits which perceive each other. Each Spirit is determined by and determines those it perceives, and each Spirit is unique.

  2. [sic, II] When these Spirits reflect themselves in time and space they [cancelled: are so many destinies which] still determine each other, and each Spirit sees the others as thoughts, images, objects of sense. Time and space are unreal.

  3. This reflection into time and space is only complete at certain moments of birth, or passivity, which recur many times in each destiny. At these moments the destiny receives its character until the next such moment from [cancelled: all other] those Sprits [cancelled: or from] the external universe. The horoscope is a set of geometrical relations between the Spirit’s reflection and the principle [sic, principal] masses in the universe and defines that character.

  4. The emotional character of a timeless and spaceless Spirit reflects itself as its position in space. The position of a Spirit in space and time therefore defines character.

  5. Human life is either the struggle of a destiny against all other destinies, or a transformation of the character defined in the horoscope into timeless and spaceless existence. The whole passage from birth to birth should be an epitome of the whole passage of the universe through time and back into its timeless and spaceless condition.

  6. The acts and nature of a Spirit during any one life are a section or abstraction of reality and are unhappy because incomplete. They are a gyre or part of a gyre, whereas reality is a sphere.

    • 37 NLI Ms. 30,280. Richard Ellmann printed it and usefully describes it in The Identity of Yeats, 2nd (...)

    Though the Spirits are determined by each other they cannot completely lose their freedom. Every possible statement or perception contains both terms—the self and that which it perceives or states.37

  • 38 George Yeats to Patrick McCartan, 20 February 1939. Yeats and Patrick McCartan A Fenian Friendship, (...)

32The second is a typewritten single page, on Idéal Séjour notepaper, dated 23 December 1938, dictated to his wife (NLI Ms. 30,280). That same day he wrote to Ethel Mannin (CL InteLex 7357, L 921), ‘I am in better health than usual & writing Boiler No 2’. She later described it as a ‘synopsis’: ‘He knew that he had not long to live, but he thought he had still time to finish a great deal of work already planned. Actually he finished all the work that he had in hand, and was proposing a rest of a week or so before starting on a new series of essays of which he had dictated to me a synopsis’.38 It reads:

  1. Discoveries in eugenics will compel reversal of old politics. What must disappear? What changes in literature. Must strengthen conviction that nothing matters except poetry. What are its elements?

  2. Discoveries in psychical research must revolutionise all thought even more completely.

  3. Recent movement in philosophy must apply everywhere to religious life the implication implied in this sentence: we can express truth but we cannot know it. Get some summary. (German philosopher in Oxford or Cambridge) compare Vico. compare Zen

33It echoes in some ways his poignant letter on 4 January 1939 letter to Lady Elizabeth Pelham:

  • 39 Emphasis added. Joseph Hone, w. b. Yeats 1864–1939 (London: Macmillan, 1965), 476; L 922, CL InteLe (...)

… I know for certain that my time will not be long. I have put away everything that can be put away that I may speak what I have to speak, and I find ‘expression’ is a part of ‘study’. In two or three weeks—I am now idle that I may rest after writing much verse—I will begin to write my most fundamental thoughts and the arrangement of thought which I am convinced will complete my studies. I am happy, and I think full of an energy, of an energy I had despaired of. It seems to me that I have found what I wanted. When I try to put all into a phrase I say, ‘Man can embody truth but he cannot know it’. I must embody it in the completion of my life. The abstract is not life and everywhere draws out its contradictions. You can refute Hegel but not the Saint or the Song of Sixpence….39

34But any planning toward a second number of On the Boiler was, of course, dependent on publishing the first number. The final typescript (NLI Ms. 30,552) was finished before Higgins returned to Dublin in the first week of June 1938. Yeats and Higgins were at the 10 June 1938 Abbey Theatre meeting, and because Yeats would have been very keen to show the On the Boiler typescript to Higgins, we can assume that Higgins saw it by mid-June. Yeats, in a letter to Dorothy Wellesley a month later, reported Higgins’s reaction,

  • 40 CL InteLex 7271, 14 July 1938; it is dated 13 July 1938 in LDW (1940) 199 and L 912.

He has been away eight months & so was quite unprepared. His comment was ‘I expected an old man’ s oracular serene remarks—death holding the ledger. And I get [‘got’ in LDW (1940) and L] this. That boiler is going to be very hot.40

  • 41 CW5 431–32, n. 59 (Ex 427 n. 1) and CW5 433, n. 76 (Ex 433 n. 1).

35Higgins probably was the source for one or both of the last footnotes, which Yeats added on pasted-in slips to the smooth typescript at this time.41 Another last-minute change was a revision of line 12 of Purgatory, which Yeats entered in ink on the typescript (see 407 n. 35 above).

  • 42 Turner’s Printing Company, 4 Earl Street, Longford, Co. Longford. When I enquired in 2005, the firm (...)
  • 43 George Yeats to Yeats, 1 November 1938, YGYL 547–47, quoted in EYPR 141. Italics were used for the (...)
  • 44 Yeats to Ethel Mannin CL InteLex 7357, 23 December, 1938, L 920–21.

36Now that Higgins was back in Dublin, Yeats’s reorganization of the Cuala Press could proceed, and Yeats assigned to Higgins the responsibility for choosing an outside printing firm for On the Boiler, as had been decided at the end of April. Higgins chose the Longford Printing Press, a small family firm in Longford, seventy miles from Dublin. It had a long history as a printer and publisher of newspapers reaching back to 1836 and has been in the same premises since 1870,42 but in 1918 Harold Irvine, grandson of the founder and the editor of the Longford Independent, died of the Spanish Influenza at age thirty-two, and his widow had difficulty sustaining the business, so publishing ceased in 1922. Her sons Eric and Harold Turner took over the company in the late 1930’s and gradually invested in some new equipment and enlarged the premises. Thus in 1938 when the Longford Printing Press undertook to print On the Boiler, it was quite inexperienced and not well-equipped for book printing. One indicator of those limitations was that the galley proofs had not set book titles and stage directions in italics because the press, as George Yeats would learn when she travelled to Longford, ‘They have no Italics so I arranged for the stage directions to be printed in brackets and smaller type. I did not think the “Manager” very brilliant!’ 43Eventually Yeats would describe Higgins’s choice of the Longford Printing Press as an act of ‘pure eccentricity’.44 There would be a series of delays and very poorly executed work at every phase, from design through typesetting and printing.

  • 45 Yeats to Dorothy Wellesley CL InteLex 7271, 14 July 1938; it is dated 13 July 1938 in LPDW 199 and (...)
  • 46 CL InteLex 7273, 16 [July 1938], L 910, where it is misdated ‘June 16’ because of Yeats’s error in (...)
  • 47 CL InteLex 7286, 9 August [1938].

37Yeats, who travelled to England on 8 July 1938 for a one-month stay, had left the typescript, On the Boiler (NLI Ms. 30,485) with F. R. Higgins, who was to send it to the printer.45 We don’t know how long a delay there was from when the typescript was entrusted to Higgins until it reached the Longford Printing Press. But he would have required time to select the printing firm and to complete arrangements with it, especially because the firm had little or no experience with book printing. Yeats was sanguine about the process, telling Maud Gonne McBride on 16 July that On the Boiler ‘will be published in about a month’.46 Yeats took a copy of the typescript with him to England, where Dorothy Wellesley and Edith Shackleton Heald read it during his visits. Throughout July and August he remained unaware of, or at least was silent about, what turned out to be the lack of progress on the printing. He returned to Dublin on 8 August, and the next day wrote cordially to Higgins without any mention of On the Boiler, ‘I am back…. When can we have an evening together. I have a lot of new poems’.47

38On 28 August, Yeats hosted Ethel Mannin and Reginald Reynolds, her new lover and future husband, to dinner at the Shelbourne Hotel ‘taking along Higgins to make up the foursome’ (BG 553).

  • 48 CL InteLex 7299, 4 September 1938. His August letters to her were [10 August], 15 August, and 24 Au (...)

39His frequent letters to Edith Shackleton Heald during August, written from Dublin, have no mention of the On the Boiler printing. But then in his next letter to her, on 4 September, comes the first news, ‘On the Boiler has at last gone to press’.48 Higgins made a trip to London, 12–22 September, while Yeats remained in Dublin all of September and until 27 October.

  • 49 CL InteLex 7305, [c. 23 September 1938]; ChronY 310.

40The galley proofs are not extant and there is no direct documentary evidence as to when Yeats and his wife corrected them and returned them to Longford Printing Press. But the 4 September 1938 letter indicates that the printer received the typescript copy in very early September 1938. And we know that the galleys had been printed, corrected, and returned to Longford Printing Press by 27 October 1938, when George Yeats travelled the seventy miles to Longford to visit the Longford Printing Press. She was not favourably impressed, as she reported to her husband, who had left for England on 25 October. The timing of the galley proofs can be further narrowed by the likely terminus a quo of Yeats’s letter c. 23 September 1938 to Edith Shackleton Heald, which has no mention of On the Boiler printing, and the terminus ad quem of Yeats’s departure for England on 25 October.49

  • 50 The two not corrected until the Coole Edition and Explorations are ‘threats’ instead of ‘theatre’ ((...)

41Even though those galley proofs are not extant, an idea of the kinds of corrections and emendations made on them is recoverable by collation of the typescript (NLI Ms. 30,552) copy-text with the page proofs (first state) (NLI MS. 30,485). Disregarding the play Purgatory, which occupies the final one-sixth of the book, there were twenty-seven substantive revisions made of the galley proofs; twentyfive punctuation revisions, some perhaps made by the compositor but most probably were made on the galleys; nine hyphenation spelling differences, some of which could have been made by the compositor of the galleys; and nine corrections of obvious errors in the typescript, many of which were probably made by the compositor. Twelve other differences went uncorrected on the galleys; three of those would be corrected on the page proofs (first state), four more on the page proofs (second state), two were not corrected until the 1939 page proofs of the never-published Coole Edition and then Explorations in 1962, and three were left unemended.50

  • 51 Minute book of meetings of Directors of Cuala Industries 12 Oct 1938—2 Dec 1941, Cuala Archive, Box (...)

42At about this same time Yeats added another initiative to boost the Cuala Press, a planned new series of Broadsides to begin monthly publication in January 1939. That project was approved at the 19 October 1938 meeting of Cuala’s newly constituted board, less than a week before he left Ireland, for what would be the last time. Yeats chaired the meeting, which included Higgins, who had been coeditor with Yeats for the 1935 Broadsides and had contributed to the next series of Broadsides (1937), for which Dorothy Wellesley was coeditor with Yeats. In his letter to Dorothy Wellesley inviting her to be an editor of the new series, Yeats was very up-beat about Higgins: ‘Just before I left we decided to start a new set of Broadsides, starting on Jan 1. Will you be English editor as usual? We want three numbers complete before we start. We would like a poem of yours in the first three. Higgins is now on the board & goes to Cuala every day so everything will go much more smoothly. However if I may come soon we can talk over all these things. I may ask Higgins to send you some suggestions about English work. He is a good musician’. Yeats had also praised Higgins to Dorothy Wellesley a month earlier saying that he had wanted ‘to introduce you to him. You & he are my soul critics of poetry. There is equal though different sensitiveness’. (CL InteLex 7300, 7 September 1938).51

  • 52 Yeats to Edith Shackleton Heald, CL InteLex 7350 [Thursday] 8 December 1938, L 919) [L is from a ty (...)

43From early September, when Yeats first reported that On the Boiler had gone to press, the Longford Printing Press had produced the galley proofs within four or five weeks. The Press had told George Yeats, during her visit on 27 October that the page proofs would be ready immediately. Yeats optimistically expected that to be true. So that on 7 November 1938, when he learned that the Abbey Theatre wanted his approval for a 5 December revival production of Purgatory, he wrote back to Higgins: ‘I consent, of course, on the understanding that the version used is that in the “Boiler”. You can take it from the page proof’. (CL InteLex 7327) And then he immediately added a postscript in a hasty second letter: ‘I forgot to say please worry the Longford people so that On the Boiler may be out when my play is performed. I have not yet had the paged proofs’. (CL InteLex 7328) But the page proofs would not be available in time for that production, which opened Monday, 5 December 1938, as scheduled.52

44Yeats wrote to Higgins on 22 November 1938 (CL InteLex 7342) about the planned series of Broadsides and complains about the slowness of printers, in this instance the Cuala Press, but there is no specific mention of On the Boiler: ‘These printers are so damnably slow that you may find it had [ sic,? hard] to be out in time’.

  • 53 Yeats complained in a letter to Longford Printing Press (NLI Ms. 30,513 and EYPR 142, and a TS copy (...)

45George Yeats came to London on 25 November 1938, and they travelled together to the South of France, arriving 28 November 1938. There, at the Hotel Idéal-Séjour at Cap-Martin, George Yeats and he received the page proofs (first state) and corrected them. There were two sets, from the same typesetting but with occasional differences in how completely they were inked. The Longford Printing Press did not return the marked galley proofs, which was a serious inconvenience when Yeats corrected the page proofs, probably with some assistance from his wife.53 The set that they marked (NLI Ms. 30,485) has some preliminary, initial copy editing in black pencil that is relatively inexpert, often merely a question mark in the margin, and ends at the beginning of Purgatory. This black pencil copy editing might have been done by Higgins, who could well have received the proofs from Longford and then posted them to Yeats in France, but no documentary evidence is available. Yeats went through the entire set, including Purgatory and ‘Three Marching Songs’, clarifying and correcting the pencil markings, using black ink. He signed one instruction in the margin of page 22.

46Then, just before sending that marked set to Higgins, in Dublin, for him to pass along to Longford Printing Press, George Yeats transcribed the corrections cleanly onto the second set (HRHRC, Yeats Collection, Box 4, Miscellaneous case). Because Longford Printing Press had failed to send the corrected galleys to Yeats along with the page proofs, the need for having a backup set was particularly urgent. Presumably working in haste, George Yeats skipped two of the corrections: (1) the change of a semi-colon to a comma in the opening sentence of ‘To-morrow’ s Revolution’, Section III: ‘mind; their’ changed to ‘mind, their’), and (2) the addition of ‘black’ in the footnote to the final paragraph of ‘To-morrow’ s Revolution’, Section V: ‘or lines’ changed to ‘or black lines’ (page 10, line 3 and page 10, line 3; CW5 228, line 29 and CW5 432n59, line 4; Ex 420, line 9 and Ex 427n1, line 4).

  • 54 EYPR and his earlier EYP; Cornell Purgatory, and Siegel’s earlier ‘Yeats’ s Quarrel with Himself: T (...)

47Those two small omissions turn out to be crucially important evidence for puzzling out the history of the text, by definitively establishing that Longford Printing Press used the first set, and not the imperfectly fair-copied other set, when it produced the page proofs (second state) (BL Add. MS 88551), which incorporated both of the emendations that were omitted in other set. And, as we will shortly see, knowing which of the two sets was used by Longford Printing Press untangles the complex situation that had confronted the two textual scholars who independently had sought to piece together the publication history of On the Boiler because that book included some poems, in the case of Richard Finneran, and the play Purgatory, in the case of Sandra Siegel.54

  • 55 In 1994 in the textual introduction to On the Boiler in CW5 489 I had dated this as ‘probably durin (...)

48It was probably mid-December 1938 when Yeats received the page proofs (first state), corrected them, and sent them to Higgins to pass along to the press.55 The dating is necessarily uncertain because it depends primarily on a letter from Yeats to Higgins that is undated. Collected Letters (7354) labels it only as ‘[December 1938]’, although Richard Finneran and Sandra Siegel have variously suggested dates ranging from late November 1938 (Cornell Purgatory 19 n. 30 misstating EYP 114) and early/mid December 1938 (EYP 114) to ‘the first few days of January 1939’ (EYPR 142) and ‘probably between December 24, 1938, and January 10, 1939’ (Cornell Purgatory 19n30). But the additional evidence available from carefully detailed study of the textual documents now has clarified the chronology. The full text of that letter needs to be quoted because it is at the heart of the controversy about the date of the page proofs (first) state:

[typed on printed notepaper]

hotel idéal-séjour
cap-martin
france (a.-m.)

My dear Higgins

  • 56 CL InteLex 7354, to F. R. Higgins [December 1938]. The typescript letter (HRHRC, Yeats Collection, (...)

I shall write to you about Cuala etc in a few days[.] For the moment I confine myself to the boiler.
Paged proofs came some days ago and my wife and I have spent a good deal of our time at them. I think we have now corrected everything, but I think it probable that when you look through them you will decide that another revise is necessary. There will be no
56 need for it to be sent here if you would be so kind as to look through it. Indeed much of it is revisions of the press which should be done by somebody who can hear in a day or so or by telephone.
They have evidently never done printing of our kind before and get into great confusion. Indeed their errors are of a kind that I dont always know how to correct.
They sent no proof of title page and I would be very much obliged if you would arrange about the cover. I enclose the cover paper I preferred. I enclose also their letter. My wife tells me that you have the estimate they refer to.
I hope your face is better and that you are well[.]
[in ink]
Yrs
W B Yeats

Plate 40. Detail of typescript letter from w. b. Yeats to f. r. Higgins, December 1938 (HRHRC, Yeats Collection, Box 6, Folder 7). Image courtesy the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, Texas.

49My reading of this undated letter is that it transmits the first set of corrected page proofs (first state) to Higgins, for him to pass along to Longford Printing Press. Yeats says that when Higgins has looked over the corrected page proofs (first state) Higgins will agree that ‘another revise is necessary’. Yeats asks Higgins to arrange for Longford to produce the second state page proofs, but instead of sending them to him in France, to have Higgins review them on Yeats’s behalf. ‘There will be no need for it to be sent here if you would be so kind as to look through it. Indeed much of it is revisions of the press which should be done by somebody who can hear in a day or so by telephone’. Yeats mentions that Longford had not sent a title page in the page proofs, and he asks Higgins also to arrange about a front cover.

  • 57 Life 2 765 n. 93 citing Dorothy Wellesley letter to Higgins, 14 November 1938, NLI Ms. 10,864. Chro (...)

50The first clue for dating this letter is Yeats’s statement that he will write to Higgins ‘about Cuala etc in a few days’. Part of the background for the situation is in Yeats’s 22 December letter to Edith Shackleton Heald (CL InteLex 7356, L 919–20): ‘Nothing seems going on in Dublin or if there is I am being told nothing. Higgins has dropped in a gulph owes me four letters—damn’. And the next day he updated Ethel Mannin about the delays in publication of On the Boiler, exaggerating those delays by a month and a half: ‘This is the bother about The Boiler. Went to the Printer seven months ago—small Longford printer selected in pure eccentricity by the poet Higgins—not yet out’. But he added, in a more cheerful tone, consistent with knowing that the corrected page proofs had been sent back to Ireland, ‘I am in better health than usual & writing Boiler No 2’ (CL InteLex 7357, L 921). Then, on 24 December 1938, Yeats did write to Higgins (CL InteLex 7358) about Cuala Press projects, beginning by gently urging him about tardiness in the preparations for the new series of Cuala Broadsides with Dorothy Wellesley, who was spending the winter nearby and who had called on the Yeatses on 21 December:57

My dear Higgins

I hear that you have had a great deal of extra work at the Abbey. If I had known I would not have seemed to hustle you. We may have to pick a somewhat later date for the first number of the Broadsides; we could call them ‘Number One’ ‘Number two’ etc without any allusion to the months. You had better however write a word to Lady Gerald, as when I left her she was rather keyed up on the subject.

and then asking Higgins to confirm that he had received the corrected page proofs (first state) of On the Boiler, and reminding Higgins that timely publication of On the Boiler, which contains his preferred text of Purgatory, was a matter of concern, and then quite forcefully withdrawing his suggestion in the undated letter that Higgins might take care of the corrected page proofs (second state) when they became available.

You might let me know if you have received the proofs of ‘On the Boiler’. I want Purgatory played from ‘On the Boiler[’] ‘version’ and the text in the hands of the public as soon as possible after the performance. I must of course correct my own proofs.

51The letter concludes with asking Higgins’s help in finding a new volume for the Cuala Press, and then a postscript mention that he is writing The Death of Cuchulain.

52A week later, Yeats wrote a brief letter to Higgins (CL InteLex 7361, 1 January 1939), suggesting that the Abbey Theatre consider asking George Bernard Shaw for his topical political play Geneva, a Fancied Page of History in Three Acts, which had premiered 1 August 1938 at the Malvern Festival and would open in London on 27 January 1939. Yeats did not mention On the Boiler, but diplomatically reported ‘Anne writes to me that you have been tremendously busy at the Abbey, as indeed I assumed’.

53On 1 January 1939 Yeats reported to Edith Shackleton Heald (CL InteLex 7360, this portion is omitted in L 922.) about the situation with Higgins:

Nothing about The Boiler. Higgins is probably the cause of delay. He is manager at the Abbey & he has been at work there all day long. Abbey has been in chaos. A new producer, born a gaelic speaker, who passes from one fit of hysteria to another, a play that the author constantly rewrites at rehersal. From to-morrow my daughter is sole designer of costume & scenery & a week ago in the general despair was asked to produce as well but had not time. Meanwhile Higgins answers no letters—Hilda & Dorothy (who feel responsible for half the Broadsides) & my wife & I have not had a word. No Broadsides, nothing. Now that the play O Connors Fenians—has come out & had a bad press I am hoping for a letter from Higgins. I judge from a letter of my daughters that Higgins is gradually waking from the dream. It is the first letter my daughter herself has written for several weeks.

54Yeats’s frustration with Higgins’s failure to reply was heightening into anger, as is evident in his pointed reply 4 January 1939 to Anne Yeats (CL InteLex 7363) to Anne’s letter about Higgins and the Abbey Theatre:

You have told me quite a lot of things, but not what look there is on Higgins. Can you judge by a drop in his eye, or the shape of his waist, or his walk, that he is thinking about the ‘Boiler’; that the proofs have been seen through the press. Or perhaps you might get at it by palmistry, if he is too busy to speak—no ask him to tea & find out by his tea leaves.

55So it comes as no surprise that on 8 January he, with George Yeats and Dorothy Wellesley and her companion Hilda Matheson, fired Higgins (in absentia and incommunicado) as an editor of the projected series of Broadsides because, as Yeats explained to Edith Shackleton Heald, ‘he has not answered any letter for months being overwhelmed by Abbey work’ (CL InteLex 7365).

56Assuming it had been mid-December when Yeats had posted the corrected page proofs to Higgins, it had now been three weeks without any word as to whether the proofs had reached Longford Printing Press. No longer willing to risk relying on Higgins, the Yeatses decided to mail the other set of those page proofs directly to the press; that was the set onto which George Yeats had transcribed the corrections (or, as we now know, all but two of the corrections). Yeats prepared a letter of transmittal to Longford Printing Press, dated 10 January 1939, of which two copies are extant, identical except that one (NLI Ms. 30,513, printed in EYPR 142) has underscoring added to emphasize the phrase ‘copy with my corrections’. The other is CL InteLex 7367, from a private collection as of 2003. The letter of transmittal, which has the letterhead ‘Hotel Idéal-Séjour, Cap-Martin, France’, reads:

Dear Sirs:

I return one set of paged proofs corrected. Please send me a revise to the above address, [cancelled: enclosing] and return to me the copy with my corrections. I had a great deal of trouble in making these corrections because you did not return to me the corrected galley proofs when sending paged proof.
Have you yet received from Mr. F. R. Higgins the copy of the estimate you refer to in your last letter? I have asked him to send it to you.
I shall be glad to receive the revised page proof at your earliest convenience.

57That same day, to make doubly sure of minimizing delay in Longford Printing Press starting to work with the corrected page proofs, Yeats wrote to Anne Yeats in Dublin (CL InteLex 7368, 10 January 1939), enclosing a copy of the letter of transmittal to the press. He instructed her to ask Higgins if he received the corrected page proofs but did not send them on to Longford Printing Press and if so to get that set of the corrected page proofs back from Higgins and then send them to the press with the enclosed letter.

My dear Anne

Will you please ask Higgins if he received the corrected page proofs of ‘On the Boiler’ which I sent him. If he has received them but has not sent them on to the Longford Printing Press, Longford, please get them back from him and send them off by registered post with the enclosed letter. Please let me have a reply by return of post.

  • 58 The set of corrected page proofs (NLI 30,485) that Yeats had sent to Higgins probably in mid-Decemb (...)

58We know, from the evidence of the two missing corrections, that Longford Printing Press used the set of corrected page proofs that Yeats had sent to Higgins in mid-December, and not the second set of those page proofs that Yeats sent directly to the press on 10 January. But still Yeats didn’t know, despite his having asked Anne, in the 10 January letter, ‘Please let me have a reply by return of post’. On 15 January, he asked Anne (CL InteLex 7372): ‘Have the proofs been sent back to the Longford Printing Press yet? If not, please alter the date of my PREFACE from July to October. This is important. If proofs have been returned, please telephone to Longford and ask for the manager and ask him if this can be done’.58

59Ann Saddlemyer poignantly records George Yeats’s 21 January 1939 letter to Anne, written the day after Michael Yeats had arrived for Christmas with his parents and while Yeats’s health was strong enough that George Yeats was still planning to return to Dublin in a week. George Yeats wrote sprightfully of her eagerness to learn ‘“all ALL ALL the Abbey news at Breakfast” in Anne’s room, especially about Higgins who has never written’(BG 560). Yeats died 28 January 1939, before the Longford Printing Press had completed the revised page proofs.

60With that much of the chronology laid out, we can pause for a moment to look at how the evidence was interpreted by Richard J. Finneran in Editing Yeats’s Poems: A Reconsideration (1990) and his earlier Editing Yeats’s Poems (1983) and also by Sandra F. Siegel in her Cornell Purgatory and earlier in a collateral way as a something of a side issue in her ‘Yeats’ s Quarrel with Himself’ (loc. cit., n. 54 above). In Finneran’s EYP (1983), the chronology is that Yeats corrected the galley proofs ‘at some point in the fall of 1938’ (EYP 113) and then corrected the page proofs shortly after he arrived in France on 28 November. He then sent the corrected page proofs to Higgins enclosed with the undated letter in early/mid-December. All of that is consistent with the evidence. However, Finneran then assumed that later, when Higgins received the 24 December letter, he was confused by Yeats’s shift away from the tentative proposal that Higgins might take care of correcting subsequent page proofs to Yeats’s firm assertion in the 24 December letter that he would correct the proofs himself. Finneran then conjectured that Higgins, instead of delivering the corrected proofs to Longford, mailed them back to Yeats in France ‘and suggested that it would be better if Yeats continue to deal directly with the printers’ (EYP 114). Under that barely plausible scenario, Yeats on 10 January mailed the corrected proofs directly to Longford Printing Press.

  • 59 He also (EYPR 140) changed his choice of copy-text for poems in On the Boiler to the corrected page (...)
  • 60 None of the extant correspondence has any mention of Higgins’s health, only of his being overwhelme (...)

61Finneran in EYPR in 1990 had access to some additional evidence and significantly recast his views.59 Finneran had controversially chosen as copy-text for the On the Boiler poems in his earlier w. b. Yeats The Poems: A New Edition (New York: Macmillan, 1983). Now the galley proofs were read ‘perhaps’ before or, much less conjecturally, ‘at some point not long’(EYPR 141) after Yeats’s report on 4 September 1938 that On the Boiler has at last gone to press (CL InteLex 7299, see 412 above). The page proofs, however, had not yet arrived when Yeats wrote to Higgins on 24 December 1938. Finneran newly interpreted that letter as asking if Higgins had yet received the page proofs from the Longford Printing Press, rather than asking for confirmation that Higgins had received the corrected page proofs from Yeats. Then Finneran gives a whole series of conjectures: ‘It appears that his plea at last succeeded and that the proofs were sent to Yeats within the next few days. Probably in the first few days of January 1939, Yeats returned the corrected proofs to Higgins’ (EYPR 141–42) as an enclosure to his undated letter (see 416 above). And then, on the basis of that letter’s closing, ‘I hope your face is better and that you are well’, Finneran indulges himself: ‘I conjecture that in fact Higgins was not well and that he returned the proofs to Yeats with the request that he deal directly with the Longford printers’. (EYPR 142) In fact, Higgins was in robust health.60

62But in a note Finneran continues with the illness theory for one sentence before allowing the much more likely alternative: ‘Higgins died on 8 January 1941, at the age of forty-four. Alternatively, Higgins might have said that he was simply too busy with other work to watch over On the Boiler’. Yeats had begun his letter of 24 December 1938 by saying, ‘I hear that you have had a great deal of extra work at the Abbey. If I had known I would not have seemed to hustle you’ (EYPR 142 n. 33). Finneran did not pay attention to the second set of the page proofs with the transcribed corrections, and he certainly must not have been aware of the key letters to Anne Yeats, particularly that of 10 January 1938 (CL InteLex 7367).

63Siegel’s two publications (in 1978 and 1986) that involve the editorial history of On the Boiler are focused on Purgatory and did not have access to as much evidence is now available. In her prudently sketchy account, at the end of June 1938 Yeats gave a typescript (or a non-extant duplicate) to Higgins, who then gave it to Longford Printing Press ‘probably early in July’. The non-extant galley proofs were corrected ‘some time in the autumn’. Then ‘in late December or early January’ (Cornell Purgatory 187), Longford sent the page proofs (first state) to Yeats, which he corrected, without access to the galleys. Her account acknowledges that the press sent him two sets of those page proofs, but asserts that only one of the two sets is extant: ‘One copy was sent to Longford and had the author’ s holograph corrections. It is this set that survives’(Cornell Purgatory 19). As we will see, that set, with the transcribed corrections, was eventually returned to George Yeats and was sent on to New York for the never-published Scribner’s ‘Dublin’ edition and is now at HRHC. Siegel confronts at length, although to no avail, the difficulties of the relationship between the undated letter to Higgins, the 24 December letter to him and the 10 January forwarding letter to the Longford Printing Press (Cornell Purgatory 17–19). In what can be regarded as a controversial decision she assigns more authority to the typescript than to the corrected page proofs (first state), which Finneran eventually chose in 1990 as copy-text for the poems from On the Boiler in CW1 and which I also chose as copy-text for On the Boiler in CW5. Siegel explains her preference of the typescript over the corrected page proofs (first state) by focusing on Yeats not having the galleys in hand when he corrected the page proofs (first state): ‘But since Yeats corrected the Longford proofs without the galleys to guide him, and since the galleys have not survived. I have chosen to key the variants in the readings that follow to the typescript rather than to the first set of Longford page proofs, even though this is the last version of the play Yeats saw and on which he made corrections’ (Cornell Purgatory 188).

64With Yeats’s death, 28 January 1939, On the Boiler was now in George Yeats’s charge, one part of her many responsibilities as sole Executrix. She returned to Ireland on 2 February. Higgins had now become more helpful, and wrote to the Longford Printing Press, presumably at George Yeats’s request, about delivery of the page proofs. She received them on Saturday, 25 February and on Monday, 27 February wrote to thank Higgins and arrange to meet with him about the title page and cover, for which Jack Yeats had made a black ink drawing.

Plate 41. Jack B. Yeats : Original Drawing for front cover of On the Boileer, with Jack Yeat’s instruction ‘To Block Maker
Please keep original drawing Clean’. Image courtesy Philip Errington, and Sortheby’s, New Bond St., London.

65The salutation ‘Dear Fred’ shows some warming from her earlier practice of ‘Dear Mr. Higgins’:

Dear Fred

Many thanks for the letter to Longford. The proofs arrived on Saturday night’s post!
I should like to consult you regarding one or two points—cover, title page etc—and would call at the Abbey anytime tomorrow (Tuesday) or Wednesday or Thursday
morning if you could give me a ring to say what hour would suit you. I have a secretary in the afternoons on Wed. and Thurs. so only the mornings wld. be poss.
Have you got, or did you send on to Longford, Jack Yeats’design for the cover? You may remember that I sent it to you just before leaving for France in November.

  • 61 NLI Ms. 27,883 (17). For the Jack Yeats drawing, see Plate 41 and Hilary Pyle’s catalogue raisonné,(...)

Yours very sincerely
George Yeats
61

  • 62 bl Add. MS 55881, which has only its pages [3] through 33, which are the prose sections, from ‘The (...)
  • 63 Other items that were marked on the second-state page proofs but which were ignored by Longford Pri (...)

66George Yeats corrected these page proofs (second state),62 which incorporated the corrections for the first-state proofs. She would have been able to check the second state page proofs against the two copies of the marked first-state page proofs, which the Longford Printing Press returned, in accordance with Yeats’s emphatic instructions in his 10 January forwarding letter to the press. It was thus a much more straightforward process than had been the case with the first-state page proofs. The printer had made most of the corrections, but ignored the instruction to spell out ‘20’ (at ‘Preliminaries’, Section IV, line 5; CW5 225, l. 12; Ex 414, l. 22) likely because the line was so tightly spaced that the change would have required resetting more than one line. George Yeats marked the change on these secondstate page proofs, but the printer’s recalcitrance persisted and the book (Wade no. 201) was printed with ‘20’ instead of ‘twenty’. As it happens, that event is useful evidence because she wrote out ‘twenty’ in the margin in exactly the same way as she had done when she transcribed the first-state page proofs corrections onto the extra set. These second-state page proofs were later to be marked by George Yeats, Thomas Mark and others, so her writing of ‘twenty’ conclusively identifies one of those many markings, and is part of the evidence that these same second-state page proofs would be re-used a few months later as copy-text for the replacement On the Boiler that was to be printed by Alex. Thom & Co., Ltd. (Wade no. 202) and in which the change was adopted.63

67George Yeats was under considerable stress at this time and so could very well have wanted to finish the proofs expeditiously and with a minimum of effort. She missed the misprint of ‘theatre’ as ‘threats’ (CW5 232, l. 40; Ex 428, l. 8), the skipped heading for ‘Private Thoughts’ section II (CW5 234; Ex 431, l. 1), and five punctuation corrections in the last sentence of ‘Other Matters’ section VI (CW5 249; Ex 451). Two decades later, when the Macmillan published On the Boiler in Explorations, using those same second-state page proofs and a copy of the Alex. Thom & Co. book (Wade no. 202), there would be scores of items to emend, but for George Yeats in February 1939 it would have been a relief just to be done with On the Boiler.

68With Yeats’s death, the Cuala board now was reduced to George Yeats, Higgins, and Lolly, who despite poor health continued to be bothersome. The board’s first meeting since November 1938 was on 10 March 1939. The minutes note that Higgins was in the Chair and that the financial woes were continuing, and ‘that Mrs Yeats & Mr. Higgins should see the auditors on Monday March 13th at 11 am’. There would be a Board meeting every fortnight, and

  • 64 Minute book of meetings of Directors of Cuala Industries 12 Oct 1938—2 Dec 1941, Cuala Press archiv (...)

Mrs Yeats proposed & Mr. f. r. Higgins seconded, that Mr. Jack B. Yeats be asked if he would consent to act as Director. It was decided that Mrs w. b. Yeats and Mr. f. r. Higgins be appointed Joint Editors of the Press.64

69Jack Yeats declined, and the Board remained at only three members until after Lolly’s hospitalization on 14 December 1938 and death 16 January 1940.

  • 65 Cuala Press Archive, Trinity College Dublin.

70Cuala’s most recent books had been Yeats’s New Poems, published 18 May 1938, and Frank O’Connor’s translations from the Irish, Lords and Commons, published 25 October 1938. Cuala was preparing Yeats’s Last Poems and Two Plays, at this time still tentatively titled Last Poems, which would be published 10 July 1939. The Cuala minutes for 21 April and for 16 May state that 1,000 cards announcing the new books ‘“Last Poems” and “On the Boiler”’ were being send out. There was no news from Longford Printing Press until sometime after 17 July when the first copies arrived. They were a disaster. Each of the page numbers in the table of contents was four less than it should have been; the type in much of the book has poor clarity, especially in the extensive footnotes; the opening line of a section is left widowed at the bottom of a page; very wide gaps are left between words; and Latin text is not set in italics. The binding was clumsily done with two staples through the thickness of the book. Rather than wait for the next fortnightly meeting of the Cuala board, George Yeats convened a special meeting on 24 July. At that point the Cuala Order Book already had seventy advance orders, totaling 182 copies.65

71Prompt, decisive action was needed, and George Yeats did not hesitate, as the minutes make clear:

The following resolution was proposed by Mrs. w. b. Yeats & seconded by Mr. F. R. Higgins[:] ‘That the Cuala Press take over from Mrs. Yeats the copy of “On the Boiler by w. b. Yeats” and have it published on terms to be arranged later with Mrs. Yeats[.]’

Estimates for Printing to be invited from
Cahill Parkgate Printing Works
Thom[’]s [,] Crow St [Alex. Thom & Co., Limited, Crow Street, Dublin]

  • 66 Minute book of meetings of Directors of Cuala Industries 12 Oct 1938—2 Dec 1941, Cuala Archive, Box (...)

Thom[’]s to be asked to send on a traveler[,] f. r. Higgins suggested (to save time)[,] named ‘Ryan’ so that we can give him particulars of size etc— It was decided to refuse delivery of the whole edition of ‘On the Boiler’ from the Longford Press as it was considered impossible for the Cuala Press to offer the book for sale owing to the numerous errors in the text; the careless inking etc—& the following letter was drafted, & was to be sent immediately to the Longford Printing Press[:]
‘We regret to say that we are unable to offer for sale any of the copies of “On the Boiler” as printed by you. Your printing is so deplorable in
style and inking—apart from the many typographical errors in the text—we feel it would seriously damage the reputation of the Cuala Press if the work went out under our name[.]
As we cannot take the responsibility of storage please let us know immediately what we are to do with the spoilt edition?’The meeting then adjourned.
66

  • 67 Cuala Press diary, 25 June 1940, cited in Liam Miller, The Dun Emer Press, Later the Cuala Press (D (...)

72A year later, a Dublin waste paper firm hauled away the copies of the withdrawn edition.67

  • 68 Wade no. 201. Extant copies: Dublin Municipal Library; Emory University; Wesleyan University; and G (...)

73George Yeats later told Allan Wade that ‘only about four copies of this edition had been issued when it was decided to reprint the book; the whole remainder of the edition was then destroyed and the new edition substituted’. That was that.68

  • 69 In addition to the evidence of ‘twenty’ mentioned 428 above, all of the corrections listed in n. 63 (...)

74Alex. Thom & Co., Ltd., Dublin, the long-standing publisher of Thom’s Dublin Street Directory, continuously since 1844, had the printing experience that Longford Printing Press did not. No proofs or other documentation are extant, but collation of the Alex. Thom printing (Wade no. 202) against the marked page proofs (second state) from February 1939 for the Longford Printing Press (Wade no. 201) conclusively establishes that those marked proofs (second state) were the copy-text for Wade no. 202.69

  • 70 Cuala Order Book, Cuala Press Archive, Trinity College Dublin. The London representative of Charles (...)

75It did set the Latin quotations in italics, as had not been the case with Longford, but presumably to avoid additional copy editing, the titles of books and plays were left in quotation marks instead of being converted to italics. Wade no. 202 was a considerable improvement over the Longford Printing Press in terms of accurately following the copy, but errors in the copy itself meant that Wade no. 202 was far from error-free, for example ‘threats’ instead of ‘theatre’ (BL Add. MS 55881, 15, l. 25; Wade no. 202,21, l. 23; corrected in Ex 428, l. 8 & CW5 232, l. 40), stanza divisions not closed up in Swift’s ‘Ode to the Honble Sir William Temple’(BL Add. MS 55881,18; Wade no. 202, 23–24; corrected in Ex 432 & CW5 235), and skipping a numbered section division (Section ‘II’ of ‘Private Thoughts’, BL Add. MS 55881 p. 17; Wade no. 202, 23, l. 5; Ex 431, l. 1 and furthermore with the ‘II’ wrongly placed at Ex 432; corrected in CW5 234). The new On the Boiler (Wade no. 202) looked better because it was bound with glue rather than heavy staples. An official date of publication is not known, but the Cuala Order Book states that the 236 copies that had been ordered in advance were shipped on 31 August 1939.70 That date accords with the British Library copy, which is date-stamped 4 September. After the 236 copies from 95 advance orders had been shipped, the rest of 1939 had 171 copies in 59 orders. In 1940 there were 90 copies in 49 orders, 1941 had 22 copies in 11 orders, and for 1942–1945 only 16 copies in 12 orders. The grand total of copies ordered was 535. The size of the print run is not recorded, but Colin Smythe heard the figure to be in excess of 2,000 copies (Information from Warwick Gould).

76Yeats had relished the prospect that On the Boiler would elicit ferocious responses from reviewers and readers, which would boost sales. But that was not to be. Just four days after the first copies of On the Boiler were shipped to customers, Britain declared war on Germany. Six weeks later Macmillan decided to postpone publication of Yeats’s Last Poems and Plays (Wade no. 203) until January 1940 because, as Harold Macmillan explained to George Yeats (BL Add. MS 55830, f. 281), ‘the present state of the publishing world is so difficult’. He added, specifically about reviewers, ‘I am hoping in connection with this book to revive interest in all the work, and in a period of less rush I think reviewers will do more justice to these poems and Mr. Yeat’ s [sic] work as a whole’. Ann Saddlemyer records the similar opinion of George Yeats that the war was to blame for the lukewarm reception of On the Boiler, that ‘there had been very few reviews of On the Boiler, for the English papers seemed to be reviewing “nothing but war books & fiction”’ (BG 586–87).

  • 71 Macmillan ‘Preliminary Notice’, BL Add. MS 55821, f. 487 and also Princeton, Author Files I, box 17 (...)
  • 72 bl Add. MS 55820, ff. 203–4. j. h. Wheelock, Scribner’s to a. p. Watt, 6 February 1939 bl Add. ms 5 (...)

77But that’s far from the end of the editorial history of On the Boiler. At the start of 1939 work was well underway for two expensive, limited collected editions, one of seven volumes (‘The Dublin Edition’, which soon would be increased to eleven volumes) in New York at Charles Scribner’s Sons and the other in London at Macmillan (the ‘Edition de Luxe’, soon to be renamed ‘The Coole Edition’) with eleven volumes and advertised at 16 Guineas.71 Scribner’s planned to publish its first volumes in early autumn 1939. Harold Macmillan wrote to George Yeats on 28 February, ‘We should like to publish it in September, and it is therefore important that we should have as soon as possible any poems, plays, or essays for which we do not possess the material’.72 Each publisher wanted to make its collected edition to be complete by including On the Boiler.

  • 73 BG 574–75. Thomas Mark to George Yeats, 14 April 1939 BL Add. MS 55822, f. 342.

78George Yeats travelled to London for a few days for the Yeats memorial service on 16 March 1939, staying at the London flat of Dorothy Wellesley and Hilda Matheson, with whom she would have discussed the Cuala Broadsides project of which Dorothy and Higgins were editors. The next day she met with Harold Macmillan and Thomas Mark to discuss plans for Last Poems & Plays (Wade 203) and the possibility of additional ‘autobiographical and other material’ for the Edition de Luxe.73

79On 14 April 1939 Macmillan sent her a proof of a draft prospectus (BL Add. MS 55890, ff. 1–2) for the eleven-volume edition. George Yeats wrote in ‘On the Boiler’ at the end of the listing of contents for volume XI (‘Later Essay’, and earlier titled ‘Essays and Introductions’).

80The editorial roles and mutual respect of George Yeats and the trusted editor Thomas Mark are evident in their letters to each other at this time. George Yeats compliments him for ‘your own invaluable help in reading of proofs’. And Mark underscores her helpful role and his enthusiasm for the work:

  • 74 George Yeats to Thomas Mark, 13 April 1939, photocopy from Richard Finneran. Thomas Mark to George (...)

There are some queries I was going to submit to Mr. Yeats when I went through the revised proofs, and I should be glad to have your advice on some points if it would not be troubling you too much… I wonder if you would like the alterations made as marked on the pages of proofs enclosed herewith. Please let me know if you would rather let questions like this be decided here. I need scarcely say that it will give me great pleasure to do anything I can with regard to existing volumes, the new material you have ready, and the volume that has still to be edited, as I have always taken great pride in the work that has been entrusted to me in connection with Mr. Yeats’s writings.74

81That was reinforced by Harold Macmillan in his 13 June 1939 letter to George Yeats (BL Add. MS 55825, f. 302), ‘Mr. Mark has told me of the very kind help you are giving him with the proofs, and I am pleased that you have been able to collaborate so actively in this edition’.

  • 75 George Yeats to Macmillan, 14 June 1939, photocopy supplied by Richard Finneran. Harold Macmillan t (...)

82There was some discussion about whether to add On the Boiler to the last volume, XI, or to Volume VIII, with autobiographical works, because, as Harold Macmillan explained in his 13 June letter to George Yeats, Volume XI ‘threatens to be a good deal lengthier than the other prose volumes. We would like to keep the books as close to the same length as possible, to avoid having to use a specially thin paper in some cases’. George Yeats pointed out that On the Boiler ‘can hardly be regarded as “autobiographical”’ and that she had marked it as an addition to the final volume, XI, ‘mainly because it represents the studies Yeats had been occupied with for the past two years of his life’. That placement in Volume XI carried the day, perhaps in part because Macmillan, with the support of George Yeats, decided not to include the two essays that would otherwise have been added to Volume XI, ‘If I were Four-and-Twenty’ (1914) and ‘Ireland, 1921–1931’ (1932).75

  • 76 2 June 1939, Macmillan letter-book, bl Add. Ms. 55824.
  • 77 The marked page proofs (second state) bl Add. MS 55881 has black pencil marking by the Coole Editio (...)
  • 78 Additional confirmation that bl Add. MS 55881 was the copy-text for the Coole Edition proofs bl Add (...)

83On 2 June, when Macmillan asked George Yeats for copy-text of On the Boiler76 it still was scheduled for Volume VIII (Autobiographies II), which would reach page proofs by 21 June, so there was no room for delay. She promptly sent him the set of marked page proofs (second state) (bl Add. MS 55881) of Wade no. 201, which the Longford Printing Press had finished using by then. Within a month, that set of page proofs had been copy-edited by Thomas Mark at Macmillan and set in proofs77 as the final item (357–409) of Volume XI, Later Essays, of the Macmillan Coole Edition, datestamped throughout ‘R. & R. Clark, Ltd. | 9 July 1939 | Edinburgh’ (bl Add. MS 55895).78

  • 79 The pagination changed when four lines were deleted from ‘High Talk’. The Cuala Minute Book describ (...)
  • 80 The likely sequence of the markings on bl Add. MS 55881 is:
    (1.) Black ink, with a broad nibbed pen
    (...)

84Those Longford page proofs (second state) had been marked by George Yeats at the end of February, and then in June/July were further marked at Macmillan by Thomas Mark. In the margin of page 3 of the Longford page proofs, at the poem ‘Why should not Old Men be Mad?’, is a hand-written notation ‘Follow text as corrected in proof of Last Poems’, referring to the proofs of the Cuala Press Last Poems and Two Plays (Wade no. 200). George Yeats had sent corrected page proofs of that Cuala book to Macmillan and also to Scribner’s, and because the Scribner’s set (HRHRC, Yeats Collection, Box 4, Miscellaneous case) has page numbering from a penultimate stage of production, she sent the proofs of the Cuala Press Last Poems and Two Plays to them probably in late April or early May.79 Those Longford page proofs (second state) (BL Add. MS 55881) are complex and well-travelled. They were (1.) marked by George Yeats in February 1939 (2.) were at the Longford Printing Press in March for production of Wade no. 201 (3.) were marked again April or May by George Yeats for the Coole Edition (4.) and then by Thomas Mark in May or June, with some queries answered by George Yeats (5.) were marked by the Coole Edition compositor in July 1939 in Edinburgh, and (6.) a week or so later were at the Alex Thom & Co. press in Dublin for production of Wade no. 202. And, as we will soon see, had a role two decades later in the preparation of Explorations, published in July 1962. Few of those many markings can be attributed with full confidence to a particular person, but collations do enable identification of the phase at which many of the markings occurred, and the sequence of markings in various media is sometimes identifiable.80

85The 19 July 1939 Coole Edition proofs of the Volume XI (BL Add. MS 55895), in which pages 357–409 have On the Boiler, has blue-ink copy-editing by Thomas Mark in 1939, as well as his queries for George Yeats in 1939, but those queries were not about On the Boiler, and whenever it was that she did eventually answer, also in blue ink, she apparently did not return them until at least after the 12 February 1940, when Mark, writing for Macmillan in Harold Macmillan’s absence, to A. S. Watt (BL Add. MS 55834, f. 522) asked Watt to get George Yeats to sign and return the American contract for Last Poems and Two Plays that was now more than two months late:

  • 81 E.g., answered queries on 250–51 (‘An Indian Monk’) and on 250–51, 267, 270–71, and 275 (‘The Holy (...)

I wonder if you think that you could do anything by wiring to Mrs Yeats. I have written to her several times about some outstanding proofs of the big edition of her husband’s works, but have had no reply.81

86George Yeats had helped by looking at proofs of several of the Coole Edition proofs, but the disruption associated with her move on 26 July from Riversdale to 46 Palmerston Road, Rathmines would have been a practical limitation.

  • 82 John Hall Wheelock, Scribners, New York, to Charles Kingsley, London representative of Scribners, 5 (...)
  • 83 See 415–16 above. HRHRC, Yeats Collection, Box 4, Miscellaneous case lacks p. 32, which George Yeat (...)

87Meanwhile, in New York, as of 5 January 1939, some three weeks prior to Yeats’s death, Charles Scribner’s Sons had planned to begin work on the layout and general format of its ‘Dublin Edition’ in March 1939 and to publish the ‘first volume or so’ in autumn 1939.82 When Yeats died, Scribner’s expanded their plans for the ‘Dublin Edition’ by adding all of Yeats’s works published since 1937, so that the edition increased to eleven volumes. On 6 February 1939, J. H. Wheelock, Scribner’s, in a letter to Yeats’s agent A. P. Watt, indicated that ‘the material on hand contains everything of Mr. Yeats’ s work that has been published to date’and asked for information about any plans for additional, posthumous publication: ‘as the Dublin edition is intended to be definitive, we shall naturally wish to include among the last volumes published any future books of Mr. Yeats’. That would include On the Boiler, but their first volume, planned for October 1939, was Poems. Accordingly, during the spring George Yeats concentrated on providing them the additional poems needed for that volume, rather than sending copy for On the Boiler, which Scribner’s planned for Scribner’s Volume VII in the now expanded Dublin Edition. She certainly would have expected to have been able to furnish Scribner’s a copy of the published book, rather than page proofs. But when she sent them a large packet of copy for additional essays and introductions for the Dublin Edition, shortly before 19 June 1939, she resorted, presumably only as a temporary measure, to sending the cleanly transcribed set of earlier corrected page proofs (first state) for the Longford Printing Press On the Boiler.83 In New York, Scribner’s labelled them but did not make emendations and never typeset On the Boiler. Scribner’s copy of On the Boiler Wade no. 202 (see note 70 above; HRHC Scribners papers, box 2, file vol. VII) has no copy-editing of its text, but has hand-written pagination ‘329’ through ‘364’, its top page (‘329’) is marked ‘Duplicate’, and the table of contents is marked to show excision of the play Purgatory.

  • 84 [Charles Scribner, Scribner’s, New York] to George P. Brett, Jr., President, Macmillan, New York, 7 (...)

88On 3 September 1939 Britain declared war on Germany, and both the Macmillan ‘Coole Edition’ and the Scribner’s ‘Dublin Edition’ were postponed, and then eventually abandoned, because of the unfavourable economic condition of the book market. Scribner’s had published its eight-volume ‘Hampstead Edition’ of John Keats in 1938–1939 at only about one-third the price that had been mentioned in 1935 when the Yeats edition was planned.84 Thomas Mark wrote to George Yeats, 19 October 1939 (BL Add. MS 55830, f. 334), acknowledging receipt from her of the proofs of Last Poems and Plays (Wade no. 203) and also of Volume V (the second volume of plays) of the Coole Edition:

The former were just in time, as the book was about to go to press, though you will by now have heard from Mr. Harold Macmillan that it will be advisable to postpone publication until 1940. The Coole Edition has to wait for better times, and perhaps you will not mind letting me know if I may now send the proofs of Volume XI, with the typescript of all the new Introductions, and ‘ON THE BOILER’. I understand that there is no difficulty about sending the material to Ireland, but I should like to know that it will be convenient for you to look at it now.

89Ten weeks later, 3 January 1940, Thomas Mark was still waiting for a reply from George Yeats as to whether she was ready to read proof of volume XI: ‘I think that one or two of my letters may not have reached you, as I have not had any reply. I hope that you will not mind letting me know if I may send you the proofs of Volume xi of the Coole edition with the typescript of the new Introduction, and “On the Boiler”. There are a few points on which I should like to have your decision, but I do not want to send you the material until it is convenient for you to deal with it’ (BL Add. MS 55833, f. 223). And then on 12 February 1940 he pressures A. S. Watt to get action from George Yeats on her signing of a Macmillan, New York contract for Last Poems and Two Plays that was some three months late:

‘I wonder if you think that you could do anything by wiring to Mrs Yeats. I have written to her several times about some outstanding proofs of the big edition of her husband’s works, but have had no reply’ (BL Add. MS 55834, f. 522).

  • 85 To Charles Kingsley, Scribners’Sons, London, but mistakenly mailed to the New York office, copy in (...)

90On 20 February 1940 Lovat Dickson at Macmillan notified Scribner’s representative in London that the Coole Edition had been indefinitely postponed.85 Scribners, however, retained some hope of publishing their Dublin Edition as late as 1949.

91The next appearance of On the Boiler was two decades later, in the extensive excerpts published in Explorations (1962, Wade no. 211Y). Despite the statement on its title page and dust jacket of Explorations that the contents had been ‘Selected by George. W. B. Yeats’, the choices were made largely at Macmillan, London, by Lovat Dickson and/or the recently retired Thomas Mark, who continued actively to assist until Explorations was published, 23 July 1962. George Yeats eventually did provide a list of contents, but only quite late in the process of production.

92The earliest documentary evidence of the Explorations project is in late 1959 (or very early 1960), with an undated and unsigned pencil draft of a letter to George Yeats (BL Add. MS 55896) about the corrections to be made on the autumn 1959 page proofs for Essays and Introductions (Wade no. 211T, published 16 February 1961). The draft letter mentions Thomas Mark several times, in the third person, but was probably written by him rather than Lovat Dickson. Mark regularly drafted letters to George Yeats for signature by Harold Macmillan. The draft letter gives a tentative list of contents for the volume, ending with On the Boiler:

Selections of general interest from On the Boiler (1938)
Much of this is so personal that it would come very suitably after the [Pages from a] ‘Diary’ [Written in Nineteen Hundred and Thirty]. Perhaps you would like to consider the following [cancelled: extracts] tentative list:
The Name
Preliminaries II, III, IV
Tomorrow’s Revolution I
Private Thoughts IIV
Other Matters IIV, VI, VII

93The draft letter concludes: ‘We have not yet gone into this proposal officially, but it naturally interests me greatly, and I shall look forward to hearing what you think of it and whether you have anything else you would like to include. If the book were put in hand, T.[homas] M.[ark] says he would be very happy to join you in seeing it through the press’.

94That tentative listing would have reduced On the Boiler by 43 percent of its full length. Months passed without a reply from George Yeats, and on 11 August 1960, in what perhaps was Lovat Dickson’s next letter to her on this project, he wrote (NLI Ms. 30,755), ‘I shall look forward with great interest to seeing your list of material that might appear in Explorations’. He sent her several items associated with Explorations, the 1939 proofs of ‘The Irish Dramatic Movement 1901–1919’and ‘A Packet for Ezra Pound’, plus a marked copy of Pages from a Diary 1930, and, importantly for us, a disbound copy of On the Boiler (Wade no. 202), into which Thomas Mark had transcribed from the much-travelled Longford page proofs (second-state) (BL Add. MS 55881) his extensive copy-editing and George Yeats’s answers to queries. The marked, disbound copy of On the Boiler (NLI Ms. 38,461, 4th item) could well be the one that Macmillan ordered from the Cuala Press in 1939. It was very heavily marked with copy-editing, proposed cuts and queries, by Thomas Mark in 1939 and by Thomas Mark and/or Lovat Dickson in 1960. The drastic 43 percent cuts reflected in the tentative listing had now been softened to only 8 percent; they are exactly the cuts that were made in the published Explorations:

  • 86 The sections that had not been in the tentative listing of contents but now were to be incorporated (...)

‘Preface’ (CW5 220) (specific to On the Boiler and mentions the play Purgatory that is not included in Ex.)
‘Private Thoughts: V’ (CW5 239) (brief section on a proposal to teach Greek in association with Gaelic)
‘Ireland after the Revolution: IV–V’ (
CW5 239–43) (poem ‘I am tired of cursing the Bishop’ [‘Crazy Jane on the Mountain’ VP 628] (IV); and a brief section on the next number of On the Boiler (V)
‘Other Matters: V’ (
CW5 247–48) (on Cuala Press Broadsides and plans for a new series that was cancelled).86

95He also returned Yeats’s personal copy of Hone and Rossi’s Bishop Berkeley (YL 911 or 911a), from which Macmillan had taken the introduction used in Essays and Introductions. At the end of this 11 August 1960 letter, Lovat Dickson added, after mentioning that Thomas Mark sends his regards, ‘We are both delighted, as everyone here is, that you are prepared to make up a list of material to appear in Explorations and I will look forward to hearing from you about this at your convenience’.

96A full eight months later, on 19 April 1961, Lovat Dickson still had not received a list of contents from her (NLI Ms. 30,755): ‘I hear indirectly that you are distressed about the cuts suggested in the marked copy sent to you of On the Boiler. I don’t know whether this is the reason why I haven’t heard from you in reply to my letters of last August and January of this year, but if it is I wish that I had known that. We are perfectly read[y] to print On the Boiler without any alterations at all. The suggested cuts were indeed only suggestions, and they can be ignored altogether’. He went on to plead, ‘Do let us get on with Explorations. The other books have done very well, and it is a pity not to add this valuable material to w. b. Y.’s published work’.

97Two Macmillan lists of contents for Explorations are extant, presumably both dating from between that letter of 19 April 1961 and the 24 November—8 December 1961 galley proofs of Explorations. The first list is written in blue-black ink with a ballpoint pen, perhaps by Thomas Mark. It has the first mention of ‘If I were Four-and-Twenty’, but still lacks ‘Swedenborg, Mediums, and the Desolate Places’. The list has ‘Cuchulain’, ‘Gods and Fighting Men’, ‘If I were Four and Twenty’, ‘The Midnight Court’, ‘Pages from a Diary 1930’ and ‘On the Boiler’. At the bottom is a later notation referring to the Macmillan editor T. M. Farmiloe: ‘given to T. M. F. to go back to George Yeats. May 23, 1962’ (BL Add. MS 55896).

98The other list of contents for Explorations was written by George Yeats, in blue ball-point, and coincides exactly with the contents as published in Explorations. The list, which is headed ‘Explorations’, contains ‘Cuchulain of Muirthemne 1902’, ‘Gods and Fighting Men 1904’, ‘Swedenborg, Mediums, and the Desolate Places 1914’, ‘The Irish Dramatic Movement 1901–1919’, ‘If I were Four and Twenty 1919’, ‘The Midnight Court 1926’, ‘Pages from a Diary Written in 1930’, ‘Introduction to The Words upon The Window Pane’, ‘Fighting the Waves (play & introduction)’, ‘The Resurrection’, ‘The Cat and the Moon 1934’ and ‘On the Boiler 1939’. Below this list, in another hand, is the comment: ‘If cuts necessary remove Swedenborg &/or If I were Four & Twenty’ (BL Add. MS 55896). No such cuts were needed.

  • 87 NLI 38,461 marked copy of On the Boiler has no marginal notations about the slip divisions but does (...)
  • 88 Slip L 145: ‘Explorations—140’ has a pencilled query ‘Not done? Keep this par. or omit?’ and then i (...)
  • 89 Transcription by Warwick Gould from uncatalogued materials in the BL Macmillan Archive, M118.

99At some point George Yeats did return the marked copy of On the Boiler (NLI Ms. 38,461, 4th item), which then was used by the printer for setting galley proofs date-stamped 24 November 1961—8 December 1961 (BL Add. MS 55896).87 The galleys of the text of On the Boiler are date-stamped 7 and 8 December 1961. Queries were marked in pencil and then responded to in blue ball-point probably by Thomas Mark. But the only substantive emendation for On the Boiler is the deletion of the brief section IV of ‘Ireland after the Revolution’, which was printed despite being marked for deletion on the copy-text marked copy of On the Boiler (NLI Ms. 38,461, 4th item).88 There is no documentary evidence of George Yeats having seen those galleys. But she did see the page proofs, as we know from her letter to T. M. Farmiloe on 30 May 1962, writing from 46 Palmerston Rd.:89

Thank you very much for sending proofs. I will sent [sic] them today by registered letter post. Please give my deepest thanks to Mr. Mark. I would like to suggest to him that on p. 137 ‘Colm’ be spelt ‘Colum’ & the note deleted. P. 138 Colum as already on p. 182. I should like to change on p. 428—’Ninette de Valois, herself a dublin [sic] woman’to ‘an Irish woman’. I am sure Ninette would not like the inaccuracy of ‘a Dublin woman’.

100Those emendations were made to ‘Samhain: 1904’ (Ex 137) and to On the Boiler ‘To-morrow’s Revolution’, Section V (Ex 427), although the note was retained in ‘Samhain: 1904’ (Ex 138). Explorations was published by Macmillan, London, on 23 July 1962 (Wade no. 211Y) and by Macmillan, New York, on 1 April 1963 (Wade no. 211Z).

101My ‘Editor’s Preface’to Later Essays (CW5), a volume that includes On the Boiler among its twenty-one main works, specified that the copy-text for each was the last version seen by Yeats, but then pointed out the necessity of considering individually the editorial history of each work, and the ‘often difficult problem of how much authority should be assigned to decisions made collectively by George Yeats and Thomas Mark of Macmillan, London, after Yeats’ s death’, especially ‘for On the Boiler, which Yeats saw only in an early proof version of the rejected first edition, and for the two introductions for the Charles Scribner’s Sons “Dublin Edition”, which Yeats last saw in typescript. The evidence available from manuscripts and typescripts suggests that in many instances George Yeats possessed documentary authority for posthumous emendations’. Then after a couple of clear examples from the Scribner’s introductions, whose editorial history is relatively simple in comparison with that of On the Boiler, came the obvious but important dictum that the ‘posthumous emendations are not all of one cloth; they should neither be accepted wholesale nor rejected out of hand’ (CW5 xi).

102In CW5 the copy-text for On the Boiler is the marked page proofs (first state) from the Longford Printing Press, as the last version seen by Yeats (NLI Ms. 30,485). But that text, even after another revise of its page proofs (BL Add. MS 55881), had been so inexpertly printed (Wade no. 201) that the Cuala Press chose not to publish the book until it had been completely reprinted, by a different printer (Wade no. 202). Consequently, I allowed an additional measure of authority to the posthumous evidence in the set of marked page proofs (second state) (BL Add. MS 55881) that George Yeats sent to Longford Printing Press in March 1939 for the first printing (Wade no. 201), and then sent to Macmillan in June 1939 for the Coole Edition, and then sent to Alex. Thom & Co. in July 1939 for the second printing (Wade No. 202). As we have seen, however, that set of marked page proofs is complicated by the additional emendations and queries of Thomas Mark, George Yeats, and some other hands. If the publication of On the Boiler in the Coole Edition had been able to be completed in 1939, then a persuasive good case could be made for according it special authority, even though posthumous, and perhaps, by extension, even for selecting it as copy-text for CW5. But that was not so. And the passage of two decades before much of that material was reused but also augmented for Explorations complicates the problems facing an editor. To illustrate, consider three instances (among other) of Thomas Mark omitting (perhaps deliberately or perhaps accidentally) an item when he was transcribing his markings from the Longford page proofs (second state) (BL Add. MS 55881), which had been used as copy-text in setting the Coole Edition page proofs of July 1939, onto the marked disbound copy of On the Boiler (NLI Ms. 38,461, 4th item), which would be the copy-text for setting Explorations in 1960:

‘such and such’ unhyphenated, emended to ‘such-and-such’ with hyphens (CW5 220, l. 18)
‘boat;’
semi-colon emended to ‘boat,’ comma (CW5 220, l. 27)
‘hell wherein we suffer… the world itself is hell’
lower-case ‘hell’ emended to ‘Hell wherein we suffer… the world itself is Hell’ capitalised ‘Hell’ (CW5 223, ll. 14 & 16)

103And to compound uncertainty, although in the first two examples Explorations printed them without emendation (Ex 407), thus predictably following its copy-text, in the third example Explorations left the first ‘hell’ in lower case, but capitalized the second ‘Hell’ (Ex 411).

CW5 used:
CW5 220.18: ‘such-and-such’ rather than ‘such and such’ [citing GY 55881]
CW5 220.27: ‘boat,’ rather than ‘boat;’ [citing GY 55881]
CW5 223: ‘hell… hell’ [No emendation]

104This usefully reminds an editor to be cautious of assumptions based on what might otherwise seem abundant documentary evidence. There is always more to find. The discovery by Warwick Gould of a letter from George Yeats to T. M. Farmiloe (443 above) has provided evidence that CW5 should have adopted the Explorations printing ‘an Irish’ (Ex 428) instead of ‘a Dublin’ (CW5 233, l. 2).

  • 90 Five unadopted verbal emendations in Explorations were marked in the copy of Wade 202 that George Y (...)

105Of some 228 emendations to On the Boiler in CW5, 205 of them are parallel to those in Explorations, and twelve are to sections that were omitted in Explorations. However, Explorations has ninetythree other posthumous copy-editing emendations that exceeded my textual emendation policies for CW5 and thus were not been adopted. Nearly half of the posthumous copy-editing changes that I did not adopt from Explorations were made probably at the sole initiative of the publisher because they were not marked on the copy of On the Boiler (Wade 202) that Macmillan had sent to George Yeats in August 1960 (NLI Ms. 38,461, 4th item). Seven of the unadopted emendations from Explorations were corrections to quotations and references. The five unadopted emendations of wording from Explorations for On the Boiler are listed in the note here.90

106Apart from the emendation of wording, Explorations created one section division (Ex 432, l. 26; CW5 235, l. 31) to compensate for a section division elsewhere that mistakenly was omitted in early page proofs; one paragraph division (CW5 228, l. 32) was dropped (Ex 420, l. 12); and two sentences (CW5 249, l. 24) were combined (Ex 451, l. 11). Seventeen of the unadopted changes were minor alterations of spelling. The rest were local changes in punctuation, often to add commas.

Notes

1 Note—Further information may have been gathered since this article was prepared for publication. If you would like to find out if any further information has been discovered that may help your own research, why not write to the author at wodonnll@memphis.edu? Quite apart from anything else, feedback is always welcomed.

2 But not invariably so, for John Kelly and I each were unsuccessful in getting in touch with Harry Clifton, who surely must have received a thank you letter from Yeats for his gift of the lapis lazuli carving. In that instance, some consolation was available by noticing that Harry Clifton’s entry in Who’s Who listed his interests succinctly as ‘people, horses, and dogs’, but then each time the entry was updated, one of those interests was deleted, ending with just ‘dogs’, and in the next up-date the entire entry disappeared, and didn’t reappear in Who Was Who.

3 This supersedes the complicated and fragmentary account by Richard J. Finneran, in EYPR 140–45, as well the earlier versions by Finneran in EYP 113–16, and by Sandra F. Siegel in her edition of Purgatory: Manuscript Materials including the Author’s Final Text by w. b. Yeats (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1986), hereafter cited as Cornell Purgatory, 14–20. Those second state proofs are discussed below, 423–25.

4 CL InteLex 7135, L 903. John Ruskin’s outspoken miscellany Fors Clavigera: Letters to the Workmen and Labourers of Great Britain was published as a series of pamphlets 1871 to 1884. Yeats, in a letter to the editor of the All Ireland Review, Standish James O’Grady, published 22 September 1900, had advocated for ‘a kind of Irish “Fors Clavigera”’ (CL2 571), and the annotation to CL2 points out (571, n. 3) that ‘O’ Grady had already been hailed as the author of another Fors Clavigera, in a review of his Toryism and Tory Democracy (1886) in the Dublin University Review (April 1886)’. Ruskin’s source for the term ‘Fors Clavigera’, literally ‘Fortune the Nail-bearer’, is a description of the figure of Destiny in Horace, Odes, Book I, poem xxxv, lines 17–20, which contains the word ‘clavos’ but does not use either ‘ Fors’or ‘Clavigera’. (See commentary by Clive Wilmer, http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/wilmerc/cmmntryf.htm)

5 He wrote from France to George Yeats in Ireland, a week later, ‘I am writing at my essay. General aproval [sic] by Dulac etc makes me return to “on the old boiler”—each number to contain two or three lines of explanation perhaps in verse’. (CL InteLex 7159, 11 January 1938).

6 CLInteLex 7179. See also Yeats to Ethel Mannin, 4 January 1938, cut from Yeats to Ethel Mannin, 24 January 1938, ‘I call it “On the boiler” in commemoration of a mad ships carpenter who, in my childhood, used to preach from the top of an old steamboat boiler on the Sligo keys [sic, quays]’CL InteLex 7169.

7 See David Bradshaw, ‘The Eugenics Movement in the 1930s and the Emergence of On the Boiler’, YA9 189–215.

8 See L 907, n. 2 and Yeats to George Yeats, CL InteLex 7208, 6 April 1938; cited by Siegel, Cornell Purgatory, 15.7

9 Yeats to George Yeats, 31 March, 17 and 25 April 1938, CL InteLex 7205, 7216, and 7223.

10 Yeats to Elizabeth C. (Lolly) Yeats, [26 April 1938], CL InteLex 7224.

11 CL InteLex 7227. The eventual price of On the Boiler (Wade no. 202) was 3/6. Frank O’Connor’s English translation of ‘The Lament for Art O’ Leary’by Eileen O’Connell had been published by Cuala in 1932 in his The Wild Bird’s Nest, 25–39, without illustrations.

12 Yeats to Lolly (Elizabeth C. Yeats), CL InteLex 7224. Yeats to George Yeats, CL InteLex 7230. The new material might have been the first half of the preface (although in a subsequent typescript Yeats signed and dated the preface ‘July 1938’); the poem ‘[Why should not old men be mad?]’ (CW5 221, Ex 407–8); ‘Ireland after the Revolution’, section III (on King George V; CW5 242–43, Ex 442–43); and the second paragraph of ‘Other Matters’, section VII (on physical ideals in art; CW5 249, Ex 450–51, as section ‘VI’).

13 Bradford 377–85; see also David Bradshaw, ‘The Eugenics Movement in the 1930s and the Emergence of On the Boiler’, YA9 204–10.

14 Yeats to Anne Yeats, 6 and 12 April 1938, and to George Yeats, 17 and 21 April and 3 and 5 May 1939 (CL InteLex 7209, 7213, 7216, 7220, 7230, 7231).

15 Yeats to Edith Shackleton Heald, 6 June [1938], CL InteLex 7249.

16 NLI Ms. 27,854 F. R. and May Higgins papers 1900–1982: biographical notes by May Higgins and Alan Denson.

17 P&I 175–85, notes 300–5, and textual introduction 334; W249.

18 To-Morrow, Vol. 1, No. 1 (August 1924) included ‘Leda and the Swan’ and Higgins’s ‘Intrusions’ (2). Vol. 1, No. 2 (September 1924) had two poems by Higgins, ‘Wet Loveliness’ and ‘The Horse-Breaker’ (3). See above 160 and ff. on Higgins’s role in the whole To-Morrow affair.

19 See Life 2 584; Yeats to Edith Shackleton Heald CL InteLex 6934, 18 May [1937], L 888; Yeats to Dorothy Wellesley CL InteLex 6936, 19 May, [1937]; Yeats to Edmund Dulac CL InteLex 6942, 27 May [1937], L 890.

20 The Gap of Brightness was published 27 August 1940. Regina M. Buccola, ‘f. r. Higgins’, in Modern Irish Writers: A Bio-critical Sourcebook, ed. by Alexander G. Gonzalez (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997), 112.

21 As told by Brinsley MacNamara in a BBC broadcast, June 1949, ‘w. b. Yeats: A Dublin Portrait’ by William R. Rogers; rpt. in In Excited Reverie: A Centenary Tribute to William Butler Yeats: 1865–1939, ed. by a. n. Jeffares and k. g. w. Cross (New York: Macmillan, 1965), 3.

22 Interview with Frank O’Connor (Michael O’Donovan) by Richard Ellmann, 28 June 1947, Interview Book, Ellmann Papers, Y. 8, University of Tulsa; quoted in Foster, w. b. Yeats, II, 499. For a complete transcription see Warwick Gould, ‘“Gasping on the Strand”: Richard Ellmann’s w. b. Yeats Notebooks’, YA16 279–361, at 293.

23 ‘[w. b. Yeats] As Irish Poet’, The Arrow, W. B. Yeats Commemoration Number, Summer 1939, 8.

24 See Yeats to Ernest Blythe CL InteLex 7260, 23 June 1938; e. h. Mikhail ed., Abbey Theatre: Interviews and Recollections (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1988), xxvii.

25 10 and 24 June 1938 (both chaired by Yeats), 1 July (chaired by Yeats), 29 July (Yeats absent), 5 August (Yeats absent), 12 and 19 August (with Yeats, the 19 August meeting was the last that Yeats ever attended), through 2 September. Higgins missed the meetings on 9 and 16 September 1938 while he was away in London, but resumed his perfect attendance with the meetings on 30 September 1938, 7 October, 21 October, 4 November, 18 November, 2 December, 16 December, 30 December 1938, 13 January 1939, 27 January 1939, and the special meeting on 30 January ‘The meeting was called in consequence of the death on Saturday 28th January 1939 of Mr W. B. Yeats’. (National Theatre Society Minute Book 1 September 1937 to 26th May 1939, 94–191. Available online at the Abbey Theatre Minute Book, https://digital.library.nuigalway.ie/islandora/object/nuigalway%3Aa25629b6–65ab-4d2d-8b31–74695205cad3)

26 Yeats to Dorothy Wellesley, [2 Nov 1937] (CL InteLex 7106).

27 CL InteLex 7126, omitted from L 900–01.

28 Yeats to S. C. Scroope, CL InteLex 7149, 2 January 1938.

29 Yeats to S. C. Scroope, CL InteLex 7156, [c. 4 January 1938].

30 Minute book of meetings of Directors of Cuala Industries 12 October 1938–2 December 1941, Cuala Archive, Box. 2, no. 1, Trinity College Dublin.

31 William M. Murphy, Family Secrets: William Butler Yeats and His Relatives (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1995), 254 and quoting Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats letter to her cousin Ruth Lane-Poole (née Pollexfen), 3 July 1938.

32 Life 2 623 citing Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats letter to her cousin Ruth Lane-Poole, 29 June 1938.

33 CL InteLex 7258, [19 June 1938].

34 CL InteLex 7259, 22 June 1938 (with literatim misspellings ‘my self’, ‘beleifs’, ‘beleived’ and ‘beleif’), L 910–11, LDW (1940) 182–83.

35 We know Science and Physical Phenomena arrived promptly because on the inside back cover of his copy (YL 2178) Yeats wrote five drafts of a revised line 12 of Purgatory (‘So you have come the path before’) that he added in ink as a late change to the typescript that Yeats gave to Higgins before 8 July and which was the copytext used by the Longford Printing Press.

36 Yeats to Dorothy Wellesley, 26 September 1938, CL InteLex 7306); Yeats to Edith Shackleton Heald CL InteLex 7305, c. 23 September 1938: ‘… to meet Tyrell whose books I base No 2 of On The Boiler upon’. See also Yeats to Edith Shackleton Heald, 2 October [1938] CL 7307: ‘I may be able to get to England by Oct 10th or 11th. George Lyttleton let her house to war refugees in the middle of the scare so her party is off’. ChronY 310 mentions that lumbago forced him to postpone a visit planned for 8 October, and a dental problem kept him from travelling for the rescheduled 15 October weekend.

37 NLI Ms. 30,280. Richard Ellmann printed it and usefully describes it in The Identity of Yeats, 2nd ed. (London: Faber & Faber, 1964), 236–37.

38 George Yeats to Patrick McCartan, 20 February 1939. Yeats and Patrick McCartan A Fenian Friendship, ed. by John Unterecker, Dolmen Press Yeats Centenary Papers, No. X (Dublin: Dolmen Press, 1967), 418.

39 Emphasis added. Joseph Hone, w. b. Yeats 1864–1939 (London: Macmillan, 1965), 476; L 922, CL InteLex 7362.

40 CL InteLex 7271, 14 July 1938; it is dated 13 July 1938 in LDW (1940) 199 and L 912.

41 CW5 431–32, n. 59 (Ex 427 n. 1) and CW5 433, n. 76 (Ex 433 n. 1).

42 Turner’s Printing Company, 4 Earl Street, Longford, Co. Longford. When I enquired in 2005, the firm had no records pertinent to On the Boiler.

43 George Yeats to Yeats, 1 November 1938, YGYL 547–47, quoted in EYPR 141. Italics were used for the refrain lines of the poems ‘I lived among great houses’ [later titled ‘A Stateman’s Holiday’] and ‘Three Marching Songs’, but not for the titles of books and plays. ‘Three Marching Songs’ was dropped after the page proofs (second state) had been prepared.

44 Yeats to Ethel Mannin CL InteLex 7357, 23 December, 1938, L 920–21.

45 Yeats to Dorothy Wellesley CL InteLex 7271, 14 July 1938; it is dated 13 July 1938 in LPDW 199 and L 912.

46 CL InteLex 7273, 16 [July 1938], L 910, where it is misdated ‘June 16’ because of Yeats’s error in dating the letter ‘June 16’; the letter is from Steying, Sussex, where he visited 12–19 July 1938; he was in Ireland throughout June 1938.)

47 CL InteLex 7286, 9 August [1938].

48 CL InteLex 7299, 4 September 1938. His August letters to her were [10 August], 15 August, and 24 August (CL InteLex 7287, 7289, and 7295).

49 CL InteLex 7305, [c. 23 September 1938]; ChronY 310.

50 The two not corrected until the Coole Edition and Explorations are ‘threats’ instead of ‘theatre’ (CW5 232, line 40; Ex 428, line 8) and stanza divisions not closed up in Swift’s ‘Ode to the Honble Sir William Temple’ (CW5 235; Ex 432). The three left unemended are ‘£140’ instead of ‘£240’ (CW5 229, line 22 (with ‘£240’ in an explanatory note); Ex 422, line 8); ‘alter Europe and all opinion’ instead of ‘alter European and all opinion’ (CW5 239, line 15; Ex 438, line 3); and ‘be ashamed, as’ instead of ‘be shamed, as’ (CW5 241, line 13; Ex 441, line 1).

51 Minute book of meetings of Directors of Cuala Industries 12 Oct 1938—2 Dec 1941, Cuala Archive, Box 2, No. 1, Trinity College Dublin; CL InteLex 7320, 30 October, [1938].

52 Yeats to Edith Shackleton Heald, CL InteLex 7350 [Thursday] 8 December 1938, L 919) [L is from a typed copy; CL InteLex 7350 records the ALS verbatim ‘[cancelled: Tuesday] Wed Dec 8’]. Yeats had attended the premiere of Purgatory at the Abbey on 10 August 1938.

53 Yeats complained in a letter to Longford Printing Press (NLI Ms. 30,513 and EYPR 142, and a TS copy in CL InteLex 7367, 10 January 1939), ‘I had a great deal of trouble in making these corrections because you did not return to me the corrected galley proofs when sending paged proof’.

54 EYPR and his earlier EYP; Cornell Purgatory, and Siegel’s earlier ‘Yeats’ s Quarrel with Himself: The Design and Argument of On the Boiler’, Bulletin of Research in the Humanities 81.3 (Autumn 1978), 349–68.

55 In 1994 in the textual introduction to On the Boiler in CW5 489 I had dated this as ‘probably during the last week of December 1938 or in early January 1939’.

56 CL InteLex 7354, to F. R. Higgins [December 1938]. The typescript letter (HRHRC, Yeats Collection, Box 6, Folder 7) reads: ‘beno’ with an inked obolus inserted to separate the two words. The ‘o’ of ‘not’ is an overstrike imposed upon an ‘a’; see Plate 40 below.

57 Life 2 765 n. 93 citing Dorothy Wellesley letter to Higgins, 14 November 1938, NLI Ms. 10,864. ChronY 311.

58 The set of corrected page proofs (NLI 30,485) that Yeats had sent to Higgins probably in mid-December has the preface with the printed date ‘July, 1938’. In W201 the preface has the revised date of ‘October, 1938’. The preface is not extant in either other set of page proofs (first state) (HRHC) or the page proofs (second state) (BL Add. MS 55881).

59 He also (EYPR 140) changed his choice of copy-text for poems in On the Boiler to the corrected page proofs (first state), (NLI Ms. 30,485) from the corrected page proofs (second state) (BL Add. MS 55881), which were used in 1939 for On the Boiler W201 and for Macmillan ‘Coole Edition’ page proofs (BL Add. MS 55895).

60 None of the extant correspondence has any mention of Higgins’s health, only of his being overwhelmed by Abbey work, leaving no attention for the Cuala Broadsides, possible new Cuala books, or On the Boiler. On 8 January 1941 Fred Higgins died suddenly of heart failure (BG 588).

61 NLI Ms. 27,883 (17). For the Jack Yeats drawing, see Plate 41 and Hilary Pyle’s catalogue raisonné, The Different Worlds of Jack B. Yeats: His Cartoons and Illustrations (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1994), 47 and 203, no. 1467. The black ink drawing (110 x 170mm) was sold at Yeats: The Family Collection, Sotheby’s, London, 27 September 2017 as lot 184.i, http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2017/yeats-family-collection-l17136.html. Jack Yeats made two drawings; the one that was not selected is Pyle no. 1468; Pyle does not include an illustration of it.

62 bl Add. MS 55881, which has only its pages [3] through 33, which are the prose sections, from ‘The Name’ through the poem ‘I lived among great houses’ [later titled ‘A Stateman’s Holiday’]. It lacks the front matter, Purgatory (34–21) and ‘Three Marching Songs’ (42–44). nli Ms. 30,485, second item in the folder, has unmarked pp. 42 and 43 [p. 44 is not present], which are the first two of the three pages of ‘Three Marching Songs’, page proofs (second state), unmarked, incorporating the corrections that were marked on page proofs (first state), which are nli 30,485, first item.

63 Other items that were marked on the second-state page proofs but which were ignored by Longford Printing Press in Wade no. 201, but then were adopted in the Alex. Thom & Co. printing are the addition of hyphens in ‘coat-cleaning’ (CW5 239, line 19; Ex 438, line 9), ‘broad-backed’ (CW5 249, line 23; Ex 451, l. 9) and ‘bridge-playing’ (CW5 241 l. 33; Ex 441, l. 23), the removal of an erroneous hyphen from ‘demerits’ (CW5 244, line 14; Ex 444, line 16), and the addition of the acute accent in ‘de Valéra’ (CW5 436, n. 94; Ex 441, n. 1).

64 Minute book of meetings of Directors of Cuala Industries 12 Oct 1938—2 Dec 1941, Cuala Press archive 1902–1986, Box 2, no. 1, Trinity College Library.

65 Cuala Press Archive, Trinity College Dublin.

66 Minute book of meetings of Directors of Cuala Industries 12 Oct 1938—2 Dec 1941, Cuala Archive, Box 2, No. 1, Trinity College Dublin.

67 Cuala Press diary, 25 June 1940, cited in Liam Miller, The Dun Emer Press, Later the Cuala Press (Dublin: Dolmen Press, 1973), 122.

68 Wade no. 201. Extant copies: Dublin Municipal Library; Emory University; Wesleyan University; and George M. Harper collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (formerly in the collection of Senator Michael Yeats); and Colin Smythe reports three other copies: P & B Rowan, Belfast have sold two copies, one without a cover, and Birgit Bramsbäck owned a copy, which was sold at Sotheby’s 18 December 1995, lot 318.

69 In addition to the evidence of ‘twenty’ mentioned 428 above, all of the corrections listed in n. 63 above were adopted in Wade no. 202.

70 Cuala Order Book, Cuala Press Archive, Trinity College Dublin. The London representative of Charles Scribner’s Sons advance order is 19 May 1939 and Macmillan, London is 6 June 1939. Harold Macmillan’s letter on 5 June ordered ‘your editions of Mr. Yeats’s last poems, his last two plays and ‘On the Boiler’ (to Miss e. c. Yeats, BL Add. MS 55825, f. 20). The Scribner’s copy (HRHC Scribners papers, box 2, file vol. VII) had been passed along to its New York office before 19 September ([John Hall Wheelock] memorandum to Harold Cadmus, 19 September 1939, carbon copy, Princeton, author files I, box 174, folder Yeats 2).

71 Macmillan ‘Preliminary Notice’, BL Add. MS 55821, f. 487 and also Princeton, Author Files I, box 174, folder: Yeats has 15 guineas, but a later advertisement in The Arrow, w. b. Yeats Commemoration Number, Summer 1939 (copy inscribed 16 August 1939 to May Higgins from Elizabeth C. Yeats), 4]: ‘This edition will be limited to 350 copies for sale; each set will have the author’ s signature; there will be five or six photogravure portraits of the author. In Eleven Volumes. Sixteen Guineas net’. (nli Ms. 27,878) A proof of the prospectus that Thomas Mark send to George Yeats on 21 April 1939 (bl Add. MS 55822, f. 550) had the price at sixteen and one-half guineas. For the history of those projects see: Warwick Gould, ‘The Definitive Edition: A History of the Final Arrangements of Yeats’ s Work’, Appendix Six of Yeats’s Poems, ed. and ann. by A. Norman Jeffares, 3rd edition (Basingstoke and London: Macmillan, 1996, 706–49; Warwick Gould, ‘W. B. Yeats and the Resurrection of the Author’, The Library 6–16.2, 1 June 1994, 101–34 and https:// doi.org/10.1093/library/ s6–16.2.101; VSR xx–xliii, Myth 2005 lxxv–viii, and CW5 483–91; Edward Callan, Yeats on Yeats: The Last Introductions and the ‘Dublin’ Edition, New Yeats Papers 20 (Mountrath, Portlaoise: Dolmen Press, 1981), 87–103. Also compare EYPR 5–23 (‘The Edition de Luxe and the Scribner Edition’) and to some extent 39–51 (‘Collaborative Revision: Thomas Mark and George Yeats, 1939–49’).

72 bl Add. MS 55820, ff. 203–4. j. h. Wheelock, Scribner’s to a. p. Watt, 6 February 1939 bl Add. ms 55819, f. 190.

73 BG 574–75. Thomas Mark to George Yeats, 14 April 1939 BL Add. MS 55822, f. 342.

74 George Yeats to Thomas Mark, 13 April 1939, photocopy from Richard Finneran. Thomas Mark to George Yeats, 14 April 1939, bl Add. ms 55822, f. 344.

75 George Yeats to Macmillan, 14 June 1939, photocopy supplied by Richard Finneran. Harold Macmillan to George Yeats, 19 June 1939 (bl Add. MS 55825, f. 501. See CW5 464–65, where I mention the possibility that Yeats in 1938 considered using ‘If I were Four-and-Twenty’ in (or as) a later number of On the Boiler. It later was printed as the title essay, paired with ‘Swedenborg, Mediums, and the Desolate Places’ (1914), in a Cuala book (Wade no. 205) published 28 September 1940.

76 2 June 1939, Macmillan letter-book, bl Add. Ms. 55824.

77 The marked page proofs (second state) bl Add. MS 55881 has black pencil marking by the Coole Edition compositor on page 8, right margin, 15 lines from the end of ‘Preliminaries’, Section IV: ‘that were not 369/2B’. In the Coole Edition proofs BL Add. MS 55895 of Volume XI, the first words of page 369 are ‘that were not’, and at the bottom of that same page is the signature notation: ‘VOL. XI 2B 369’.

78 Additional confirmation that bl Add. MS 55881 was the copy-text for the Coole Edition proofs bl Add. ms 55895 is available from changes marked on bl Add. MS 55881 that were adopted in the Coole Edition proofs:
55895, 362 (‘Preliminaries’, Section I, first paragraph, 4th line from the end: ‘gin-palace’ (with lower-case and hyphen) (vice ‘Gin Palace’)
55895, 367, ‘Preliminaries’, Section IV, opening paragraph, line 5: ‘twenty’ (spelled out) (vice the numeral ‘20’).
55895, 370, ‘To-Morrow’s Revolution’, Section I, opening words: ‘
When i was in myteens I admired my father’ (with a large initial capital ‘W’ and then the first six words in small capitals).
55895, 380, ‘To-Morrow’ s Revolution’, last section, footnote, last line: ‘or “That is a man.”’ (with capitalized ‘T’) (no comma after ‘or’).
55895, 382, ‘Private Thoughts’, Section I, opening words: ‘
I am philosophical, not scientific, which’ (with a large initial capital ‘I’ and then small capitals for the next two words).

79 The pagination changed when four lines were deleted from ‘High Talk’. The Cuala Minute Book describes Last Poems and Two Plays as ‘the new book now in preparation’ (10 March), ‘being printed’ (21 April), printing ‘continuing’ and ‘continuing steadily’ (9 and 16 May), and printing ‘was finished last week’ and the sheets are now being be readied for the bindery (14 June). The colophon states it was ‘finished in the second week of June 1939’ and published 10 July 1939.

80 The likely sequence of the markings on bl Add. MS 55881 is:
(1.) Black ink, with a broad nibbed pen that was clumsy to use on this cheap, highly absorbent paper; (2.) Black pencil, in a large hand; (3.) Blue ink; (4.) Blue pencil; (5.) Black pencil, in a small hand; (6.) Red pencil; and (7.) Black pencil of compositor ‘R. M.’, in the left margin.

81 E.g., answered queries on 250–51 (‘An Indian Monk’) and on 250–51, 267, 270–71, and 275 (‘The Holy Mountain’).

82 John Hall Wheelock, Scribners, New York, to Charles Kingsley, London representative of Scribners, 5 January 1939 (carbon copy), Princeton, author files I, box 174, Yeats folder 2.

83 See 415–16 above. HRHRC, Yeats Collection, Box 4, Miscellaneous case lacks p. 32, which George Yeats inadvertently omitted, probably because that page is misfiled among the corrected typescript in NLI Ms. 30,461. The set, like NLI Ms. 30,485, lacks a title page, table of contents, and preface. HRHRC collection has a second set that is a photoduplication (definitely not a re-transcription because the every marking matches perfectly) on which a Scribner’s editor wrote ‘Duplicate Vol VII’ in the top margin of its first page.

84 [Charles Scribner, Scribner’s, New York] to George P. Brett, Jr., President, Macmillan, New York, 7 November 1935 and Charles Scribner, Scribner’s, New York memo to C. B. Merritt, Scribner’s, New York, 17 December 1935, Princeton.

85 To Charles Kingsley, Scribners’Sons, London, but mistakenly mailed to the New York office, copy in Princeton, author files I, box 174, folder: Yeats (2).

86 The sections that had not been in the tentative listing of contents but now were to be incorporated and so were not queried for cutting in the marked copy of On the Boiler are: ‘Preliminaries: I’ (CW5 221–22, Ex 409–10) (on the Lord Mayor of Dublin’s Christmas card featuring the Mansion House, which Yeats argues should be restored to its eighteenth-century form); ‘To-morrow’ s Revolution: II–V’(CW5 227–33, Ex 418–28) (on Eugenics); ‘Ireland after the Revolution: I–III’ (CW5 239–43, Ex 438–43) (on education) (I); (on national defence) (II); and (against the popularity of the Crown among the English) (III); ‘Other Matters: VIII’ (CW5 249–50, Ex 451–53) (poem ‘I lived among great houses’ [‘Avalon’, also titled ‘A Statesman’ s Holiday’VP 626–27] and on the Cuala Press Broadsides and plans for a new series that had since been cancelled).

87 NLI 38,461 marked copy of On the Boiler has no marginal notations about the slip divisions but does have a stroke in the midst of the line (25, l. 9) that exactly coincides with the start of slip 137 and a stroke in the midst of the line (27, l. 2) that exactly coincides with the start of slip 138.

88 Slip L 145: ‘Explorations—140’ has a pencilled query ‘Not done? Keep this par. or omit?’ and then in blue ball-point, underscoring of ‘omit’.

89 Transcription by Warwick Gould from uncatalogued materials in the BL Macmillan Archive, M118.

90 Five unadopted verbal emendations in Explorations were marked in the copy of Wade 202 that George Yeats saw in 1960: ‘its’ (CW5 222, l. 28), ‘their’ (Ex 410, l. 23); ‘a’ (CW5 223, l. 13), ‘the’ (Ex 411, l. 23); ‘tinkers’ (CW5 237, l. 12), ‘tramps’ (Ex 435, l. 9); ‘deaths’ (CW5 245, l. 29), ‘death’ (Ex 446, l. 19); ‘disease of which’ (CW5 246, l. 18), ‘disease from which’ (Ex 447, l. 22).

Table des illustrations

Légende Plate 40. Detail of typescript letter from w. b. Yeats to f. r. Higgins, December 1938 (HRHRC, Yeats Collection, Box 6, Folder 7). Image courtesy the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, Texas.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/5678/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 168k
Légende Plate 41. Jack B. Yeats : Original Drawing for front cover of On the Boileer, with Jack Yeat’s instruction ‘To Block MakerPlease keep original drawing Clean’. Image courtesy Philip Errington, and Sortheby’s, New Bond St., London.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/5678/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 128k

Auteur

Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Memphis. He edited Yeats’s unfinished novel The Speckled Bird (1974, 1977, and 2003), Prefaces and Introductions (1989), Later Essays (which included On the Boiler) (1994), Autobiographies (coeditor, 1999), and Responsibilities: Manuscript Materials (2003). He is author of A Guide to the Prose Fiction to w. b. Yeats (1983) and The Poetry of William Butler Yeats: An Introduction (1986). He has compiled a catalogue raisonné of the art that Yeats owned

Acheter

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search