William Butler Yeats was the son of painter John Butler Yeats. He spent much of his childhood in Co Sligo which was a huge source of inspiration for him, not least the beautiful ‘Lake Isle of Inisfree’.
Yeats was a major player in the Celtic Revival which endeavored (successfully) to raise awareness of the culture of Ireland, much of which had been decimated by English rule. His personal and political life was as interesting as his poetry. The love of his life Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne rebuked his marriage proposals on a number of occasions.
In 1899, Yeats co founded the Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin which was to be a platform for the Celtic and Irish plays. As its chief dramatist, one of the first plays performed there was his Catheleen ni Houlihan, with Gonne portraying the main character.
In 1923, Yeats was honoured the Nobel Prize for Literature…
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