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ELT 38:4 1995 patience to search a little. Yeats considers the importance of Ibsen; he expresses dislike for musical settings of his poetry; he tries to define the dramatist's business; he has some revealing comments on poetic imagination and on the possible age of Cuchulain, his favorite mythological hero. He emphasizes the necessity of writing prose scenarios for verse plays. At one point he even thinks of becoming an actor of small parts to enable him to "master the stage for purposes of poetical drama," as he confides to Lady Gregory on 22 March 1902 (she objected and he dropped the plan). He advises Thomas MacDonagh and Gordon Bottomley to study the great old masters of English literature. The editing of the volume is exemplary; I have found only a handful of mistakes. On p. 108, note 1, the date should be October 1901; on p. 163, note 1, read Cave for Care; the anonymous reviewer of Cuchulain of Muirthemne in the Athenaeum was W. A. Craigie, the linguist and specialist on Nordic literature, not Arthur Quiller-Couch (p. 185, note 4); the occult journal Light did not stop publication in 1936 (p. 206, note 1; it was still active in 1991); the correct middle name of the American critic J. G. Huneker was Gibbons (p. 498, note 1); and something seems to have gone wrong with the publication dates given in note 1 on p. 589. More generally, the editors might have used with advantage Karin Strand's excellent unpublished Ph.D. thesis on Yeats's American lecture tours (Northwestern University, 1978) to add more depth to their annotations of this important event in Yeats's biography. Their comments on the letters to John Quinn might have benefited by references to the other side of the correspondence, Alan Himber's edition of The Letters of John Quinn to William Butler Yeats (Ann Arbor, 1983). It should be noted, however, that on the evidence of Yeats's letters Himber 's edition is incomplete. Once the complete edition of Yeats's letters is available (surely a major publishing event) it will be desirable and necessary to produce a thematic anthology. There is an abundance of fine things in them; many readers may, however, be reluctant to work through the dross to discover the gold. K. P. S. Jochum ______________ Universität Bamberg Parnell without Joyce Robert Kee. The Laurel and the Ivy: The Story of Charles Stewart Parnell and Irish Nationalism. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1993. ix + 659pp. illus. $29.95 £20.00 510 BOOK REVIEWS ROBERT KEE may be the first biographer of Charles Stewart Parnell since the publication of Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man to resist mentioning "Ivy Day in the Committee Room" or the Christmas dinner at which Stephen Dedalus's father follows grace with a plaintive "Were we to desert him at the bidding of the English people?" Him—the pronoun is lower-case as his reference is to a sub-deity—is the "Uncrowned King" in Mr. Hynes's elegy in the Committee Room, who, the day before Christmas in 1889, had been exposed in Captain William O'Shea's petition for divorce as the lover of Katharine O'Shea. The hold of the half-American and Protestant politician on the Irish imagination has scarcely diminished since James Joyce was young, and Kee's book focuses upon the anomalies in the charismatic Parnell's character and career. The ups and downs of Irish nationalism in the nineteenth century followed the ups and downs of the economy, and how Irish leaders made the most of the downs, which were many. Perhaps symbolically, Parnell, seventh child of a Wicklow landlord, was born on a day in 1846 when the Freeman's Journal of Dublin headlined a story, "DISEASE LN THE NEW POTATO CROP." During the famine that reduced the Irish population of about eight million by a quarter, half of the losses were emigrants to the United States, while the other half were buried beneath the inhospitable Irish sod. When Parnell came of age and looked for something to do with himself, he was an outsider at Cambridge among students from the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 510-515
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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