An Insight into the Lives of the Young Yeats Brothers.
YEATS, W.B. Reveries over Childhood and Youth. Churchtown, Dundrum: The Cuala Press, 1915.
8vo. Original cream buckram-backed grey paper-covered boards, with similarly bound folder containing three plates; pp. 128, printed in red and black; very good indeed. Provenance: bookplates of noted Yeats collector Jim Edwards and Leonard James Shrubsall.
First edition, no. 88 of 425 copies. Evocative childhood memoirs. The three accompanying plates are a colour print of "Memory Harbour" by Jack B. Yeats, with a one-page printed note by W.B. Yeats, and a portrait of each of his parents, also by Jack B. Yeats.
Yeats’s impressionistic recollections of his early London years in Reveries registers both his ‘romantic excitement’ and solitary ‘outsiderness’(Harte, 2009). As he writes in his introduction: “I have changed nothing to my knowledge; and yet it must be that I have changed many things without my knowledge; for I am writing after many years and have consulted neither friend, not letter, nor old newspaper, and describe what comes oftenest into my memory.”
Jack Yeats specialised in painting the Irish landscape, as well as horses, circuses and travelling players. His early paintings and drawings are distinguished by an energetic simplicity of line and colour, while his later work became increasingly vigorous and experimental, with thickly applied paint. The statue in 'Memory Harbour', as William informs us in the accompanying note, is of ‘the metal man’, who guides the ships into the dock.