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Blood Kindred: The Politics of W.B. Yeats and his Death Paperback – August 23, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Random House UK (August 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712665145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712665148
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,718,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Yeats has had plenty of attention in recent years (most notably a two-volume life by R.F. Foster), but McCormack believes that previous biographers have been too willing to overlook what he sees as the poet's association with fascism in his last years (he died in 1939). Even Richard Ellmann, McCormack says, failed to mention Yeats's acceptance of an award from Nazi Germany in 1934. Where others reputedly have allowed only that Yeats "flirted" with fascism, McCormack sees a more intense relationship. Yeats's favorable comments about Nazi Germany play a part in this argument, but McCormack also relies heavily on guilt by association, sketching out the fascist and anti-Semitic tendencies of members of Yeats's inner circle, including Maud Gonne and her daughter Iseult. This is not quite convincing, especially when invoking people who knew Yeats's friends but not the poet himself. McCormack, a former professor of literary history at the University of London, tends to make grand and repeated announcements about his aim instead of simply getting on with the story. His life study also assumes the reader has a deep familiarity with its subject, with frequent reference to incidents that will leave less informed readers puzzled. While the political revisionism is straightforward enough, the attempt to link it to Yeats's poetic and spiritual beliefs makes for maddeningly tough going. (Oct. 1)
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“A troubling, important assessment of Yeat's life and work.” -- Kirkus Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Colm Lynam on April 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
The product of many years of detailed, analytical and painstaking research. Brimming with references and details of the people and events of Yeats life and times. As such it is a great opening for further study into modern Ireland and modern literature. I do think that there are many incidences of repetation and there is definately some scholastic axe grinding going on.
On the whole it is a good read and highly recommended. Conflicts raised are necessary and a good reflection on the life of a poet who lived for more than 40 years on the edge of a wave of turbulent changes.
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