Dobbs and the Tiger: The Yeatses’ Intimate Occult

Margaret Mills Harper


The mediumistic relationship between W. B. Yeats and his wife George (née Hyde Lees) is an important guide to the creative work produced by the Irish poet after their marriage in 1917. Their unusual collaboration illuminates the esoteric philosophy expounded in the two very different versions of Yeats’s book A Vision (1925 and 1937). It is also theoretically interesting in itself, not only in the early period when the automatic experiments produced the ‘system’ expounded in A Vision, but also in the 1920s and 1930s, when the Yeatses' relationship had matured into an astonishingly productive mature partnership. By analysing symbols the Yeatses themselves used to conceive of their joint work, particularly the symbolic structures and constructed selves of the collaborators, and particularly in the later period, this essay attempts to engage with the authors’ own terminology and understanding as a method for reading their joint authorship.


W. B. Yeats; Collaboration; George Yeats; Spiritualism

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