Thursday 21 September 2017

Letters between Joyce and Yeats arrive home

Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys looks at the manuscripts with Sandra Collins (left), director of the National Library of Ireland, and Caitríona Yeats, WB’s granddaughter. Photo: Mark Condren
Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys looks at the manuscripts with Sandra Collins (left), director of the National Library of Ireland, and Caitríona Yeats, WB’s granddaughter. Photo: Mark Condren
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

More than a century after they first met on its steps, the National Library is now home to private correspondence between James Joyce and William Butler Yeats.

The letters shed a fascinating light on the works and personal lives of the Irish literary greats.

The €500,000 acquisition was announced at a special reception at the library yesterday by Arts Minister Heather Humphreys.

Ms Humphreys cited the "improving economy" as the catalyst allowing her department to buy "this incredibly important collection of material which may otherwise have been lost to the State."

The collection of 10 signed letters and a postcard spans almost a quarter-century of correspondence between the writers after Yeats took the young Joyce under his wing following their initial meeting outside the library in 1902.

The letters discuss both writers' work, including Joyce's masterpieces 'Ulysses', 'Dubliners' and 'Exiles'.

Irish Independent

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