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Marion Doyle collection of W. B. Yeats

Collection MS-1997-033: Marion Doyle collection of W. B. Yeats


  • Creation: 1935 - 1973

Scope and Contents

These materials on W. B. Yeats were collected by Marion Doyle during her travels in Ireland. They document the centenary celebration of Yeats's birth through programs from exhibits, lectures, and memorials, along with commemorative publications from Dolman press. The collection includes souvenirs from Galway and Sligo, areas where Yeats spent significant portions of his life. The Sligo materials also contain a program from an exhibit of the works of Jack B. Yeats, W. B.'s brother. Finally, Doyle collected hand-colored cards printed by Cuala Press, and two of their "A Broadside" series, which were short illustrated pamphlets of Irish poems and songs.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Historical note: Cuala Industries and Cuala Press

Cuala Industries was established in 1908 by Elizabeth Corbet Yeats and Lily Yeats, after they left the Dun Emer Guild, which they had founded six years before with Evelyn Gleeson. Cuala Industries included an embroidery, weaving, and tapestry studio; a printing press; and a bindery. Cuala, like Dun Emer before it, was meant to promote Irish crafts made from Irish materials, and to employ Irish women. The majority of its employees were young local girls. Lily ran the embroidery studio; Elizabeth was the director of the printing and bindery portion of the business; and their brother W. B. was the literary editor. Cuala Press printed 66 titles before it ceased publishing books in 1946, including works by W. B. Yeats, George Russell, and Lady Gregory. The Press also printed cards, calendars, and other artwork. Jack Yeats designed some of the prints published by the Press.

Cuala Press had difficulty competing with more modern and industrialized publishers and had frequent financial difficulties. After Elizabeth’s death in 1940, W. B.’s wife, Georgie, took over as director of the Press until her death in 1968.


Baskin, Lisa Unger. "A Gathering from the Dun Emer Press & the Cuala Press." The Massachusetts Review 28, no. 3 (1987).

Murray, Simone. “The Cuala Press: Women, publishing, and the conflicted genealogies of ‘feminist publishing’,” Women's Studies International Forum, vol. 27, iss. 5-6 (2004).

Biographical note: W. B. Yeats

Poet and author W. B. (William Butler) Yeats was born on June 13, 1865, in Dublin, Ireland, the eldest child of John Butler Yeats and Susan Mary Pollexfen. For much of their childhood, W. B. and his siblings alternated living with their parents in various artist colonies in England and Ireland and staying with their mother’s family in Sligo, Ireland.

As a young man, W. B. was drawn to Irish culture, legend, and art. He began to write poetry and drama around 1884. Some of his early work appeared in The Gael and The Boston Pilot. In 1889 his first significant publication, The Wanderings of Oisin and other poems, was released. A few years later he helped found the Irish Literary Society in London.

W. B. was fascinated by the occult, joined Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophical Society, and later became a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Lady Gregory, his friend and patron, shared his interests. Other occult interests throughout his life included spiritualism, automatic writing, and interpreting dreams and visions (a pursuit he shared with his sister Lily). The poetic expression of these influences can be seen in poems such as “The Vision” (1926).

In 1889 W. B. met Maud Gonne, an Irish nationalist and artist. She became his muse, and he harbored strong feelings for her for many years. Gonne rejected several marriage proposals from him, and in 1916 her adult daughter, Iseult, also turned down a proposal from him. A year later, W. B. married Bertha Georgie Hyde-Lees, known to most as Georgie, but to W.B. as George. Together they had two children, Anne and Michael.

Following the Irish War of Independence, W. B. was appointed a senator of the Irish Free State in 1923. He also won the Nobel Prize for Literature in that year. In 1935 he began an affair with Margot Ruddock, an actress whose stage name was Margot Collis. Their relationship was memorialized in two poems by him: "Sweet Dancer" and "A Crazed Girl".

W. B. Yeats died on January 28, 1939, in France, after years of frequent ill health.


Allison, Jonathan. “Yeats, William Butler.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Brown, Terence. “Yeats, William Butler.” In Cambridge Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Foster, R. F. “Yeats, William Butler (1865–1939), poet.” In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004.

Biographical note: Marion Doyle

Marion Doyle was the office coordinator for the Theater Arts Center at Boston College from 1988 to 2007. She graduated with a BS in Business from the Evening College at Boston College in 1984.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



Collected materials about W. B. Yeats, particularly ephemera from the centennial of his birth. Also includes cards and pamphlets from Cuala Press.


Gift of Marion Doyle (1997).

Related Materials

Boston College collection of Yeats family papers, MS.1986.054, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Lady Gregory collection, MS.1995.028, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Cuala Press printed materials, MS.2005.035, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Marion Doyle Collection of W. B. Yeats
Corban Rhodes, Summer 2001; and Lynn Moulton
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States