Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats” as Want to Read:
The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  149 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Subtitle: Consisting of Reveries over Childhood and Youth; The Trembling of the Veil; and Dramatis Personae.
Paperback, reissue, 416 pages
Published May 31st 1986 by Scribner Paper Fiction (first published 1926)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Here is why I find this book interesting and valuable: In a prefatory note, Yeats writes, "...I am writing after many years and have consulted neither friend, nor letter, nor old newspaper, and describe what comes oftenest into my memory." This makes for an almost casual structure to the work and is something akin to sitting and listening to Yeats recollect as he pleases and not according to any outline or plan. The ideal reader of the book would be well-read in the history of Ireland in the lat ...more
Patty Nolan
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books you want to chip away at. It's not really an autobiography, but an anthology of autobiographical essays, bits from journals, speeches, etc. That means Yeats assumes that any one reading these pieces will already have a vested interest in and familiarity with his subjects. He refers to contemporary people and political situations that average readers simply won't be familiar with. And his discussions of the various Theosophical initiatives are infused with metaphors and ...more
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classics, nonfiction
One of my favorite quotes: "Later I heard him talk of her as a man talk of something he cannot keep silence over because it is in all his thoughts."

I'm positive I read this for some course.
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Why don't college professors tell you that Yeats believed in magic when they have you read his poems? Kind of important. Don't ya think?
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, poetry
This book is not so much an intended autobiography as it is a collection of autobiographical writings that cover a large portion of the great poet's life. As such, there is some repetition of incidents, but they are individually and collectively instructive as there are nuances revealed about the writer in his reactions and opinions at the stage of life when the comments were penned. The same can be said about the friends, acquaintances and family members mentioned in the writings. An evolutiona ...more
Aaron Meyer
Jan 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
Mr. Yeats definitely lived in some interesting times. It's probably a good thing to know something about Ireland from that time to better appreciate the book but one can still enjoy it for what it is. My only wish was that he would of talked more about his involvement with the Golden Dawn. He touched on meeting Mathers and being involved with him and some of his own experiments but that's it.
Lee Ann
Aug 23, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Er... well, this is awkward. I love Yeats's Celtic Twilight. I love his poetry. I love his collections of Irish folklore. I haven't tried reading his plays yet. I thought I would give his autobiography a chance. I made it some 50 or 55 pages in before finally giving up. Sorry, Yeats, but your childhood really wasn't all that exciting...
Steven Hernacki
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

an excellent collection of work to cobble together to make an autobiography. worth reading just for the journal extracts 2/3 of the way in.
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love this poet
Author Annette Dunlea
rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Mar 02, 2016
rated it really liked it
Aug 14, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2011
Johnny B3
rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jul 05, 2017
rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jan 14, 2016
rated it really liked it
Mar 04, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Apr 07, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Nov 06, 2017
Elias Siqueiros
rated it really liked it
Nov 16, 2015
Garnett Gleim
rated it really liked it
Dec 01, 2012
rated it really liked it
Jul 31, 2012
Jared Wutzke
rated it it was amazing
Apr 06, 2014
rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2016
Maria (M.J) Hyland
rated it it was amazing
Feb 06, 2016
Gill P.D.
rated it it was amazing
Sep 16, 2014
rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2012
Mark Hinton
rated it it was amazing
Dec 09, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Sep 05, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Snippets That Ins...: Why Wait? 1 1 Nov 11, 2017 06:10AM  
  • Brief Lives
  • Samuel Johnson
  • Journals, 1889-1949
  • The Liberal Imagination: Essays on Literature and Society
  • Melbourne
  • The Autobiography Of Benvenuto Cellini
  • Amiel's Journal
  • Florence Nightingale, 1820-1910
  • The Contours of American History
  • Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War
  • Vermeer
  • The Unquiet Grave: A Word Cycle by Palinurus
  • The Promise of American Life
  • Science and Civilisation in China, Volume 1: Introductory Orientations
  • Mother Ireland: A Memoir
  • Journal of Katherine Mansfield
  • Yeats: The Man and the Masks
  • In the American Grain
William Butler Yeats (pronounced /ˈjeɪts/) was an Irish poet and dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and along with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn founded the Abbey Theatre, se ...more
More about W.B. Yeats...