Family Secrets


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One of the world's leading Yeats scholars completes his definitive history, begun with the highly acclaimed Prodigal Father. Family Secrets is the long-awaited sequel following in the earlier book's tradition of the "right book written by exactly the right man" (Hugh Kenner). Never before has the public been privy to the story of these lives woven in such intimate detail. Murphy takes us into some of the family's darkest "secrets:" the strains of emotional instability among the Pollexfen aunts and uncles; interest in mysticism and the occult (about which Yeats wrote considerably); the father's long platonic relationship with Miss Rosa Butt; the tensions between Lily and Lollie (the "weird sisters"), and Lollie's difficult, even paranoid personality. Drawing on correspondence and an extensive number of unpublished letters and materials not hitherto available and more than one hundred photographs and illustrations (many never before published), Family Secrets explores a gallery of characters not often found within the confines of a single family. Their story, which reads like a novel, will not only capture the fancy of general readers but will make a significant contribution to the letters of twentieth-century literature.

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