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The Individual and Society by Department Delhi Department of English University of Delhi

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11

A Prayer For My Daughter

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) was born in Dublin, Ireland. His family, which was Protestant, originally hailed from England, but had been in Ireland for several generations. The Yeats family was in London from 1874 until 1883, when they returned to Ireland. Yeats’s childhood and early manhood were thus spent between Dublin, London and Sligo (in the West of Ireland), and each of these places contributed to his poetic development.

Yeats’s personal, public and poetic life is marked by his negotiation of turn-of-the-century Irish nationalism. Significant in this context is the beautiful actress and violent Irish nationalist Maud Gonne, with whom he was desperately in love for many years, but who ...

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