W. B. Yeats

1865 - 1939

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William Butler Yeats (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet, dramatist and writer, and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and along with Lady Gregory founded the Abbey Theatre, serving as its chief during its early years. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of W. B. Yeats has received more than 5,875,790 page views. His biography is available in 104 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 98 in 2019). W. B. Yeats is the 480th most popular writer (down from 406th in 2019), the 19th most popular biography from Ireland and the 7th most popular Irish Writer.

W. B. Yeats is most famous for his poetry. He was a member of the Irish Literary Revival and a Nobel Prize in Literature laureate in 1923.

Memorability Metrics

  • 5.9M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 67.12

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 104

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 4.23

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 7.31

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

Irish fairy and folk tales
The land of heart's desire
The hour-glass
English poetry
A vision
The secret rose
Unsigned binding design by Althea Gyles in gold on smooth dark blue cloth. Includes frontispiece and 6 b/w illustrations after John Butler Yeats (the author's father). A collection of 17 short stories blending Irish with Rosicrucian characters and themes. Gyles' masterpiece shows influences of both the Pre-Raphaelite and Symbolist movements. The front cover design is the Tree of Life, with its roots entwined in the skeleton of a dead knight and its crown displaying three roses (echoing the central rose representing a 'rosy cross' at the tree's 'heart'), The tree is composed of Celtic interlace that culminates in an image of kissing lovers. The spine design is that of Lug's spear (symbol of desire) enwreathed with poppies and immersed in a bowl of sleeping potion. The design on the rear cover is of the alchemical rose, a rose-cross contained in a diamond-like configuration of pointed spears and a circle (a 'squared circle'). Second binding issue, on smooth rather than ribbed cloth with publisher "A.H. Bullen" at the base of the spine. There were thought to be approximately 1000 copies of this issue. Althea Gyles (1868-1949) was a gifted artist, designer and poet who studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. She met W. B. Yeats in 1891, and became, with Yeats, an adherent of the Order of the Golden Dawn, an organization devoted to the study and practice of the occult, metaphysics, and paranormal activities. Gyles' works in Symbolism derive from the cabalistic iconography of the Golden Dawn's second order of Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (the Ruby Rose and Cross of Gold). Her ability to use abstract means to express the truth as she saw it, makes her work one of the vanguards of Modernism. Gyles is best known for her binding designs for Yeats including The Secret Rose (1897), Poems (1899) and The Wind Among the Reeds (1899). -- Austin Abbey Rare Books.


Among writers, W. B. Yeats ranks 480 out of 7,302Before him are Milena Jesenská, Verner von Heidenstam, Natsume Sōseki, Bohumil Hrabal, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, and Martial. After him are Miguel Ángel Asturias, Maria Leopoldina of Austria, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Luo Guanzhong, Edward Said, and Vuk Karadžić.

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Among people born in 1865, W. B. Yeats ranks 12Before him are Alexander Glazunov, Archduke Otto of Austria, Warren G. Harding, Suzanne Valadon, Ferdinand I of Romania, and Arthur Harden. After him are Carl Nielsen, Richard Adolf Zsigmondy, Sven Hedin, Andranik, Philipp Scheidemann, and Paul Dukas. Among people deceased in 1939, W. B. Yeats ranks 8Before him are Pope Pius XI, Alphonse Mucha, Howard Carter, Nadezhda Krupskaya, Joseph Roth, and Eugen Bleuler. After him are James Naismith, Werner von Fritsch, Philipp Scheidemann, Anton Makarenko, Karl Radek, and Matthias Sindelar.

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In Ireland

Among people born in Ireland, W. B. Yeats ranks 19 out of 549Before him are Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet (1819), Pierce Brosnan (1953), Richard Harris (1930), William Rowan Hamilton (1805), Anne Bonny (1702), and John Scotus Eriugena (810). After him are Columbanus (540), Michael D. Higgins (1941), Laurence Sterne (1713), Enya (1961), Lola Montez (1821), and Michael Collins (1890).

Among WRITERS In Ireland

Among writers born in Ireland, W. B. Yeats ranks 7Before him are Oscar Wilde (1854), Jonathan Swift (1667), James Joyce (1882), George Bernard Shaw (1856), Samuel Beckett (1906), and Bram Stoker (1847). After him are Laurence Sterne (1713), Iris Murdoch (1919), Joseph Murphy (1898), Ethel Voynich (1864), Saint Gall (550), and Thomas Moore (1779).