The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats

  • by Compiled by John Kavanagh
  • Narrated by Jim Norton, Denys Hawthorne, Nicholas Boulton, Marcella Riordan
  • 2 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

William Butler Yeats remains one of the most popular poets of the 20th century.
"The Lake Isle of Innisfree," "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven," "Down by the Salley Gardens," "The Secret Rose": these are just a few of the poems that made William Butler Yeats an international figure. Born in Dublin in 1865, Yeats drew strength from the Irish tradition, as can be seen in this special audiobook, which presents the most important poems in the context of his life and ambitions.
His poetic urgency was fuelled by an active and varied life, as he gained his inspiration from the men and women he knew, classical sources, and contemporary politics.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Narrators Jim Norton and Denys Hawthorn make this compilation of W.B. Yeats's life and poetry a listening joy. From the lovely tenor voice that opens the audiobook to the recitation of many of the most beloved of the poet's offerings, listeners will be enthralled. As well as providing captivating interpretations of individual poems, Norton and Hawthorn deliver the prose with equal passion without ever overdramatizing. They keep the biographical aspects engrossing as they detail the events in Yeats's life that influenced his poetry. Top-notch listening for poetry lovers and those new to Yeats and the Irish tradition. 2003 Audie Award Finalist

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An entertaining listen

This was a very easy listen, a well compiled narration with just the right mix of "Life" and readings so as to inform with a light touch. It may be short but I think it gives good value.

It sets the poems against the background of Yeats' life at the time of writing which enhances the poems and the readers are excellent. The one small downside is that Naxos put brief musical inserts which bear no relation to the text and are just there to mark a break, which I myself find tiresome, although others may not. That's a small irritation and it's only with the production.

I found it entertaining and informative, a good combination.
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- catsatcastle

A great compilation!

If you could sum up The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats in three words, what would they be?

Barely legible and yet deeply insightful scribbles from the Spirit World. Three of them.


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats?

The poems, what else? This is very much the greatest hits compilation but I don't think anyone with the least passion for beauty in language will ever get tired of hearing them. There are some excellent readings in here.


Which scene did you most enjoy?

From Yeats' own life - hard to choose. From among his poems - impossible to choose.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely. But, like the Spirit World, this audiobook is great just to dip in and out of whenever you fancy.


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- ColonelJames

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-03-2004
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks