Pictured at the launch were Dr Nessa Cronin, Associate Director of the Moore Institute, Professor Emeritus Adrian Frazier of NUI Galway, playwright Thomas Kilroy and Antony Farrell, Lilliput Press.
Oct 12 2016 Posted: 15:54 IST

Playwright Thomas Kilroy launched a new book on Maud Gonne, The Adulterous Muse, at the Moore Institute, NUI Galway on Monday, 10 October. Written by Adrian Frazier, Professor Emeritus at NUI Galway, the book focuses on Maud Gonne, and her relationships with Lucien Millevoye and WB Yeats.

Professor Adrian Fraizer uses the vast resources of newly digitised French newspapers and journals to track the celebrated Gonne and her beloved Lucien Millevoye through the sensational turmoil of the Third Republic in France and into the violent push for a Republic in Ireland.

This biography pursues the story of what attracted Maud Gonne to a man like Lucien Millevoye, and what imprint the attachment left upon her. Once jilted by Millevoye, Maud Gonne marched into a truly ill-starred marriage to Major John MacBride. The horrible truth of their mismatch is examined through the evidence entered by both parties in the divorce proceedings.

Maud Gonne was the beautiful and charismatic inspiration of Yeats’s love poetry, a leading activist in the Irish republican movement and the founder of Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland). The shifting levels of awareness, desire, and mutual complicity in self-deception on the part of WB Yeats and his muse are traced with subtlety. Ultimately, the effect of the group biography as a whole is to make Yeats’s early love poems, so long in the public eye, more visible than they have ever been.

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