This study focuses on the private dynamic that existed between WB Yeats and his young wife. Covering the last years of World War I to the end of Yeats's life, the book also refers to his early life and to his mother.
Capitalising on Yeats's fascination with the occult, she revealed herself to be a spirit medium, adept at "automatic writing". Yeats studied the garbled messages from these '"Communicators" and forged the results into his extraordinarily powerful late poetry. As Maddox makes plain, George used her husband's belief in her spiritual talents to control him, "cutting Yeats off from his other occult associates and making her wholly dependent on her." It is a marvellously complex story, insightfully and subtly written and a fascinating insight into the imaginative life of a great poet. Adam Roberts