“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, February, 1922, 82 Merrion Square, Dublin; and 4 Broad Street, Oxford, England

Georgie Hyde-Lees Yeats, 29, is proud of herself for leasing this Georgian town house in Merrion Square, using her own family money.

82 Merrion Square

The Anglo-Irish Treaty has been ratified by the Dail [although by a very small margin, 64 to 57] and they have elected Arthur Griffith, 49, president; British soldiers are being sent home from the barracks they have been living in throughout the War for Independence; and Michael Collins, 31, has been named chair of the new Irish Free State. Georgie and her husband, Irish poet and playwright William Butler Yeats, 56, have decided it is time to leave Oxford, where they have lived for the past few years, and move their two young children back home to Dublin.

Thanks to depressed housing prices in the city and Georgie’s shrewdness in lining up tenants for the top floor of their new house, they will be able to afford the move.


Back in Oxford, Georgie’s husband, Willie, is impressed with his wife’s real estate skills. He never thought he’d ever be able to afford to live in posh Merrion Square, birthplace of the Duke of Wellington and, in Yeats’ mind, the Dublin equivalent of London’s posh Berkeley Square.

Broad Street, Oxford

Also, his father, the painter John Butler “JB” Yeats, died at the beginning of the month, aged 82, in New York City where he had been living for the past 15 years. Willie and Georgie had been supporting his Dad financially, and it’s been a bit of stretch for them.

The letters JB wrote to his family in the weeks before his death are still arriving.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Due to the horrible winter weather, we have postponed our celebration of the 148th birthday of my fellow Pittsburgher Gertrude Stein to Thursday, February 17, at 7 pm, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill. You can register for this free event, or sign up to watch it via Zoom, here

At the end of the month I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses at the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

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