In the general election almost two weeks ago, candidates supporting the Treaty recently negotiated with Britain won more seats in the Dail than those against. The sore losers, led by Eamon de Valera, 39, seized the Four Courts in Dublin.
Under pressure from the impatient British government, Michael Collins, 31, leader of the pro-Treaty side and now Commander-in-Chief of the National Army, drove them out today. The Battle for Dublin and the larger Irish Civil War has begun.
First day of the Battle of Dublin
In his castle in the west of Ireland, William Butler Yeats, 57, poet and co-founder of the Abbey Theater, writes to a friend,
All is I think going well and the principal result of all this turmoil will be love of order in the people and a stability in the government not otherwise obtainable…”
Four days ago in Munich, the rabble-rousing Adolph Hitler, 33, leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, entered the Stadelheim prison to begin serving his 100-day sentence for assaulting a political rival to keep him from giving a public speech.
Four days ago in Berlin, far-right terrorists assassinated liberal Jewish industrialist and politician Walther Rathenau, 54.
Friends inform last year’s Nobel Laureate in Physics, Albert Einstein, 43, that he is on the same terrorists’ hit list as Rathenau.
Albert decides that this would be a good time to embark on the numerous international trips he has been planning.
Albert Einstein and his second wife, Elsa
Thanks once again to Neil Weatherall, author of the play The Passion of the Playboy Riots, for his help in sorting out Irish history.
Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.
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 WilliamButler 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.
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 Booksin 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.
In Ireland, at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, still run by one of its founders, Lady Augusta Gregory, 69, the company is finishing up, with a matinee and evening performance today, the run of a double bill including A Pot of Broth by one of its other founders, Irish poet William Butler Yeats, 56. The Abbey has been performing this little one act about gullible peasants since it was written over 15 years ago.
Throughout the country, violent atrocities are committed by the Irish Republican Army and the British Black and Tans, while in Dublin, in a huge leap forward for Irish independence, the government of the Irish Free State is finally coming into being.
Newspaper headline, December 8
In England, near Oxford, Yeats is encouraged by the news of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, giving Ireland, including 26 of the island’s 32 counties, Dominion status in the British Commonwealth. He writes to a friend that he expects the Irish parliament, the Dail, will ratify the treaty, but
I see no hope of escape from bitterness, and the extreme party may carry the country.”
With the establishment of the Irish Free State, Yeats and his wife Georgie, 29, are thinking of moving back to Dublin in the new year with their two children, Anne, 2 ½, and the recently christened Michael Butler Yeats, four months old.
In Sussex, Virginia, 39, and her husband LeonardWoolf, 41, have come to their country home, Monk’s House, for the holidays.
The Hogarth Press, the publishing company they have operated out of their home in the Richmond section of London for the past four years, is steadily growing. In total they published six titles this year, a 50% increase over last.
A book of woodcuts by a friend of theirs, Roger Fry, 55, that they brought out just a few months ago is going in to its third printing.
They have hired an assistant, Ralph Partridge, 27, who was at first helpful. Now he works in the basement, sleeps over during the week and has a bad habit of leaving the press and metal type dirty, which drives Leonard crazy. Partridge’s profit-sharing deal has increased from last year, but is only £125.
Before they came down here to ring in the new year, the Woolfs had a visit from their friend, one of their former best-selling writers, Katherine Mansfield, 33. They discussed excerpts from a new work, Ulysses, by Irish novelist James Joyce, 39, to be published in Paris in a few months. Mansfield agrees that it is disgusting, but she still found some scenes that she feels will one day be deemed important.
About three years ago, Virginia and Leonard were approached about publishing Ulysses, but they rejected it. They don’t regret their decision.
In France, Paris has become home to over 6,000 Americans, enjoying being let out of the prison of Prohibition back home.
Writer Gertrude Stein, 47, who has lived here for almost 20 years, has been laid up recently after minor surgery. She is still writing, working on Didn’t Nelly & Lilly Love You, which includes references to her birthplace, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, and that of her partner for the past 14 years, Alice B. Toklas, 44, Oakland, California, and how the two of them met in Paris.
The author at Gertrude Stein’s house in Allegheny, Pennsylvania
Because she recently visited the nearby studio of another American ex-pat, painter and photographer Man Ray, 31, who just moved here last summer, Gertrude works into the piece “a description of Mr. Man Ray.“
In America, New York free-lance writer Dorothy Parker, 28, is attending, as usual, the New Year’s Eve party hosted by two of her friends from lunches at the Algonquin Hotel—New York World columnist Heywood Broun, 33, and his wife, journalist Ruth Hale, 34. Their party is an annual event, but bigger than ever this year because it is being held in their newly purchased brownstone at 333 West 85th Street.
Parker notes that they are directly across the street from one of the buildings that she lived in with her father.
Building across the street from the Brouns’ brownstone
Dottie is here alone. Her friends don’t expect her husband, stockbroker and war veteran Eddie Pond Parker, 28, to be with her. They joke that she keeps him in a broom closet back home.
She’s enjoying talking to one of her other lunch buddies, top New York Tribune columnist Franklin Pierce Adams [always known as FPA], 40, who is professing his undying love for Parker. While sitting next to his wife and keeping an eye on a pretty young actress in a pink dress.
All the furniture except for some folding chairs has been removed to make room for the 200 guests and a huge vat of orange blossoms [equal parts gin and orange juice, with powdered sugar thrown in]. No food or music. Just illegal booze.
As the turn of the new year approaches, the guests join the hosts in one of their favorite traditions. Dottie and the others each stand on a chair.
At the stroke of midnight they jump off, into the unknown of 1922.
Thanks to Neil Weatherall, author of the play, The Passion of the Playboy Riots, for help in unravelling Irish history.
On February 3, 2022, we will be celebrating the 148th birthday of my fellow Pittsburgh native Gertrude Stein, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill. To register for this free event, or to watch it via Zoom, go to Riverstone’s website.
Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.
Irish-American lawyer, John Quinn, 50, and his family—sister Julia Quinn Anderson, in her mid-thirties; niece Mary, 13; two household servants and a private nurse—are at the Boston South Station waiting for their train back to Quinn’s home in New York City.
Boston South Station
They have all just finished a lovely long holiday in a cottage in Ogunquit on the coast of Maine, courtesy of Quinn. John wasn’t able to join them until just a few weeks ago. But he really appreciated relaxing at the resort. He hired a car and driver from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to bring them here to Boston—well worth the cost, including $12 tip.
Quinn notices that Boston is, as he later writes to a friend,
turned over to the Irish, who turned out…one hundred thousand strong to greet [Irish politician Eamon de Valera, 37]. I am told that 70 percent of the population of Boston is Irish…There is one spot on the earth where the Irish are on top.”
De Valera, self-proclaimed President of Dáil Éireann, the Parliament of the newly proclaimed Irish Republic, addresses a crowd of 50,000 at Fenway Park near the end of his American tour, selling bonds to support his new government.
De Valera audience at Fenway Park
Nearby, two Italian immigrants, Nicola Sacco, 29, and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, 32, are indicted for a robbery and double murder at a shoe factory in Braintree, Massachusetts, last April.
For silent newsreel footage of de Valera’s trip to Boston, click here.
“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”: The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poet William Butler Yeats, 54, and his wife Georgie, 28, are settling into New York City. They have spent this whole year so far on Willie’s third American lecture tour. It’s been a big success, but they’re exhausted.
Their dear friend, Irish-American lawyer and supporter of the arts, John Quinn, just turned 50, really wants them to stay with him in his spacious Central Park West penthouse apartment. They will—but they decided that a few days at the Algonquin Hotel will be more restful.
They are only planning to be in New York for a couple of weeks before they head for Montreal to board the Mejantic back to England. Quinn has arranged all their tickets and transportation.
Algonquin Hotel lobby
Someone has offered to record Yeats for
a new kind of moving picture—a picture that talks as well as moves,”
as he describes it.
Quinn says they might have the opportunity to meet an Irish politician also touring America. Eamon de Valera, 37, current self-proclaimed President of Dáil Éireann, the Parliament of the newly proclaimed Irish Republic, has asked to meet his country’s most famous poet. And Yeats is curious—is this former Irish rebel just all propaganda? Or is there a real human in there?
Eamon de Valera
Mostly, they plan to spend more time with Willie’s father, painter John Butler Yeats, 81, whom Quinn has been keeping an eye on, ever since he moved from Dublin to Manhattan 13 years ago. He was supposed to stay just a few weeks!
The Yeats family had implored their father to come home to Ireland. But J B had written to Yeats that, as an American had pointed out,
In Dublin it is hopeless insolvency. Here it is hopeful insolvency.”
And so he stayed.
“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”: The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at email@example.com.