“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago, October, 1920, No. 15 Ely Place, Dublin, Ireland

Irish poet and playwright William Butler Yeats, 55, is recovering from a hemorrhage in the consulting rooms of his long-time friend, Dr. Oliver St. John Gogarty, 42, who has just removed his tonsils.

No. 15 Ely Place

Yeats and his wife, Georgie, 28, have been living in Oxford, England, since returning from his long American lecture tour. When Willie’s tonsils first flared up, he had tried to go to London to see a specialist. But he got lost.

After Georgie checked with her star charts, they decided the wasted trip to London was a bad omen. So they both came over here to Dublin to have Gogarty take care of him.

Dr. Oliver St. John Gogarty by William Orpen

All that Yeats remembers at this point is Gogarty putting him under with ether, yapping away about literature. And when he awoke, bleeding, the good doctor took up his monologue exactly where he had broken off.

By this point, lying in recovery, Yeats is feeling that his own end might be near, and starts to compose his dying speech. He is also thinking of tweaking his bedclothes to give the nurses a thrill.

“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 kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

My “Such Friends” presentations, The Founding of the Abbey Theater and Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table are available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre.

This fall I am talking about writers’ salons in Paris and New York after the Great War in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions. In 2021 I will be talking about Perkins in the Osher 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.

In Upper Ely Place, Dublin, May of 1902…

…writer George Moore, 50, is excited about the upcoming production of The Tinker and the Fairy, a play based on Irish folk tales by his new friend, founder of the Gaelic League, Douglas Hyde, 42.

Moore is the one who suggested staging it in his own back garden, as a one-off special event, with Hyde playing the lead role of the Tinker, followed by a posh, invitation-only reception for 300 special guests,

Upper Ely Place, Dublin

Upper Ely Place, Dublin

As Moore had hoped, this is turning in to THE event of the Dublin social season—and it is all his baby. He and Hyde agreed on a translator to produce an English version of the play, from the original Irish. But it was Moore who edited it, made major changes in the script, and has directed the whole production. Hyde might have gotten tired of his constant letters of instruction, but even he would have to admit that the play is stronger.

Moore’s purpose is to bring his native Irish culture into the mainstream by working these folk stories from the people into plays by Hyde and his other friends in the Irish National Theatre Society. And everyone in Ireland will know that it is all because of him, Moore, and his efforts.

This year, we’ll be telling stories about these groups of ‘such friends,’ before, during and after their times together.

George Moore, charcoal drawing

George Moore, charcoal drawing