Elizabeth Yeats


1868-1940 [E. C. Yeats; Elizabeth Corbet Yeats; Lolly; ‘Lollie’]; b. 23 Fitzroy Rd., London; yngr sis. of W. B. Yeats; trains as Froebel teacher in Bedford College; acts as art teacher in Condon Co. Council School; on return of the Yeats’s to Dublin, 1900, accepted invitation to join Evelyn Gleeson in Dun Emer Guild, Churchtown, and took enthusiastically to printing;
managed the Dun Emer Hand Press from 1902 and, independently, the Cuala Press from 1904, publishing over sixty books incl. 48 of Yeats’s using Caslon Old Face type, 1903-1946; briefly caricatured by James Joyce in Ulysses (‘printed by the wierd sisters in the year of the big wind’); d. 16 Jan.; portrait by John B. Yeats [NGI]; she was the first hand-press printer to work in Ireland since the 18th century; d. suddenly, 16 Jan. 1940.

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  • William M. Murphy, ‘Psychic Daughter, Mystic Son, Sceptic Father’, in George Mills Harper, ed., Yeats and the Occult, Macmillan 1976), pp.11-26;
  • Gifford Lewis, The Yeats Sisters and the Cuala Press (Dublin: IAP 1995);
  • Joan Hardwick, The Yeats Sisters: A Biography of Susan and Elizabeth Yeats (London: Pandora 1996), 271pp., 16 ills.;
  • Maureen Murphy, ed., I Call to the Eye of the Mind: a Memoir of Sara Hyland (Dublin: Attic Press 1996), 204pp. [memories of working for the Yeats sisters from 1908.]
See also note on Dun Emer (later Cuala) Press, in R. O. Dougan, W. B. Yeats: Manuscripts and Printed Books Exhibited in the Library of TCD (1956), 17-18; Liam Miller, ‘The Dun Emer and the Cuala Press’, in Robin Skelton & Ann Saddlemyer, eds., The World of W. B. Yeats (1965), pp.141-51; also Robin Skelton, ‘Twentieth Century Irish literature and the Private Press Tradition’, in Massechusetts Review (Winter 1964), pp.368-77 [bibl. from A. N. Jeffares, A New Commentary on the Poems of W. B. Yeats, 1984, p.73].

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Irish lore: See also her explanatory inscription on the flyleaf of the copy of [Bishop] William Bedell’s bible-translation Leabhair an tSean Tiomna presented to her great-grandfather William Middleton, and held in W. B. Yeats’s personal library, now in the National Library of Ireland [as under Bedell, infra].