Guide to Topics
YEATS, WILLIAM BUTLER (1865-1939)
William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet, dramatist and prose writer. He is widely considered one of the best poets of the 20th century and received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.
The "yellow-back" was a Victorian innovation, an inexpensive reprint edition of a popular work of the day. It is readily identifiable by its cover, usually of bright yellow glazed paper over boards, with a striking illustration printed on the front and advertisements on the back. The British reading public, greatly expanded by the spread of education, had begun to demand cheap popular literature, and these eye-catching volumes, priced from sixpence to a shilling, satisfied the demand for over sixty years. These books, which are now scarce in fine condition, provide an important research resource in the history of publishing and illustration.