She was his Helen of Troy; their tumultuous relationship would span almost twenty years. The characters in what would be an interesting play are Irish poet William Butler Yeats and politicial activist Maude Gonne.
They met in 1889, he was an up and coming poet and she was an artist that was finding a voice in Irish nationalism. Both were in their early twenties. He proposed to her two years later, and she refused him, sighting his lack of political activism and refusal to become Roman Catholic as reasons. For most men, a refusal would have meant an ending- a clear conclusion, but not for W. B. Yeats. He proposed to her at least four other times, spanning almost fifteen years.
In 1903, to Yeats’ horror, Maude married an Irish Nationalist, Major John MacBride, and had one son, Sean. By this time Yeats had proposed to her three times. When…
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