Elizabeth Yeats

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For other people named Elizabeth Yates, see Elizabeth Yates (disambiguation).
The Dun Emer Press in 1903 with Elizabeth Yeats working the hand press

Elizabeth Corbet Yeats (11 March 1868 – 16 January 1940), known as Lolly, was born at 23 Fitzroy Road, London. She was the daughter of the Irish artist John Butler Yeats and sister of W. B., Jack and Susan Mary "Lily" Yeats. She trained and worked as an art teacher and was a member of William Morris's circle in London before her family returned to Dublin in 1900. Yeats wrote and created the artwork for "Elementary Brush-Work Studies" (published in 1900), an educational book that teaches young children the technique of painting flowers and plants using her simple method. At the suggestion of Emery Walker, who worked with Morris on the Kelmscott Press, Yeats studied printing with the Women's Printing Society in London.

In Dublin, she accepted the invitation to join Evelyn Gleeson to form the Dun Emer Guild along with Lily, who was an embroiderer. Yeats managed the Dun Emer Press from 1902. The Press was located at Runnymede, the house of Evelyn Gleeson. (This house, located in Dundrum, was later renamed Dun Emer. It has since been demolished.) This was set up with the intention of training young women in bookbinding and printing.

In 1908, she and her brother William started the Cuala Press, publishing over 70 books including 48 by the poet. Yeats was the first commercial printer in Ireland to work exclusively with hand presses.

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Further reading[edit]

  • Hardwick, Joan. The Yeats Sisters : A Biography of Susan and Elizabeth Yeats. (HarperCollins. Pandora, 1996.) ISBN 0-04-440924-9.
  • William M. Murphy. 'Dun Emer, 1902–1905'; 'William Butler Yeats and the Weird Sisters'; 'Cuala: The Partnership, 1908–1923'; 'Cuala: The Separation': in Family Secrets: William Butler Yeats and His Relatives. Syracuse University, 1995.

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