Flu may have been at least indirectly responsible for the still-mysterious demise of Maj Robert Gregory, the ‘Irish Airman’ who, in the title of a famous poem by WB Yeats, foresaw his death

There was nothing especially Spanish about the Spanish flu: the global pandemic that, in two years beginning a century ago this month, killed more peo(...)

Creative power: WB Yeats as a young poet. Photograph: Bain/Library of Congress

Many years ago I gave a lecture at Queen’s University Belfast on a theme I have long since forgotten. After the lecture Prof Singh of the Italian d(...)

Auctioneer Colm Farrell dressed as WB Yeats at Thoor Ballylee near Gort, Co Galway. Farrell will auction a number of items at the tower, which is the former residence of the poet, on Sunday, May 31st, to raise funds to re-open the tower. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Not everyone would pick a draughty old Norman keep for a home to grow old in, but then not everyone shared the mindset of WB Yeats. “I am makin(...)

Irish outlook: George Bernard Shaw. Photograph: Ullstein Bild via Getty

In June 1915 WB Yeats wrote to his American friend and patron John Quinn about the Great War then raging across Europe. It was, he said, “merely th(...)