Willie Yeats was 23 years old in 1889, when Maud Gonne, six feet tall, elegantly beautiful and passionately political, came calling to his house and “the troubling of his life” began.
He spread his dreams under her feet, as they set about creating a new Ireland, through his poetry and her politics, and their shared interest in the occult.
Yeats forged a poetic career from his unrequited love for Gonne, his unattainable muse. But as this novel says, “when looked at from the woman’s side of the bedsheet, most tales take a turning, and this one more than most.”
Delving deep into their letters and journals, and communications of the family and friends around them, uncovers a story that doesn’t quite fit the poetic myth.
Packed with emotional twists and surprises, Her Secret Rose is a novel of secrets and intrigue, passion and politics, mystery and magic, that brings to life 1890s Dublin, London and Paris, two fascinating characters — and a charismatic love affair that altered the course of history for two nations.