Elizabeth Yeats

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Elizabeth Corbet 'Lolly' Yeats (John Butler Yeats, 1887)

Elizabeth Corbet Yeats (11 March 1868 – 16 January 1940), known as Lolly, was an English-Irish educator and publisher.


Elizabeth Corbet Yates 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. "The name Dun Emer (Fort of Emer) was named for the Lady Emer, wife of the hero Cúchulainn, renowned in Irish folklore for her beauty and artistic skills."[1] 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 as well as embroidery and weaving.

After many years of strained relations between the Yeats sisters and Evelyn Gleeson, their business relationship was finally ended.[2] Subsequently, in 1908, Lolly 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.

She worked with Cuala Press until short of her death on 16 January 1940 after a diagnosis of high blood pressure and heart trouble.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Coleman, Zoe. "Susan and Elizabeth, The Yeats Sisters From the Dun Emer Guild to Cuala Industries". Women's Museum of Ireland. Women's Museum of Ireland. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Joan., Hardwick, (1996). The Yeats sisters : a biography of Susan and Elizabeth Yeats. London: Pandora. ISBN 0044409249. OCLC 34174111. 
  • Lewis, Gifford. The Yeats sisters and the Cuala. (Irish Academic Press, 1994). ISBN 0-7165-2525-9
  • Elizabeth Yeats at the Princess Grace Irish Library
  • Elizabeth Yeats at Unseen Hands: Women Printers, Binders and Book Designers
  • Elizabeth Yeats at Trent University Archives

Further reading

  • Breuer, Gerda. Meer, Julia (Ed.): Women in Graphic Design. (Jovis. Berlin, 2012.) ISBN 978-3-86859-153-8, p. 590.
  • Coleman, Zoe. "Susan and Elizabeth, The Yeats Sisters From the Dun Emer Guild to Cuala Industries". Women's Museum of Ireland. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  • Gifford, Lewis (1994). The Yeats sisters and the Cuala. Blackrock: Irish Academic Press. ISBN 0716525259. 
  • 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.

External links

  • Dun Emer and Cuala Press publications explored in National Library of Ireland exhibition
  • "Elementary Brush-Work Studies" at Villanova University Digital Library
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