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Rhymer's Club

Rhymer's Club

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The Rhymers' Club was a group of London-based poets, founded in 1890 by W. B. Yeats and Ernest Rhys. Originally not much more than a dining club, generally meeting upstairs at the Cheshire Cheese pub in Fleet Street, it did produce anthologies of poetry in 1892 and 1894.

Those who took part included also Ernest Dowson, Lionel Johnson, Francis Thompson, Richard Le Gallienne, John Davidson, Edwin Ellis, Victor Plarr, Selwyn Image, A. S. Hillier, John Todhunter, Arthur Symons, Ernest Radford, and Thomas William Rolleston. Oscar Wilde attended some meetings that were held in private homes. The group as a whole matched quite closely Yeats' retrospective idea of 'the tragic generation', destined for failure and in many cases early death.

By the time Arthur Ransome wrote his Bohemia in London in 1907, the group had already passed into legend: "... the Rhymer's Club used to meet, to drink from tankards, smoke clay pipes, and recite their own poetry". In fact, Ransome's research was less than thorough; the group continued to meet in some form until about 1904.

References

  • Jeffares, A. Norman, W.B. Yeats: A New Biography, (Hutchinson 1988).


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