On the flight over to Ireland this weekend, I was reading The Secret Rose, a strange and wonderful collection of stories by William Butler Yeats. One of the many lines that leapt off the page:
"...the dreamers who must do what they dream, the doers who must dream what they do."
The words find new context in Her Secret Rose by Orna Ross, the first in a trilogy of novels about young Willie Yeats and Maud Gonne, a British heiress, change agent, mystic seeker and champion of Irish civil rights.
Gonne was the muse that catalyzed Yeats' career as she became the object of his unrequited passion/obsession. Their political and personal lives were intimately entwined; they were kindred spirits, soul mates, and partners in a long journey of spiritual exploration that included mind-altering drugs and secret occult rituals.
But Maud had another life, another love, that Willie knew nothing about, and inevitably, the two worlds would collide. With great insight, wit, lyrical skill and …