Joseph M[aunsell] Hone (1882-1959)


b. Killiney, Co. Dublin, son of a wealthy Dublin merchant family; brought up in the family home (now occupied by Bono of U2 fame) and a country house belonging to the family in Kilkenny; ed. Cheam Wellington, and Cambridge University; co-fnd. Maunsel & Co. in 1905, taking over Wyllie by investment of 2,000, buying sheets of Bullen’s editions of Yeats’s works, after which he specialised in Irish writing; with Page Dickinson, issued Persia in Revolution (1910), previously as articles in The Irish Times, Manchester Guardian, The Morning Leader, and The Chicago Daily News;m., Vera, with whom a son Nat (b. 1913); issued a History of the Irish Rebellion of 1916 (Maunsel 1916);
issued The Irish Convention and Sinn Féin (1918); collaborated with Warre B[radley] Wells on several history works, and with M. M. Rossi translations of Daniel Halévy’s Life of Nietzsche, intro. T. M. Kettle (1911), and Montegut’s life of Mitchell, and Rossi’s Viaggio in Irlanda; issued Bishop Berkeley, with Dr. Rossi (1929); also Ireland Since 1922 (1932), pamphlet; issued W. B. Yeats 1865-1939 (1942), following from an earlier monograph of 1915 in the Maunsel ‘Irishmen of To-day’ series (No. 3);
ed. J. B. Yeats, Letters to His son W. B. Yeats and Other 1869-1922 (1944); he also wrote lives of George Moore and Thomas Davis; elected President of Irish Academy of Letters, 1957; he lost a good deal of money in the 1929 Crash but left a substantial estate; m., with three children, among whom Nat, a ne’er-do-well, whose son Joe [Joseph Hone, q.v.] became a BBC journalist and Anglo-Irish memoirist; there is a pencil portrait by Augustus John in Municipal Gallery; there are letters from Hone in the JM Synge Paper Collection at TCD Lib. (Dublin). DIB DIW DIL OCIL FDA

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  • with Page L. Dickinson, Persia in Revolution: with notes of Travel in the Caucasus (London: T.F. Unwin; Dublin: Maunsel & Co. 1910), xiv, 218pp., ills. [map. pls., port.];
  • William Butler Yeats: The Poet in Contemporary Ireland [Irishmen of To-day (Dublin & London: Maunsel 1915), 134pp. [Jochum 1094];
  • Ed. [as Joseph Maunsell Hone, pseud.], Collected Writings of James Fintan Lawlor (Dublin: Maunsel & Co. 1918), xvi, 120pp.;
  • with Mario Rossi, Bishop Berkeley, intro. W. B. Yeats (London: Faber & Faber 1931), xxix, 286pp., ill. [pls. & port.];
  • Ireland Since 1922 [Criterion Miscellany, 32] (London: Faber & Faber 1932), 32pp. [pamph.];
  • Thomas Davis [Noted Irish Lives] (Dublin: Talbot Press; London: Duckworth 1934), 119pp.;
  • with M. M. Rossi, Swift, or the Egoist (London: Gollancz 1934), 418pp., and Do. [facs. rep.] (Folcroft, Pa: Folcroft Library Editions 1976), 418pp., 26cm.;
  • ed. & intro., George Berkeley, The Querist, Containing several queries proposed to the consideration of the public (Dublin & Cork: Talbot Press 1935), pp.122;
  • Life of George Moore, with an account of his last years by his cook and housekeeper, Clara Warville (London: Gollancz 1936), 515pp.;
  • The Life of Henry Tonks (London: Heinemann 1939), 390pp.;
  • The Moores of Moore Hall (London: Jonathan Cape 1939), 287pp., ill. [pls., ports];
  • W. B. Yeats 1865-1939 (London: Macmillan & Co. 1942), ix, 503pp., Do.: A Biography with Portraits and a Facsimile [2nd Edn.] (London: Macmillan 1962; Papermac 1965), ix, 504pp., ill.; and Do. [rep. edn.] (Harmonsworth: Penguin 1971), 510pp.;
  • ed ., J. B. Yeats: Letters to His Son W. B Yeats and Others, 1869-1922, edited with a memoir by Joseph Hone; and a preface by Oliver Elton (London: Faber & Faber 1944), Do. [rep. edn.] (London: Secker & Warburg in assoc. with the Arts Council 1983), 296pp., and Do. [new edn], with abridged and with an introduction by John McGAhern (London: Faber & Faber 1999), vii, 215pp.;
  • [as Nathaniel Marlowe] with Warre Bradley Wells, History of the Irish Rebellion of 1916 (Dublin: Maunsel 1916), xii, 271pp.;
  • with Warre Bradley Wells, The Irish Convention and Sinn Fein (Dublin: Maunsel & Co. 1918), 4pp., 194pp.;
  • Ed. Selections from a Dictionary of Irish Writers (1944);
  • Ed., with others, Love Story of Thomas Davis told in the letters of Annie Hutton (Dublin: Cuala Press 1945) [ltd. edn. 250], and Do. [facs. rep.] (Shannon: IUP 1971), xiv, 17pp.;
  • trans. Pilgrimage in the West by Mario M. Rossi [Viaggo in Irlanda] (Dublin: Cuala Press 1933) [ltd. edn. 300 copies], and Do. [facs. rep.] (Shannon: IUP 1971), 51pp.
  • ‘A Letter from Ireland’, in London Mercury, V (Jan. 1923), pp.306-08; rep. in Robert Deming, ed., James Joyce: The Critical Heritage, London; Routledge & Kegan Paul 1970 [Vol. 1], pp.297-99 [infra];
  • ‘Yeats as political philosopher’, in London Mercury (April 1939), remarking that Yeats had come to distrust ‘all the little semi-literary and semi-political clubs and societies out of which the Sinn Fein movement grew’ [quoted in A. N. Jeffares, A New Commentary, 1984, p.87].
  • See also Irish Book Lover, Vols. 4, 7, 13, 24, 27, 29.
  • ‘A Scattered Fair’, in Wind and the Rain [] [contains unpublished diary of Elizabeth Yeats];
  • with Page Dickinson & Frank Sparrow, The Abbey Row: Not Edited by W. B. Yeats (Dublin: Maunsel [1907]), 12pp. [a skit on The Arrow; copy in TCD Library];
  • trans. Daniel Halévy’s Life of Nietzsche, intro. T. M. Kettle (London: T. F. Unwin 1911), 368pp.;
  • trans. & ed., M. Émile Montégut, John Mitchel: A Study in Nationalism (Dublin & London: Maunsel & Co. 1915), 61pp.;
  • The German Doctrine of Conquest, with an Essay on the M. Sellière’s Philosophy of Imperialism by J. M. Hone (Dublin & London: Maunsel & Co. 1914), 140pp.;
  • A History of Ireland, trans. from the German of Julius Pokorny [...] by Séana D. King, with a foreword by J. M. Hone (Dublin & Cork: Talbot Press [1933]), [8], 192pp.;
  • with Maurice Craig & Michael Fewer, The New Neighbourhood of Dublin (Dublin: A. A. Farmar 2003), 264pp. [unpub. text of 1949]
  • In Memoriam: Evelyn Joseph Hone. Born 11th July, 1837, entered into rest 23rd June, 1908, &c. (Not for Publication [1909]), 30pp., ill. [port.]
Note: The New York Times for 14 July 1912 contain a a three-column article entitled ‘A Memory of The Playboy - J.M. Hone Tells How Synge Said of His Play: “It’s an Extravaganza -- and Nothing Else”’ (available at NY Times - online [for subscribers]; accessed 27.09.2021.

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Oliver St. John Gogarty, ‘Ireland's Great Poet: A Review of W. B. Yeats by J. M. Hone’, in The Gazette [ Montreal] (24 April 1943) [TCD Lib.]; See also Joseph Hone, Wicked Little Joe: A Tale of Childhood and Youth (Dublin: Lilliput Press 2009), which contains an account of Joseph Hone Snr., the grandfather of the author. (For some further details, see under Joseph Hone, q.v..)

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Conor Cruise O’Brien
, ‘Passion and Cunning: An Essay on the Politics of W. B. Yeats’, in A. N. Jeffares & K. W. Cross, eds., In Excited Reverie (1965): ‘“It may be surmised”, wrote the late J. M. Hone [...] “that Yeats was not actuated solely by humanitarian zeal”. It may indeed - as we shall see - but Hone’s comment needs itself to be treated with some reserve. Hone was a friend of Yeats, and in tune with his political views, but his conservatism was of a colder and more intellectual stamp than Yeats’s. It is clear from Hone’s references to the Lock-out - he pays tribute to Murphy’s serves to Dublin- that the employers, rather than the workers, commanded such store of sympathy as he possessed.’ (Rep. in Passion and Cunning and Other Essays, NY: Simon & Schuster 1988, pp.8-61; here p.23.) O'Brien adds that Yeats was already ‘violently incensed [sic] against Murphy on the artistic issue’ of the Lane Gallery of Modern Art (p.24.)


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Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day Co, 1991), Vol. 2., pp.850-51: W. J. McCormack [sect. ed.], quotes at length from Yeats’s story of the ghost of Dargan Castle, recounted in J. M. Hone’s biography of Yeats (1945), pp.283-84.

Wikiwand - Joseph Maunsel Hone

Nathaniel Hone (1760-1819) was High Sheriff of Dublin in 1798 and Lord Mayor of Dublin from 1810 to 1811. Nathaniel married Hannah Dickinson (1760-1841), having 6 children with her, and had a country house called Hannahville, which he named after his wife. Nathaniel's third son Addison Hone (1797-1869), who lived in Raheny, married Elizabeth Hone (daughter of William Hone and Lucy Crosthwaite above) and had 5 children. Addison's third daughter Mary Elizabeth (1852-1931) married George Vaughan Hart and had seven children. Addison's fourth daughter Nancy (1854-1938), known as Nannie, married Arthur D'Arcy Bellingham (1853-1903) and had a son, Arthur (1893-1969). Sir Henry Bellingham is the great-grandson of Nannie Hone and Arthur Bellingham.


Joseph Maunsell Hone (1882 – 26 March 1959) was an Irish writer, literary historian, critic and biographer of W. B. Yeats. He was one of the notable group of writers associated with the literary and theatre movement in Ireland in the early 20th century.

Hone was the son of William Hone, of Killiney, County Dublin, of the Hone family, and Sarah Cooper of Limerick. He was educated at Wellington School and Jesus College, Cambridge. While still at college he participated in setting up the publishing company of Maunsel & Co., along with Stephen Gwynn and George Roberts. He founded the firm's quarterly, The Shanachie, at his own expense.

In 1909 he went to Persia, then in ferment, with Page Lawrence Dickinson and in 1910 wrote his first book, Persia in Revolution, describing their experiences there. The following year he translated Daniel Halévy's Life of Nietzsche, with an introduction by Tom Kettle. He continued to translate the works of French and Italian writers and contributed to periodicals. His first book on Yeats, William Butler Yeats: The Poet in Contemporary Ireland, was published as one of Maunsel's Irishmen of Today series in 1915. Later books included Bishop Berkeley, The Life of George Moore, and The Moores of Moore Hall in 1939.

Joseph Hone, the novelist, was his grandson.

available online; accessed 27.09.2021.


Hyland Books (Cat. 220) lists Hone, with Mario M Rossi, Pilgrimage in the West (Cuala Press 1933) [ltd. edn. 300 copies; this copy unique signed and ded. to Elizabeth Yeats, 200, Hyland 214]; also Ireland Since 1922 [Criterion Miscellany] (1932).

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Maunsel & Co, publishers and dramatic agents, fnd. by George Roberts, 1905, and Seamus O’Sullivan; orig. under title Whaley, stolen from Charles Weekes, who objected; pronounced ‘Mansell’; Hone invested 2,000 in the company and became Chairman; bought sheets of the Bullen ed. of three of Yeats’s books with cancelled title page and cheaper bindings for Irish market; published Synge, Lady Gregory, AE, Colum, Stephens, Hyde, through Abbey Theatre Series, Tower Press Booklet Series; printed short-lived Shanachie; missed Joyce’s Dubliners; later published Brinsley MacNamara, Seumus O’Sullivan, and Padraic O Conaire; later lost authors to London publishers; Roberts purchased over 500 titles from 100 authors; received Govt. over-compensation for destruction of stock in 1916 Rising, doing away with many unsaleable books; published 117 books from May 1916 to Dec. 1917; 30 titles came to grief with the Censor after proofing; control of Synge’s books to 1915 assisted finances; Roberts commenced a company in his own name, running Maunsel offices at 50 Lr. Bagott St; new company formed from Maunsel & George Roberts Ltd., 1920, Maunsel being closed down; 20,000 conned out for new chairman, Mr Casey; company succumbed in 1925 through Roberts’s financial mismanagement. [Notes provided by Colin Smythe.]

Publisher’s Notice: Maunsel book list appended to St. John Evine, Mrs Martin’s Man (1915 Edn.), cites The German Doctrine of Conquest: A French View, by E. Sellière, trans. J. M. Hone [c.1915], with notice from English Review: ‘Goes to the fount of inspiration - racial selection - and shows where the Chamberlain school of philosophy is derived [citing Gobineau as his French master] … Every Liberal should read this book. He will learn a good deal that at present baffles him. Above all, he will see that German militarism is not the work of a junker party, but the fruit of a racial philosophy.’

Reviewing Yeats: Hone reviewed Yeats’s Responsibilities (1914): ‘We watch him in these controversial poems of his building up a legend around himself; a stirring legend that will, I believe, hit the fancy of the young men of Ireland as the Celtic Twilight never did.’ (Quoted in Thomas Flanagan, review of R. F. Foster, The Apprentice Mage, 1997, in New York Times Book Review, 6 April, 1997, p.10f.)

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