Iseult Gonne (1894-1954)
Maud had two children from of an affair with French politician Lucien Millevoye. George, in 1890, who died as an infant of meningitis, and Iseult in 1894. At the time, Maud was campaigning in Ireland for rights for tenant famers and living in France. No one knew that she had a lover and children in France.
Iseult was educated in a convent in France, as Maud herself had been, but Maud never publicly acknowledge her as her daughter.
This is key to the mother-daughter relationship at the heart of this story. As is Iseult's relationship to her birth father and step-father, John MacBride, key to her relationship with WB Yeats.
Before the war Iseult had traveled across Europe with her mother, had loved Italy, the temples in Assisi, had won and broke the hearts of many men, had seen Isadora Duncan dance, learned Bengali and sanskrit, wrote and translated poetry and had read all of Dante. She was know for her beauty and her wit.
She fell in love with Devabrata Mukurjea in 1915 while they were translating Tagore, was proposed to by WB Yeats in 1916, had an affair with Ezra Pound in London in 1917 and eloped with the 17 year old poet Francis Stuart in 1920 when she was 26.