Yeats's Book of the Nineties is essentially a study of the major works Yeats produced at the height of that literary period known as «the Decadence»: his collection of short fiction,
The Secret Rose; his 1899 volume of poetry,
The Wind Among the Reeds; and the essay collection he titled
Ideas of Good and Evil. But this is not a «literary» examination,
per se; nor does it accept the traditional portrayal of the young Yeats as consummate aesthete. Instead, it argues for a reading of Yeats's work in the context of his early efforts in journalism and his complex two-fold interest in Irish nationalism and occult spirituality. At this particular site, Myers suggests, matters of aesthetics and politics merge in what Yeats saw as a «new propaganda» for the political and cultural liberation of Ireland.