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Not the Black and Tans

In response to:

The Orpheus of Ulster from the July 11, 1996 issue

To the Editors:

In my article about Seamus Heaney [NYR, July 11] I failed to prevent William Craig being glossed as “the head of the Black and Tans.” I was referring to William Craig, Home Affairs Minister in the Northern Ireland government of Terence O’Neill until his sacking in December 1968. “Craig’s Dragoons” in Heaney’s song are the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Also, several readers have pointed out that Robert Frost’s poem “The Gift Outright,” cited in the June 20 issue, was first read at William and Mary College in December 1941 and was requested (not commissioned) by JFK for his 1963 inauguration.

James Fenton
Oxford, England

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