New York: The Fountain Press, 1929. Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 88 of 600 copies, octavo size, 33 pp., signed by Yeats. Near fine / good +. Item #CNIK18
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) is acknowledged by many as "supreme among modern Irish poets". He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 (the first Irish to be so recognized), at which time he was "one of Dublin's great established figures, both in his own right and as the representative of the cultural renaissance which...had set in motion the Irish revolution and war of independence." Throughout his life, and throughout his poetry - which is still read and loved today - Yeats is recognized as supremely Irish, with his life and poetry reflective of his Irish identity.
This work, "The Winding Stair", was published subsequent to "The Tower" (1928), and refers to the stair of Thoor Ballylee. As Yeats himself says in the "Notes" at the end: "[t]he tower is Thoor Ballylee, or Ballylee Castle, where I have written most of my poems of recent years. My poems attribute to it most of the meanings attributed in the past to the Tower - whether watch tower or pharos, and to its winding stair those attributed to gyre or whorl. What those meanings are let the poems say...."
Wiki incorrectly states a subsequent 1933 printing as the First Edition of this work, although they do say "[t]he title poem was originally published in 1929 by Fountain Press in a signed limited edition, which is exceedingly rare." It appears as though the 1933 printing included subsequent work: the poems included in this publication are "In Memory of Eva Gore Booth and Con Markiewicz", "Death", "A Dialogue of Self and Soul", "Blood and the Moon", "Oil and Blood", and "A Woman Young and Old".
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full navy blue cloth over boards, decorative gilt rule running vertically up the sides of both boards, gilt lettering and decorations on the spine along with two red leather spine labels with gilt lettering, top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges uncut, endpapers purple flecked with gold, signed by Yeats on the half-title page, title page with a line drawing of a fountain and decorative borders enclosing the lettering, Notes at the end; designed by Frederic Warde, printed on handmade (Sweden) Kalmar paper, octavo size (8 7/8" by 6"), pagination: [i-vi] [1-2] 3-25, [26, Notes], [27, Colophon], this no. 88 of 600 (there were also 42 NFS copies, total edition 642). In the original glassine wrapper.
___CONDITION: Volume near fine, with clean boards, the spine labels clean and without wear, the gilt on the boards and spine bright and unrubbed, perfectly straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; some light marks at the top of the boards and the slightest lean to the text block, else fine. The glassine wrapper a bit better than good, entire with all component parts present, however, with several fair-sized chips and overall edgewear.
___CITATION: Wade no. 164.
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