London: T. Werner Laurie, Ltd., 1925. Dulac, Edmund. First and Limited Edition. Hardcover. First printing, no. 278 of 600 copies, octavo size, 282 pp., signed by W.B. Yeats, with three illustrations after woodcuts by Edmund Dulac. Near fine / good. Item #CNMH02
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, "A Vision", was written during a period in his life of experimenting with "automatic writing"; it has at times been compared with Poe's "Eureka: A Prose Poem". This the true first edition, privately published; a second edition was published in 1937 with some alterations. Viewed as a meditation on the intertwining of history, imagination, and the occult, Yeats incorporates some of the work of Giraldus (Geraldus Cambrensis, or Gerald of Wales, ca. 1146 - ca. 1223) and Kusta ben Luka (Qusta ibn Luqa, 820-912); some of this fictitious, some based upon fact. The work makes sense when one understands that Yeats himself was deeply interested in spirituality, in varied forms, for most of his adult life.
___DESCRIPTION: Quarter ivory parchment with blue textured paper over boards, white paper spine label with brown lettering, top edge rough-cut, fore- and bottom edges uncut, textured endpapers (matching the binding), frontispiece (a portrait of Giraldus), full-page illustration of "The Great Wheel", and a small mounted illustration of a unicorn all on brown paper after woodcuts by Edmund Dulac, limitation statement tipped in following the title page leaf, this stamped no. 278 of an edition of 600 copies, with the signature of Yeats in black ink below, many signatures unopened, vintage bookseller ticket on the rear pastedown ("Brick Row Book Shop...Austin Texas"); octavo size (9" by 6 1/8"), pagination: [i-vi] [2 pp., limitation with blank verso] [vii-viii] ix-xxiv, [1-2] 3-256; note this is the first printing of this work, although certain of the included poems were previously published in other works. In the original dust jacket of matching blue textured paper, matching paper spine label.
___CONDITION: Volume near fine, and could likely be deemed fine; the paper boards clean, the parchment clean, the corners straight and without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; some toning and light bumping to the head and tail of the spine, light offsetting to the free endpapers from the dust jacket, else fine. The paper dust jacket good only; all parts are present, but seemingly held together by a thin layer of Japan paper applied to the verso, with overall sunning/toning and overall edgewear, including some loss at the top joints with commensurate loss to the top left of the paper spine label.
___CITATIONS: Watts no. 149, online Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and the web site of YeatsVision.
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