Illustrated and Decorated by Maud Gonne.Dublin: Maunsel & Company, Ltd, 1910 Stock Code: 137680
With a very scarce signature and original sketch by Maud GonneFirst edition, first impression, signed by the illustrator on the title page, and with an original initialled drawing in black ink on the front free endpaper (and expanded version of the ornament printed on p. 20.) Edith Maud Gonne (1866-1953) was one of the boldest figures of the Irish Literary Revival; a suffragette and artist, she remains best known as W. B. Yeats's muse and the subject of over 80 of his poems. They were "possibly briefly engaged, and in November 1891 she joined the Order of the Golden Dawn, the magical order to which he belonged, as 'Per Ignem ad Lucem' Through Fire to the Light" (ODNB). Gonne was also an Irish nationalist whose political commitment was deemed "paradoxical: born in England of English parents she was Irish by passionate identification and remote descent" (ibid.). In 1900, she was a founding member of the revolutionary women's society Inghinidhe na hEireann Daughters of Ireland, which included writers Alice Furlong, Ethna Carbery and Sinéad O'Flanagan (later wife of political leader Éamon de Valera), and the actors Máire Quinn and Sara Allgood. She became close friends with the author of these Celtic Wonder-Tales, the Irish-born mystic, poet, and mythographer, Ella Young (1867-1956), who spent terms of imprisonment for her Republican sympathies. Young left Ireland in 1925, disillusioned by the Civil War, and moved to America where she lectured on mythology and Irish literature for many years, and made her final home at a utopian esoteric commune in northern California. Any autograph material from Maud Gonne is very scarce, and books signed by her rarer still.
Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles in white to spine and with celtic swans design to front board. Housed in a dark blue cloth flat-back box by the Chelsea Bindery.
4 tipped-in colour plates, all but one heightened in gilt and silver, head- and tailpieces, a few decorative opening initials, all by Maud Gonne.
Spine rubbed and faded, light wear to extremities, a few repairs to spine and rear board, small loss to lower rear corner and related nibble marks to pp. 129-173; a fair, internally clean, copy.
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