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YEATS, W. B., & Lionel Johnson.

Poetry and Ireland: Essays.

Availability: In stock

Published: Dundrum Cuala Press, 8 October 1908

Stock Code: 120750

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First edition, first impression, inscribed by Yeats for Lady Gregory on the first blank, "I think some of my part in this little work the best prose I have written. WBYeats 1922", with Lady Gregory's bookplate. This is a major association copy, inscribed by Yeats to his close friend and literary collaborator Lady Augusta Gregory (1852-1932), the chatelaine of Coole Park, cofounder of the Abbey Theatre, key figure in the Irish Literary Revival, and the mother of Major Robert Gregory (about whose death in 1918 Yeats wrote one of his most quoted short poems, "An Irish Airman Foresees his Death"). Lady Gregory first met Yeats in 1896, and they were soon engaged in joint folktale-collecting tours in the summer of 1897 and beyond (which would be worked into the enlarged edition of Celtic Twilight, 1902). Foster well describes the nature and significance of Yeats and Gregory's friendship: "She brought him far more than the background of 'order and labour' which he craved, and against which much of his finest work would be written. For Gregory's part... the friendship with the dazzling young poet developed into a literary and theatrical collaboration, and launched her on a career of playwriting and theatrical management which put her at the centre of the developing cultural renaissance in Dublin" (R. F. Foster, writing in ODNB). Only 250 copies were printed, and copies inscribed by Yeats are rare. Given the topic of the work, and the pre-eminent importance of both Yeats and Lady Gregory to the Irish Literary Revival, scarcely a better association can be imagined.

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Octavo. Original blue-grey paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover. Housed in a blue morocco-backed bookform slipcase and chemise.


Later collector's bookplate. Minor nicks to tips, faint fading around board edges, very few and minor spots within, an excellent copy.


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