“I think nobody of our time has had so fine an edition—I believe it will greatly strengthen my position” - W.B. Yeats, on the 1908 edition of his Collected Works
BEAUTIFUL EIGHT-VOLUME SET IN PUBLISHER'S DELUXE VELLUM OF THE FIRST COLLECTED EDITION OF YEATS'S WORKS. One of only 1060 sets in the edition; only a fraction of which were issued in the deluxe vellum bindings.
“In 1908, aged only forty-three, Yeats had produced an eight-volume Collected Works; though intended as clearing the ground in order to advance, it was a risky gesture. But by now he was a major figure in the literary firmament. Appositely for someone both preoccupied by the doctrine of the mask, and very conscious of the need for self-presentation, Yeats remained a favourite subject for artists all his life. His striking looks as a young man, with his raven hair, olive skin, and dreamy gaze, are preserved in many portraits... The frontispieces to the volumes of his Collected Works run the gamut of images by [Augustus] John, Sargent, Mancini, Shannon, and J. B. Yeats: ‘nobody will believe they are the same man’, Yeats wrote to John Quinn, ‘and I shall write an essay upon them and describe them as all the different personages that I have dreamt of being, but have never had the time for’” (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).
“Yeats is now seen as one of a handful of Irish writers whose influence and example helped create twentieth-century modernist literature in the English language...his huge international reputation is securely based on the mystery and grandeur of his late verse and the poignancy of his love poetry, but he first came to fame as the exotically Celtic poet of a ‘new’ nationalist Ireland: almost single-handed, he made Irishness culturally fashionable. Spearheading a great cultural renaissance, he moved into his maturity as the voice of his country” (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).
Includes Yeats’s writings (in prose and verse) before 1908, as selected and arranged by Yeats.
Stratford-on-Avon: Shakespeare Head Press, 1908. Octavo, half vellum over linen boards, gilt lettering on spines and front boards; top edges gilt. Complete with portrait frontispieces (as issued) in volumes I, III, V, and VII by various artists. In each volume, handsome bookplate signed by Alfred Wood, likely British professor of Modern History Alfred Cecil Wood, in each volume; scholarly commentary in pencil in several of the volumes. Only light general wear to bindings. In outstanding condition, without the spine-toning so common with the deluxe issue.
Price: $3,200 .