"TO PROLONG THE MOMENT OF CONTEMPLATION, THE MOMENT WHEN WE ARE BOTH ASLEEP AND AWAKE, WHICH IS THE ONE MOMENT OF CREATION": SIGNED LIMITED EDITION OF ESSAYS, 1924, ONE OF ONLY 250 COPIES SIGNED BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
YEATS, William Butler. Essays. New York: Macmillan, 1924. Octavo, original half blue cloth, paper spine and cover labels, uncut and entirely unopened, original slipcase. $2000.
Signed limited first American edition, published not long after Yeats won the Nobel Prize, number 121 of only 250 copies signed by him.
The works in this important collection "embrace a wide range of topics, including Irish nationalism, magic and mysticism, Japanese Noh drama, essays on contemporaries such as Lady Gregory's nephew John Shawe-Taylor and her and Yeats' collaborator John Synge, and studies of… Shakespeare, William Blake, Percy Shelley and William Morris… As he did with his poems, Yeats took considerable care with the arrangement of his essays for publication." For this volume, Ideas of Good and Evil and Cutting of an Agate were revised and included with Per Amica Silentia Lunae… In addition to providing several footnotes, Yeats added to 'Speaking to the Psaltery' in Ideas of Good and Evil… and expanded Cutting of an Agate to ten essays including the penultimate 'Art and Ideas'… [which] provided a major… meditation on Yeats' evolving view of art, one that again subordinated opinion and ideas to energy and spiritual unity. Essays was the fourth in the six-volume collected edition of works published by Macmillan from 1922 to 1926" (Finneran & Bornstein, eds. Collected Works Vol. IV, xxiii, xxxvii). Preceded by the London first edition of the same year. Roth 190. Wade 142.
A fine copy in a lovingly restored slipcase.