“A PEAK OF ENGLISH POETRY”: FIRST EDITION OF THE WINDING STAIR, SIGNED BY YEATS
YEATS, William Butler. The Winding Stair. New York: Fountain Press, 1929. Slim octavo, original gilt-stamped dark blue cloth, red morocco spine labels, top edge gilt, uncut.
Signed limited first edition, number 148 of only 642 copies, signed on the half title by Yeats.
The Winding Stair, along with The Tower (published in 1928), contain “the greatest poetry of Yeats in his difficult later manner… a peak in English poetry” (Connolly 56B). “Many critics have felt that Yeats’ greatest achievement was the development of a symbolic language to express an equilibrium between the conflicting demands on the poet of the outside world and his art… This theme is central to the two volumes which are often thought to be Yeats’ best, The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair (1929)” (Hamilton, 595). Both titles refer to Thoor Ballylee, the Norman tower that Yeats purchased, restored and dedicated to his wife Georgie Hyde-Lees. The Winding Stair includes one of Yeats’ most resonant and best-known poems, “A Dialogue of Self and Soul.” Book designed by Frederic Warde and printed by William Edwin Rudge for the Fountain Press. Without scarce original glassine, slipcase. Wade 164. Roth 213. See Ransom, 283-84. Bookplate.
Interior generally quite nice, only one tiny chip to spine label. A handsome signed copy in about-fine condition.