YEATS, W.B. The Variorum Edition of the Poems of W. B. Yeats. [LIMITED SIGNED EDITION]


1 in stock

New York: Macmillan, 1957. Royal octavo. pp. xxxv, [1], 884. Red and wheat-coloured buckram, titles to spine in gilt. Edition limited to 825 copies, signed by W.B. Yeats. This is copy number 349. Issued posthumously, the limitation sheets were signed by the author before his death in 1939, and retained by the publisher until the publication of this edition. Top edge blue. A very good copy.
Wade 211n.
Shortly before Yeats died in 1939, he signed 820 leaves for a special limited edition, but before they could be used, died; and then World War II erupted. After the war, a decision was made to bring out a variorum edition of Yeats' poetry. The task was undertaken by Peter Allt and Russell K. Alspach, as editors. Allt, who was renowned for his scholarship and wit, died tragically from an accident in 1954; but Alspach completed the task for Macmillan in New York, which had managed to buy those 820 signed sheets to tip into a special boxed, limited edition of the variorum. Thus it transpired that in 1957 a book published eighteen years after Yeats' death bore his ghostly signature, and bravely entered the canon of his works. Falling into the category of artificial rarities, as well as being a posthumous book, this title is not as expensive as one might think. Yeats liked to sign books, and throughout his fairly long life managed to put his name in a great many.



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