London: Lawrence and Bullen, 1893. First edition. First issue. pp. xii, 212. Green ribbed cloth, spine evenly faded. Inscribed ‘With the author’s / best regards, / Feb 19. 94’ on front free end paper. Re-cased. Armorial bookplate of Nigel Sligh. A very good copy.
The first edition, first issue with the publisher’s imprint in capital letters at foot of spine. A work whose title Yeats later found difficult to shake off. ‘The Celtic Twilight’ can be said to have given its name to the epoch of Ireland’s history that saw the beginnings of the Irish Literary Revival, the start of the Irish National Theatre and the Abbey Theatre. Yeats was fortunate to have grown up in Sligo, a county rich in folklore and legends. As a young man he collected these, listening avidly to the tales told him by the local peasantry, people like Paddy Flynn of Ballysodare, by boatmen and cobblers and everyone who had a story. This collection therefore represents the first steps in Yeats’ thought on matters concerning the supernatural.
In John Quinn’s copy Yeats wrote in 1904: “All real stories heard among the people or real incidents with but a little disguise in names and places”.