The Playboy of the Western World. Illustrated by John Keating (1927)
Book ID: 64540
The Playboy of the Western World. A Comedy in Three Acts. With Ten Illustrations by John Keating, R.H.A. London: George Allen, 1927. Pp, 112, uncut. Folio, bound in quarter cloth, pale green paper boards with title printed in black to upper cover and stamped in gilt on spine. Housed in publisher’s original cardboard box with title label to upper cover. Box lightly dust soiled & chipped, book in fine bright condition.
Edition De Luxe, One of 1000 Numbered Copies.
A very handsome production of Synge’s masterpiece with ten plates in colour by Irish romantic-realist painter Seán Keating, each with titled tissue-guards.
There is no evidence that Keating ever met John Millington Synge, but in 1917 the artist exhibited a painting in the RHA titled The Outlandish Lovers, which was inspired by The Playboy of the Western World. Synge’s nephew, known as ‘Hutchie’, approached Keating in 1922 with a commission to paint twelve illustrations for a proposed deluxe volume. In the event, ten of the twelve images were published. The full set of paintings was to have been ready in 1926, but a delay on Keating’s part meant that the book was finally published as a numbered series of one thousand copies in 1927.