Poems. London: Fisher Unwin, 1899. Second edition, revised. Pp xi, 297 + adverts, uncut. Frontispiece portrait of the author by John B. Yeats. Richly decorated in gilt, in a binding designed by Althea Gyles. Light wear to head & tail of spine, some minor spotting throughout the text otherwise a very good copy.
First appearance in this famous binding.
The First Edition was published in 1895. This 1899 edition was published with a new preface, to which Yeats had revised and rewrote 'the Wanderings of Oisin' & ' The Countess Cathleen. The binding, which was used for many later editions, is known as the second ‘golden design’ by Althea Gyles. Gyles was an artist and writer who lived an obscure, bohemian and tragic life. Her chief surviving work is the series of covers she designed for the books of W.B. Yeats. Her designs capture the spirit of Yeats’s passion for the occult and for symbolism. Not only is the design inspired, but also the execution is superlative. Copies often retain remarkably bright gilt on well-preserved blue cloth. Gyles also designed covers for ‘The Secret Rose’ and ‘The Wind Among the Reed’s. [Wade 17].