The Countess Kathleen and Various Legends and Lyrics. Cameo Series. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1892. First Edition. Pp, 141. Frontispiece sketch of Cuchullin fighting the waves. Dark green boards with parchment spine the front and back covers folded over. Design of Cameo Series printed in black on front cover. Light browning to spine, shelf wear to edges. Light spotting to preliminary pages, neat ownership name to half-title. Contents bright & clean.
500 copies published in September 1892.
Countess Kathleen is Yeats's first play, written at the age of 27, and was the first play performed at the Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin (later the Abbey Theatre). The volume is dedicated to ‘My Friend Miss Maud Gonne, At Whose Suggestion It Was Planned Out And Begun Some Three Years Ago.’ Noteworthy also for the first appearance in book form of several of Yeats' poems, including 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree.’ Yeats describes the Countess thus:
"The chief poem is an attempt to mingle personal thought and feeling with the beliefs and customs of Christian Ireland. 'The Christian cycle being mainly concerned with contending moods and moral motives needed, I thought, a dramatic vehicle." [Wade 6].