Book Collecting

W. B. Yeats – First Edition Books: Identification Points

W. B. Yeats
W. B. Yeats

William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939) was an English-language Irish poet, dramatist, prose writer and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of the Irish literary establishment, he helped to found the Abbey Theatre, and in his later years served two terms as a Senator of the Irish Free State. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and others.

Yeats was born in Sandymount, Ireland, and educated there and in London. He was a Protestant and member of the Anglo-Irish community. He spent childhood holidays in County Sligo and studied poetry from an early age, when he became fascinated by Irish legends and the occult. These topics feature in the first phase of his work, which lasted roughly until the turn of the 20th century. His earliest volume of verse was published in 1889, and its slow-paced and lyrical poems display debts to Edmund Spenser, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the poets of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. From 1900, his poetry grew more physical and realistic. He largely renounced the transcendental beliefs of his youth, though he remained preoccupied with physical and spiritual masks, as well as with cyclical theories of life.

In 1923, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, “for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation”. He was aware of the symbolic value of an Irish winner so soon after Ireland had gained independence, and sought to highlight the fact at each available opportunity. His reply to many of the letters of congratulations sent to him contained the words: “I consider that this honour has come to me less as an individual than as a representative of Irish literature, it is part of Europe’s welcome to the Free State.”

W. B. Yeats is considered one of the key twentieth-century English-language poets. He was a Symbolist poet, using allusive imagery and symbolic structures throughout his career. He chose words and assembled them so that, in addition to a particular meaning, they suggest abstract thoughts that may seem more significant and resonant. His use of symbols is usually something physical that is both itself and a suggestion of other, perhaps immaterial, timeless qualities.

Unlike the modernists who experimented with free verse, Yeats was a master of the traditional forms. The impact of modernism on his work can be seen in the increasing abandonment of the more conventionally poetic diction of his early work in favour of the more austere language and more direct approach to his themes that increasingly characterises the poetry and plays of his middle period, comprising the volumes In the Seven Woods, Responsibilities and The Green Helmet. His later poetry and plays are written in a more personal vein, and the works written in the last twenty years of his life include mention of his son and daughter, as well as meditations on the experience of growing old. In his poem, “The Circus Animals’ Desertion”, he describes the inspiration for these late works:

Now that my ladder’s gone
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.

William B. Yeats is commemorated in Sligo town by a statue, created in 1989 by sculptor Rowan Gillespie. On the 50th anniversary of the poet’s death, it was erected outside the Ulster Bank.

W. B. Yeats – First Editions Identification Guide

A selected Bibliography of William Butler Yeats works.

How to Identify First Edition books by William Butler Yeats
YearTitlePublisherFirst edition/printing identification points
1886MosadaDublin: Sealy, Bryers, and Walker, 1886Light brown paper covers, lined white; stitched. There is no title-page, the above description being taken from the front cover. The frontispiece, reverse blank, is tipped in before the first leaf of text. 100 copies printed.
1889The Wanderings of Oisin and Other PoemsLondon: Keagan Paul, Trench &Co., 1889Dark blue cloth, lettered in gold on front cover. Black endpapers, lined white. 500 copies printed.
Notes: Recorded binding variants:
  • (A) The cloth is smoother and slightly darker; there is no publishers’ monogram on the back; and T H E on the spine is more widely spaced.
  • (B) The cloth was light blue and the words AND OTHER POEMS on front cover and W. B. YEATS on spine were in italics; the end-papers were yellow; and the fore-edge and foot were lightly trimmed.
ALSO: T. Fisher Unwin, London, MDCCCXCII. Second issue. Green paper boards, parchment spine. On verso of title is a list of books by the same author of which the first is THE COUNTESS KATHLEEN, AND CURIOUS (sic) LEGENDS AND LYRICS. Note: Scarcer than the original, around 100 copies printed.
1891John Sherman and DhoyaT. Fisher Unwin, London, M DCCC XCIWritten under nom de plume "Ganconagh". Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Yellow wrappers, lettered in black on front cover and spine, with publisher’s monogram on back cover. The paper covers are folded over white end-papers.
  • (B) Buff cloth, lettered in blue on front cover and spine, publisher’s monogram in blue on back cover. 1644 copies in wrappers and 356 in cloth.
Note: There was a second edition in 1891 and a third edition in 1892.
ALSO: New York: Cassell Publishing Co., MDCCCXCII. First American edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 30 copies in Japan vellum boards, signed by the publisher.
  • (B) Dark green paper boards with parchment spine, the front and back covers folded over. 500 copies printed.
1892The Countess Kathleen and Various Legends and LyricsT. Fisher Unwin, London, MDCCCXCIITwo issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 30 copies in Japan vellum boards, signed by the publisher.
  • (B) Dark green paper boards with parchment spine, the front and back covers folded over. 500 copies printed.
ALSO: Boston: Robert Bros, , [1892]. Grey boards, white paper back, lettered.
Notes: Identical with English edition except for title, altered publisher’s name on spine, and absence of publisher’s device on back cover. In some copies only the title-page differs from the English edition.
1893The Celtic TwilightLondon: Lawrence and Bullen, 1893Olive-green ribbed cloth, with publisher’s device stamped blind on back cover; white end-papers. Imprint, Richard Clay & Sons, Limited, London & Bungay, at foot of p. 212. Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Publisher’s name at foot of spine appears in capitals.
  • (B) Publisher’s name at foot of spine appears in capitals and lower-case letters.
ALSO: The Macmillan Company, New York, 1894. First American edition. English sheets with new title-page, and differing otherwise only by the absence of the leaf of advertisement preceding half-title. Issued in similar ribbed cloth but brighter green, with “Macmillan & Co.” at foot of spine, and without stamp on back cover.
ALSO: St. Martin's Lane, London, W. C., MCMII. Revised and Enlarged edition..“Printed 1893 Reprinted with additions 1902” on half-title page. Dark blue cloth with lettering and design in gold on front cover, lettering and design in gold on spine. 2000 copies printed.
1894The Land of Heart's DesireTwo issues, no priority: (A), MDCCCXCIVPurple-pink wrappers folded over end-papers, lettered in black on front cover, and with Beardsley’s design on left-hand side. Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) No fleurons after the word DESIRE on the cover.
  • (B) Two fleurons after the word DESIRE on the cover. 500 copies printed and 60 copies in loose wrappers.
ALSO: Chicago: Stone & Kimball, MDCCCXIV [sic]. Limited to 450 copies. Grey paper boards with label, printed in black, on spine; white end-papers.
ALSO: Portland Maine, Privately Printed, MDCCCCIII. Revised version of the play. Limited to 32 copies on Japan vellum, for presentation, in July 1903. White Japan wrappers.
ALSO: Portland Maine, Thomas B. Moser MDCCCCIII. Trade edition of revised version. Three issues, no priority:
  • (A) 10 copies on pure vellum
  • (B) 100 copies on Japan paper.
  • (C) 950 copies on Van Gelder paper.
Notes: Later editions were issued in grey paper boards, lettered in red and black on front cover and in black with red ornaments on spine; white end-paper. Each edition consisted of 950 copies on Van Gelder paper.
1895PoemsTwo issues, no priority: (A), MDCCCXCVLight brown cloth with design and lettering in gold on front cover, spine, and back cover; off-white end-papers. Cover and title page designed by Hebert Granville Fell.
ALSO: Boston: Copeland and Day, MDCCCXCV. First American edition. Copeland & Day imported some copies of the English edition to America. Two issues, probable priority:
  • (A) Same as English edition, except for "Copeland & Day" at foot of spine.
  • (B) Same as English edition, except for "Copeland & Days" appears both on the foot of spine and the title page.
ALSO: MDCCCXCIX. Second English edition, revised. Dark blue cloth, design (by Althea Gyles) stamped in gold on front cover, spine and back cover.
ALSO: MCMI. Third English edition, revised. Dark blue cloth with design (by Althea Gyles) as in second edition.
Notes: No advertisements at end, An Errata slip facing p. 184; this makes three corrections to the text of 'The Land of Heart's Desire'.
ALSO: Fourth (MCMIV) and Fifth (1908) English edition.
1897The Tables of the Law. The Adoration of the MagiPrivately Printed, MNew York: Dood Mead & Co., XCVIITwo issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Privately printed. Limited edition of 100 copies. Red buckram, lettered in gold on spine.
  • (B) London: Elkin, Matthews, 1904. First trade edition. Blue wrappers, lettered in black on front with design of Elkin Mathews’s shop, publisher’s device on back.
Notes: An unspecified number of copies were also issued as a “deluxe” edition. These were printed on slightly thicker paper than the above described issue, and were issued in blue-grey paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover. These copies contain the same 4 pp. of advertisements at end but bear no mention of belonging to the Vigo Cabinet Series. Copies of this edition were issued later in green cloth, lettered in gold on front cover.
1897The Secret RoseLondon: Lawrence and Bullen, MDCCCXCVIIDark blue cloth, with design (by Althea Gyles) stamped in gold on front cover, spine and back cover; white end-papers. Illustrated by J. B. Yeats.
ALSO: New York: Dood Mead & Co., MDCCCXCVII. First American edition. Same as English edition, with the original title torn out, after the book was bound, and new title pasted-in on the stub with "DODD & MEAD" as publisher.
ALSO: Dublin: Maunsel and Co., 1905. First Dublin (Ireland) edition. Dark blue-green cloth, and also in green paper boards with yellow linen spine.
1899The Wind Among the ReedsLondon: Elkin, Matthews, 1899Dark blue cloth with design (by Althea Gyles) stamped in gold on front cover, spine and back cover; white end-papers.
Notes: An unspecified number of copies of The Wind Among the Reeds were issued in full vellum binding with the design stamped in gold. It is possible, therefore, that copies in vellum may belong to the first, second, third or fourth editions; they were still advertised in Elkin Mathews’s list in the 1904 edition of The Tables of the Law.
ALSO: John Lane, The Bodley Head, New York and London, 1899. First American edition. "Printed at the University Press Cambridge, U.S.A., MDCCCXCIX" stated on © page. Similar binding to the English edition. No errata slip.
ALSO: London: Elkin, Matthews, MDCCCC. Third English edition. Two bindings, no priority:
  • (A) Dark blue cloth with the design (by Althea Gyles) in gold, as in the first and second editions.
  • (B) Blue-grey boards, the same design stamped in black on front cover, spine and back cover.
1900The Shadowy WatersLondon: Hodder and Stoughton, MCMDark blue ribbed cloth with design in gold on front cover, lettering in gold on spine; white end-papers.
ALSO: New York: Dood Mead & Co., 1901. First American edition. Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Grey boards with white paper label.
  • (B) Wrappers, the front cover having the same elaborate design as the title-page but in gold and white with title in red. Presentation edition. "Copyright, 1901 by Dodd, Mead & Company" stated on © page. Published after the First American edition.
Note: Second edition. Identical with the first except that the date on title is 1905 and the cover is of paler colour of paper.
1902CathLondon: Elkin, Matthews,n Ni HoulihanThe Caradoc Press, MDCCCCIICream paper boards with leather spine; lettered in brown on front cover; 4 extra blank leaves are bound in at each end, the outer leaf being pasted down to the board.
1902There are Seven that Pulled the ThreadLondon: Novello & Co, [1902]Grey paper covers, printed in black inside ornamental design, advertisements on inside covers and on back cover. "COPYRIGHT, 1902, BY NOVELLO AND COMPANY, LIMITED." stated on © page.
1903Ideas of Good and EvilLondon: A.H. Bullen, MCMIIIGreen paper boards with dark green cloth spine; white label printed in black inside green rule border; white end-papers. 1490 copies printed of which 520 copies are for American with American imprint.
ALSO: The Macmillan Company, New York, MCMIII. First American edition. Ribbed blue cloth, lettered in gold on front cover and on spine.
1903In the Seven WoodsThe Dun Emer Press, MCMIIIOff-white linen, white label in red.
ALSO: The Macmillan Company, New York,. First American edition. Dark blue ribbed cloth, lettered in gold on spine; white end-papers.
1903Where There is NothingSamhain, 1902Issued as a special supplement to The United Irishman, November 1, 1902. The supplement is the same size as the newspaper and measures 32 1/2 X 13 1/2, but is paginated separately, pp. 1-4. The text is printed in three columns to the page.
ALSO: John Lane, MCMII. First American edition. Grey paper covers, the front cover printed from types of the title-page.
ALSO: Privately printed, MCMII. Large paper edition. Limited to 30 copies. Pale green paper boards with white labels printed in black on front cover and spine; duplicate labels inserted loose at end; white end-papers. No publisher’s name on title and without imprint on verso of title below copyright, and with some errors corrected.
ALSO: London: A. H. Bullen, 1903. First English trade edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Large paper edition. Limited to 100 numbered copies. Parchment paper binding, lettered on front cover and on spine. Printed on Japanese vellum.
  • (B) Grey paper boards with green linen spine, white label printed in black inside green rule border on spine; white end-papers.
1903The Hour GlassWM. Heinemann, 1903The title-leaf forms the cover. All edges trimmed. This edition, made for copyright purposes . Twelve copies, of which 6 went for English copyright.
ALSO: The Macmillan Company, New York, 1904. First American edition.Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Large paper edition. Parchment paper binding, lettered on front cover and on spine. Limited to 100 copies. Printed on Japan paper.
  • (B) Blue cloth, lettered in gold on spine; white end-paper.
ALSO: London: A.H. Bullen, 1904. Grey paper boards with green cloth spine; white label printed in black inside green rule border on spine; white endpapers.
1904The King's ThresholdPrinted for Private Circulation, 1904Grey paper boards, title stamped in gold on spine; cream end-paper. Enclosed in grey cardboard slip case. Limited to 100 numbered copies .
ALSO: Same as above. Enlarged edition. Limited to 75 numbered copies.
ALSO: London: A.H. Bullen, 1904. First English trade edition. Grey paper boards with green linen spine; white label printed in black within green rule border on spine; white end-papers
1905Stories of Red HanrahanThe Dun Emer Press, MCMIVBlue paper boards with buff linen spine; label, printed in black, carrying title and author’s name, pasted on front cover; label, printed in black, carrying title only, pasted on spine; blue endpapers matching binding. 500 copies printed.
1906The Poetical Works of William B. YeatsThe Macmillan Company, New York, 1906Two volumes. First American edition, preceed the English edition, 1907. Dark blue cloth, lettering and design in gold on spine, the design being that used on Poems, 1899.
1907DeirdreLondon: A.H. Bullen, 1907Grey paper boards with green cloth spine; white label printed in black within green rule border on spine; white end-papers.
1908Discoveries. Edmund Spencer.Shakespeare Head Press, MCMVIIIQuarter vellum binding with grey linen sides, lettered in gold on front cover and on spine; white endpapers.
1908The Golden HelmetJohn Quinn, New York, 1908Grey paper boards with white label lettered in black on front cover. Limited to 50 numbered copies.
1908The Unicorn From the StarsThe Macmillan Company, New York, 1908Blue wrappers; title page repeated in black lettering on front cover.
Notes: Published in very small quantity for copyright purpose.
ALSO: The Macmillan Company, New York, 1908. Trade edition. Dark blue cloth, lettered in gold on spine. 1200 copies printed.
1910The Green Helmet and Other PoemsThe Cuala Press, MCMXGrey paper boards with linen spine; lettered in black on front cover. An erratum slip is inserted loose: this is headed an error and reads “By a slip of the pen when I was writing out the heading for the first group of poems, I put Raymond Lully’s name in the room of the later Alchemist, Nicolas Flamel. W. B. Yeats. These poems have been copyrigighted in America." 400 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: R. Harold Page, 1911. First American edition. Green paper covers, lettering in black on front cover; no end-papers. "Copyright, 1911, by William Butler Yeats" stated on © page.
1911Synge and the Ireland of his TimeThe Cuala Press, MCMXIGrey paper boards with white linen spine; title printed in black on front cover; no label on spine. Limited to 350 copies.
1912The Cutting of an AgateThe Macmillan Company, New York, 1912Green paper boards, white label printed in red and green with decorated initial “T” and ornamental frame on front cover, label printed in green on spine.
1913Poems Written in DiscouragementThe Cuala Press, 1913Dark grey paper covers, lettered in black on front cover; stitched with red silk cord. 500 copies printed, not for sale.
1914Responsibilities: Poems and a PlayThe Cuala Press, MCMXIVGrey paper boards with white linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, no label on spine; grey end-papers matching binding. Limited to 400 copies.
ALSO: The Macmillan Company, New York, 1916. First American edition. Grey paper boards with buff linen spine, design by Sturge Moore in black on front cover.
1915Reveries Over Childhood and YouthThe Cuala Press, MCMXVGrey paper boards with white linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, no label on spine; grey end-papers matching binding. Limited to 425 numbered copies.
ALSO: The Macmillan Company, New York, MCMXVI. First American edition. Buff cloth, design by Sturge Moore printed in black on blue-grey paper and pasted on front cover and on spine.
ALSO: Macmillan, London, 1916. First Endglish trade edition. Dark blue cloth with design in gold, signed Sturge Moore, on front cover and on spine; white end-papers. 1000 copies printed. Note: There was a second impression in March 1917.
1916Egiht PoemsThe Morland Press Ltd. [1916]"London | January | 1916 " stated on p. 22. Three issues, no priority:
  • (A) 8 numbered copies on Dutch hand0made paper.
  • (B) 70 copies on Japanese vellum, no frontis illustration.
  • (C) 122 copies on Italian hand-made paper.
Notes: Some copies on Italian hand-made paper are without the statement of limitation and agents’ address on verso of front cover; these are said to be the earlier state, perhaps advance copies.
1916Easter 1916Privately Printed, [1916]Green paper covers lettered in black, as title-page, on front cover, within black rules; stitched with green silk cord.
1917The Wild Swans at CooleThe Cuala Press, MCMXVIIDark blue paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover as on title-page, white label printed in black on spine; dark blue end-papers matching binding. 400 copies printed.
1918Per Amica Silentia LunaeMacmillan and Co., London, 1918Dark blue cloth with design in gold, signed Sturge Moore, stamped on front cover and on spine; white end-papers. 1500 copies printed. Note: Some copies, though not the earliest issued, contain an errata slip, facing p. 8.
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1918. Blue paper boards, lettering and design, signed Sturge Moore, on front cover and on spine; white end-papers. "Special Limited Edition" stated on verso of the half-tile page. Unknown number of copies, unnumbered.
1918Nine PoemsClement Shorter, 1918Green stiff paper covers, lettered in black, as title-page, within black rules, on front cover; stitched with black silk cord; white endpapers. Privately printed, limited to 25 copies.
1919Two Plays for DancersThe Cuala Press, MCMXIXGreen paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white label printed in black on spine; green end-papers matching binding. 400 copies printed.
1920Michael Robartes and the DancerThe Cuala Press, MCMXXBlue paper boards with buff linen spine; lettered in black on front cover, paper label printed in black bearing the words Michael robartes on spine; blue end-papers matching binding. 400 copies printed.
1921Four Plays for DancersMacmillan and Co., London, 1921Decorated grey paper boards printed in black with black cloth spine; design by Sturge Moore, grey label with black lettering on spine; white end-papers. Illustrated by Emund Dulac. 1500 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1921. First American edition. Grey cloth printed with black design, signed T.S.M. Del., on front cover.
1922Later PoemsMacmillan and Co., London, 1922Light green cloth with design (by Charles Ricketts) stamped blind on front cover and on spine, lettered in gold on spine; white end-papers with design of unicorn etc. in black inside front and back covers. 1500 copies printed.
Notes: This forms the first volume of Macmillan’s Collected Edition of the Works. This volume was also issued in the Cardinal Series, bound in crimson ecrase morocco .
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1924. First American edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 250 numbered copies signed by the author. Published five months after the trade edition.
  • (B) Trade edition. Similar style and binding to the English edition except that lettering on spine is LATER POEMS, top and bottom edges are trimmed.
1922The Player Queen, playMacmillan and Co., London, 1922White paper covers; lettered in green on front cover, title and author’s name inside panel formed by green rules, price printed outside panel at foot of cover, lettered also in green on spine. 1000 copies printed.
1922Plays in Prose and VerseMacmillan and Co., London, 1922Uniform binding with Later Poems (1922) and with uniform decorated end-papers. 1500 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1924. First American edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 250 numbered copies signed by the author. Brown paper boards with blue cloth spine, labels, printed in black, on front cover and on spine. Published on September 16, 1924.
  • (B) Similar style and binding to the English, except top and bottom edges are trimmed. Published on April 8, 1924.
1922The Trembling of the VeilT. Werner Laurie, 1922Light blue paper boards with cream parchment half-binding; paper label, lettered in brown, on spine; blue end-papers matching binding. Privately printed. Limited to 1000 numbered copies signed by the author.
1922Seven Poems and a FragmentThe Cuala Press, MCMXXIIGrey paper boards with buff linen spine; lettered in black on front cover; no label on spine; grey end-papers matching binding. 500 copies printed.
1923Plays and ControversiesMacmillan and Co., London, 1923Uniform binding with Later Poems (1922) and with uniform decorated end-papers. 1960 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1924. First American edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 250 numbered copies signed by the author. Brown paper boards with blue cloth spine, labels, printed in black, on front cover and on spine. Published on September 16, 1924.
  • (B) Similar style and binding to the English. "Printed in the United of America" stated on © page.
1924The Cat and the Moon, and Certain PoemsThe Cuala Press, MCMXXIVBlue paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white label, printed in black, on spine; blue end-papers matching binding. 500 copies printed.
1924EssaysMacmillan and Co., London, 1924Uniform binding with Later Poems (1922) and with uniform decorated end-papers. 2240 copies printed.
ALSO: New York, The Macmillan and Co. First American edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 250 numbered copies signed by the author. Brown paper boards with blue cloth spine, labels, printed in black, on front cover and on spine.
  • (B) Similar style and binding to the English edition. "Printed in the United States of America.
Note: A variant binding is in light bluish-green cloth, lettering on spine in black, and no design stamped on the front cover or spine.
1925A Vision: An Explanation of LifeT. Werner Laurie, 1925Privately printed. Pale blue paper boards with parchment half-binding; white paper label, printed in brown, on spine; pale blue end-papers matching binding. Limited to 600 numbered copies, signed by the author.
1926Autobiographies of William Butler YeatsMacmillan and Co., London, 1926Light green cloth with design (by Charles Ricketts) stamped blind on front cover and on spine, lettered in gold on spine; white end-papers with design of unicorn etc. in black inside front and back covers. 2820 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1927. First American edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited edition of 250 numbered copies, signed by the author. Brown paper boards with blue cloth spine, labels, printed in black, on front cover and on spine.
  • (B) Similar style and binding to the English edition. "Printed in the United Stated of America" stated on © page.
1926EstrangementThe Cuala Press, MCMXXVIBlue paper boards with buff linen spine; lettered in black on front cover, white paper label, printed in black, on spine; blue endpapers matching binding. 300 copies printed.
1927October BlastThe Cuala Press, MCMXXVIILight blue paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white paper label, printed in black, on spine; light blue end-papers matching binding. 350 copies printed.
1927Stories of Red Hanrahan and the Secret RoseMacmillan and Co., London, 1927Dark blue cloth, design in gold on front cover, design and lettering in gold on spine; white end-papers. Illustrated edition. Illustrated by Norah McGuiness. 1885 copies printed.
1928The TowerMacmillan and Co., London, 1928Olive green cloth with design and lettering in gold, signed T S[turge] Moore] DEL., stamped on front cover and on spine. 2000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1928. Green cloth with design in gold on front cover and on spine; green end-papers.
1928The Death of Synge, and Other Passages from an Old DiaryThe Cuala Press, MCMXXVIIIGrey paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white paper label, printed in black, on spine; grey endpapers matching binding. 400 copies printed.
1928Sophocles' King OedipusMacmillan and Co., London, 1928White paper covers folded over white end-papers, lettered in green, inside double rule panel. 2000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1928. First American edition. Dark green cloth, stamped in gold on front cover and on spine; white end-papers.
1929A Packet for Ezra PoundThe Cuala Press, MCMXXVIV [sic]Pale blue paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white paper label, with title only, printed in black, on spine; pale blue end-papers matching binding. 425 copies printed.
1929The Winding StairNew York, The Fountain Press, MCMXXIXDark blue cloth, pattern in gold stamped on front cover, title stamped in gold on spine; two small red leather labels, lettered in gold. YEATS and FOUNTAIN PRESS respectively pasted on spine at head and foot; purple end-papers, flecked with gold and lined white. Limited to 640 copies of which 600 numbered copies are signed by the author.
1929Three ThingsLondon: Faber & Faber, 1929Light blue paper boards, lettered in gold. Large paper edition. Limited to 500 numbered copies, signed by the author.
1931Stories of Michael Robartes and His FriendsThe Cuala Press, Dublin MCMXXXIDark blue paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white paper label printed in black; dark blue end-papers matching binding. 450 copies printed.
1932Words for Music Perhaps, and Other PoemsThe Cuala Press, Dublin, MCMXXXIIDark blue paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white paper label, printed in black, dark blue end-papers matching binding. 450 copies printed.
1933Collected PoemsNew York: The Macmillan Co., 1933Dark blue cloth, design [by Charles Ricketts] stamped blind on front cover, lettering in gold between gold bands on spine; white end-papers.
ALSO: Macmillan and Co., London, 1933. First English edition. Published two weeks after the American edition. Two bindings, no priority:
  • (A) Leather binding
  • (B) Red-purple cloth, lettering stamped in gold, design stamped in gold and blind, on spine; white end-paper.
1933The Winding Stair and Other PoemsMacmillan and Co., London, 1933Olive green cloth with design and lettering in gold, signed T S[turge] Moore] DEL., stamped on front cover and on spine. 2000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1933. First American edition. Dark blue cloth, design by Sturge Moore stamped blind on front cover, design stamped blind, lettering in gold between gold bands on spine. "Published October 1933" stated on © page.
1934Collected PlaysMacmillan and Co., London, 1934Purple red cloth, design in gold and blind on spine, lettering in gold on spine; white end-papers. 2000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1935. First American edition. Dark blue cloth, design [by Charles Ricketts] stamped blind on front cover, lettering in gold between gold bands on spine; white end-papers
1934The King of the Great Clock TowerThe Cuala Press, Dublin MCMXXXIVBlue paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white paper label printed in black; blue end-papers matching binding. 400 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1935. First American edition. Light yellow-green boards with black cloth spine, lettered in gold on spine; white end-papers.
1934Wheels and ButterfliesMacmillan and Co., London, 1934Bright green cloth, lettered in gold on spine, design of masks in gold on front cover; white end-papers. 3000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1935. First American edition. Light green cloth, design of masks in gold on front cover, lettering in gold on spine; white end-papers.
1934The Words Upon the Window PaneThe Cuala Press, Dublin MCMXXXIVBlue paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white paper label, printed in black, on spine; blue end-papers matching binding. 350 copies printed.
1934The Singing Head and the LadyPrivately PrintedDifferent patterned paper covers with white or gold labels printed in black on front cover] a duplicate label is tipped in at end; stitched with different coloured silk cords. Twenty copies, of which: six on Orland paper, numbered 1-6; six on Dresden paper, numbered I-VI; six on rice paper, numbered a-f; and two on Imperial vellum numbered A and B.
1935Dramatis PersonaeThe Cuala Press, Dublin MCMXXXVBlue paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white paper label, printed in black, on spine; blue end-papers matching binding. 400 copies printed.
1935A Full Moon in MarchLondon, Macmillan & Co, 1935Dark green cloth, lettered in gold on spine; white end-papers. 2000 copies printed.
1937A VisionMacmillan and Co., London, 1937Decorated black and brown paper boards with black cloth spine, lettered in gold on spine; white end-papers. 1500 copies printed.
ALSO: The Macmillan Co., Nyew York 1938. First American edition. Black cloth with light green cloth spine, lettered blind on front cover, lettering in silver on spine; white end-paper. 1200 copies printed.
1937Essays 1931 to 1936The Cuala Press, Dublin, 1937Blue paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white paper label, printed in black, on spine; blue end-papers matching binding . 300 copies printed.
1937A Speech and Two PoemsThe SIgn of the Three Candles, 1937Grey paper covers, lettered (in dark-green), as on title-page, on front cover; stitched. Limited edition of 70 numbered copies.
1938AutobiographyNew York: The Macmillan Co., 1938Green cloth, lettered in gold inside gold panel on front cover, lettered in gold between two gold bars on spine; white end-papers.
1938The Herne's EggLondon, Macmillan & Co, 1938Maroon cloth, lettering and design in gold on spine; white end-papers. 1600 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1938. First American edition. Black cloth, lettering and design in silver on front cover and on spine; off-white end-papers.
1938New PoemsThe Cuala Press, Dublin, MCMXXXVIIIBlue paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white paper label, printed in black, on spine; blue end-papers matching binding. 450 copies printed.
1939Last Poems and Two PlaysThe Cuala Press, Dublin, MCMXXXIXBlue paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white paper label, printed in black, on spine; blue end-papers matching binding. 500 copies printed.
1939On the BoilerThe Cuala Press, Dublin, [1938]Light blue-green covers, lettered and with reproduction of a drawing by Jack B. Yeats, R.H.A. in black on front cover.
ALSO: Second edition. "Printed by Alex. Thom & Co." stated on the title page. Blue paper covers, lettered and with a reproduction of a drawing by Jack B. Yeats, R.H.A., on front cover.
1940Last Poems & PlaysLondon, Macmillan & Co, 1940Green cloth, design, signed Sturge Moore del, stamped blind on front cover, design and lettering in gold on spine; white end-papers. 2000 copies printed.
ALSO: New York: The Macmillan Co., 1940. First American edition. Same binding as above.
1940If I Were Four-And-TwentyThe Cuala Press, Dublin, MCMXLBlue paper boards with buff linen spine, lettered in black on front cover, white paper label, printed in black, on spine; blue end-papers matching binding.Limited to 450 numbred copies.

W. B. Yeats – First Printing Dust Jackets Identification Guide

Gallery of First state Dust Jackets of ‘s works. Only includes the first appearance in book form, of the UK or US edition and does not include later printings.

Reference:

  • Wikipedia
  • Allan Wade: A Bibliography of the Writings of W. B. Yeats, 3rd edition.

BOOKSTORE: Rare, Antiquarian, First editions, Illustrated Children's Books

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