Category Archives: William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats Autograph Letter Signed

Highly regarded Irish poet and playwright (1865–1939) recognized as one of the key figures in 20th-century literature. ALS signed “W. B. Yeats,” one-page both sides, 4.25 x 6.75, September 20, no year but likely circa 1902. Letter to Elkin Mathews, in part: “I see by account sent you from A P Watt that you had only 98 copies of ‘The Wind Among the Reeds’ last March. You must therefore have about exhausted the edition. I think it will be better in future to print the design in gold on a few vellum copies & to bind the ordinary copies in plain boards with a paper label. People will be all the more glad to buy the vellum copies if the design is not made common by printing it on all copies in some poorer way.” Attractively double-matted and framed with a portrait of Yeats and the original mailing envelope to an overall size of 16.25 x 16.5, with a window on the reverse for viewing the signed side. In fine condition. Published in 1899, The Wind Among the Reeds was a stylized collection of 37 poems that made use of both theosophy and Irish folklore. Mathews, the letter’s recipient and a neighbor of Yeats, was an important British publisher in the late 19th and early 20th century, printing the works of Lionel Johnson, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and Robert Bridges. His friendship with Yeats may have played a role in allowing the poet to have such liberal say during the design and marketing processes. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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Posted by on February 16, 2015 in William Butler Yeats


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