THE KING'S THRESHOLD: AND ON BAILE'S STRAND: BEING VOLUME THREE OF PLAYS FOR AN IRISH THEATRE. W. B. YEATS.

THE KING'S THRESHOLD: AND ON BAILE'S STRAND: BEING VOLUME THREE OF PLAYS FOR AN IRISH THEATRE

London: A. H. Bullen, 1904. First Edition. Hardcover. Original green linen-backed gray paper boards with paper spine label. Wade 56. Published in March 1904. This copy while not signed by the author is INSCRIBED by him on the front endpaper: "To MD/for her [his?] birthday/Mar 1904." An educated guess is that MD might stand for the actress Miss Darragh [Florence Laetitia (Dallas) Darragh), an established figure on the London stage who appeared in the Dublin 1906 production of Yeats's plays DEIRDRE and THE SHADOWY WATERS and of whom Yeats thought very highly. Another possibility is Michael Davitt, the Irish Nationalist, whose birthday was on the 25th of March and who died in 1906. Adding to the intrigue is an old pencil note in an unidentified hand on the front pastedown: "pres. copy for Stephen Gwynn." Gwynn, author and Irish nationalist, was a champion for Yeats. According to the DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY, "In spite of his book IRISH LITERATURE AND DRAMA (1936) and some early association with the Irish Players in London, Gwynn himself had little to do with drama, and stood apart from the fame and influence of the Abbey Theatre." Perhaps the most likely possibility is the illustrator and playwright Mabel Dearmer, a very close friend of Gwynn's who died while serving as a nurse in World War I. Gwynn wrote a memoir of her in Dearmer's posthumously published LETTERS FROM A FIELD HOSPITAL. Thus the pencil note related to Gwynn could refer to his receiving the book from Dearmer or from a member of her family after her death. An altogether Very Good and intriguing copy. Item #012683

Price: $3,500.00