Dublin; London: Maunsel & Co., Ltd.; Elkin Mathews, 1907.
Yeats, Jack B. Large paper edition, number 107 of 150 copies printed on handmade paper, signed by Jack B. Yeats. 12 hand-colored plates; xii, 189 pp. 1 vols. 4to. Large Paper Copy of ‘the great prose manifesto of the Irish literary revival’. Coated linen covered boards with gilt stamped cover and spine. Lightly soiled, spine faintly toned; paste toning to half-title and lower flyleaf, ownership signatures to half-title and flyleaf Item #339500
Following the advice given to him by Yeats in Paris, Synge went on the first of his five consecutive annual visits to the Aran Islands. In his first visit in 1898 alone, he developed the ideas for three of his greatest plays, Riders to the Sea (1904), The Well of Saints (1905), and the famous Playboy of the Western World (1907).
Synge "had begun to write about island life even before he had moved out of the tiny hotel where he spent his first few days. The Aran Islands (completed by November 1901, but not published until April 1907) is the great prose manifesto of the Irish literary revival, celebrating a primitive but also transitional way of life, responding to a dying language, building friendship among ordinary people" (ODNB)
Some copies are signed by both Jack B. Yeats and Synge, but owing to ill health, Synge may have signed only a third of the large paper copies. This copy is signed by Jack B. Yeats.
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