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Yeats's Mask

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Margaret Mills Harper
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Warwick Gould

Shorter notes

The Land Of Heart’s Desire: Some Hitherto Unrecorded Printings – ‘Work In Progress’

Colin Smythe

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  • 1 For further detail and contextual background, see Warwick Gould, ‘Yeats in the States: Piracy, Cop (...)
  • 2 As completeness rather than perfection has been my aim, some bibliographical gems have turned up o (...)

1Since I started revising the third edition of Allan Wade’s A Bibliography of the Writings of W. B. Yeats (now to be superseded by a much larger, renumbered version of my own, which has involved my double-checking every single entry in that edition, adding and correcting much), I have found a number of hitherto unrecorded editions of The Land of Heart’s Desire – all unlicensed, if not pirated, US copyright law being what it was at the time.1 I know of no deluxe copies of two of them except those that I have bought through eBay.2 In most cases, information about the dates of the editions is scant, to say the least, only two of those following having an inscription by which they can be dated with any accuracy, and I would welcome any further information about them (which will be duly acknowledged in the bibliography). None have been allocated numbers as yet. I think the order in which the seven editions appear below is correct but without external information no exact dating is possible.

*****

2In the | Land of | Heart’s | Desire | W. B. | Yeats | Thomas Y. Crowell | Company New York [the whole within an ornate border of brick red and green, the lettering itself in green with the first letters of ‘In’, ‘Land’, ‘Heart’s’, ‘Desire’ and of the publisher’s name and city in brick red]. See Plate 14a.

317.1 × 11.4 cm: pp. iv, 40: comprising blank page, verso with red-brown/sepia reproduction of the John Butler Yeats portrait dated Jany 28, 1899 as found in Poems (1899), pp. [i–ii]; title, verso blank, pp. [iii–iv]; fly-title, verso with persons in play, pp. [1–2]; text, pp. 3–39; p. [40] blank. Pp.[i–iv] consists of a single leaf of art paper, folded and tipped in, while a laid paper is used for the rest of the book.

4This was issued in three styles:

  1. olive-sepia paper-covered boards, cream-yellow linen spine, the front cover blocked with gold lettering within design of flowering Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra Spectabilis or Dicentra Biloba) also in gold, over blind rectangular panel with reversed blind border rule on front cover; white endpapers, top edges gilt, fore and bottom edges untrimmed (Plate 14b). The first gathering, and with it the art paper insert, is shorter at the foot than the following gatherings.
  2. As above, with page size 17.3 × 11.3 cm and venetian-red paper-covered boards, but otherwise as above (Plate 14c). Given the colour of the cloth used on the reprint, I suspect this to be the later binding style (Plate 14d).
  3. A de luxe edition, 17.3 × 11.4 cm; presumably issued simultaneously with 1), Yapp bound (often termed ‘divinity circuit’ edges in North America) in full limp brown suede leather, with curved corners, front cover with title reversed out of solid gold rectangle with curved corners, surrounded by blind stamped design and curved-cornered blind rule border round the edges of the leather binding, running from front cover, to spine and to back cover (Plate 14e); decorative ochre-printed end-papers with romantic view, flower design and the number 101 on the right page, approximately 3.5 cm from the top and 2.0 cm from the fore edge, with tall hill and castle at it top and a spray of flowers in the foreground (Plate 14f); top edges gilt, fore and bottom edges untrimmed. (I possess the only copy known to me in this binding (an Abebooks purchase). I have not seen or heard of any other copy in any library I have visited in my bibliographical searches over the last 30 odd years, but there must surely be other copies extant.

5Although the title appears on the title page and binding as In the Land of Heart’s Desire the running heads give it as The Land of Heart’s Desire. My belief is that these were published c.1905.

6There are two different title pages, that given above, while the De Lury Collection in the Robarts Library, University of Toronto, possesses a copy [pressmark Y439 L355 191-] with the following title page, but with the rest of the book as 1).

7In the | Land of | Heart’s | Desire | [brown-red] W. B. | [brown-red] Yeats | Thomas Y. Crowell | Company. New York [All lettering in yellow-green, except Yeats’s name, the whole within an intertwining border of the two colours.]

8There is in the Dublin City Library’s Colin Smythe Yeats collection what must be a reprint, printed on a wove rather than laid paper, otherwise as the above description, with page size 17.5 × 11.2 cm, and brown-red calico cloth-covered boards, front cover blocked gold, as above, white end-papers, all edges trimmed. It lacks the gilt top edges used on the earlier printing.

*****

9The Land of Heart’s Desire. | By | W. B. Yeats.

1010.8 × 9.5; pp. 40, unpaginated: comprising title, verso blank, pp. [1– 2]; pp. [3–4] blank; text, pp. [5–37]; pp. [38–40] blank.

11Issued in very pale green thick paper covers, stitched with salmon pink thread; printed in salmon pink on front cover as title, but at foot of page; no end-papers; all edges untrimmed (Plates 15a & b). Copies exist in the Bodleian Library (ref. M.adds.110.f.346), and in the collection of Milton McC. Gatch, the latter copy having an inscription on p. [3], dated 1 January 1905. It may therefore have been prepared for the 1904 Christmas market.

*****

12The following item was listed in the 2nd edition of Wade as having been published in 1918 and deleted, due to a possible misunderstanding, from the 3rd, but more importantly, its first publication took place over a decade earlier.

13Wade 14a

14The Land of Heart’s Desire | By W. B.YEATS | [rule] | BOSTON | WALTER H. BAKER & CO. | 1907

1518.7 × 12.2; pp. 24: comprising title, verso with list of characters, pp. [1–2]; text, pp. 3–21; p. [22] blank; notices of other plays, pp. [23–24].

16Issued in greenish tan paper covers, with design and lettering in brown. The front cover wording reads NO PLAYS EXCHANGED. | BAKER’S EDITION | OF PLAYS | The Land of Heart’s | Desire | Price, 15 Cents | [design with small figures, and words, vertically, COMEDY TRAGEDY] | WALTER H. BAKER & CO. | BOSTON | COPYRIGHT, 1889, BY WALTER H. BAKER & CO.; on the spine, reading from foot to head, THE LAND OF HEART’S DESIRE; on the back cover and inside, advertisements for plays; no end-papers; all edges trimmed; stapled.

17The copy described here belonged to the late Dr. Brian W. Leeming, who donated his collection to Boston College Library. I know of no other copy of this first printing. The De Lury Collection, University of Toronto Library, possesses two undated copies, one of which, presumably the earlier, retains the fictitious copyright statement on the front cover. The advertisements in these differ from the first printing and from each other, but would indicate a printing date of 1909–1910.

18The following description appeared in the 2nd edition of Wade as no. 14a. My copy (and some others) are identical to this apart from the lack of a period after ‘CO’.

19The Land of Heart’s Desire | By W. B. YEATS | BOSTON | WALTER H. BAKER & CO.

20I have seen three other copies of the 1919 printing apart from my own (in the New York Public Library, in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, and in a London private collection (Plates 16a & b), all of which have a cover price of 25 cents. Although this printing is undated, all but one of the plays advertised on pp. [23–24] were published in 1919.

21Unfortunately Walter H. Baker’s records do not go back earlier than 1922, so there is no certain information as to their printings prior to this date, but Russell K. Alspach mistakenly took the publisher’s statement in a letter to him that ‘we made editions of the play in 1922, 1925 and 1928’, to mean that Baker published no edition before 1922.

22In the early 1980s I saw the following copy of a Baker edition in the Library of Congress, date-stamped February 27, 1920, but this appears to have gone missing as it is not now listed in their online catalogue.

23The Land of Heart’s | Desire | By | W. B. YEATS | [publisher’s device] | BOSTON | WALTER H. BAKER COMPANY | PUBLISHERS

2418.4 × 12.4; as above but pp. [22–24] all carry advertisements. Issued in brown paper covers as before but printed ‘Baker’s all star series | The Land of Heart’s | Desire | by | W. B. Yeats | Baker’s | edition | of plays | [ornate B device] | Walter h. Baker Company Boston’ all within a design with clapping hands, shooting stars, etc. Outside back and inside front and back covers also carry advertisements. At the time I did not think to make a note of the plays advertised, unfortunately, as I was not yet aware of how many printings of this edition there were.

25Wade 14

26THE • LAND | OF • HEART’S | DESIRE | BY | W •B •YEATS | [ornament] | Dodd, Mead | & Company | New York [The whole printed in red inside panels of a pale sage-green decorative design, the title and author’s name within a square panel, and the rest within a circular one.]

2714.5 × 7.7; pp. 56: comprising half-title, verso blank, pp. [1–2]; ‘To [space] | With the Season’s Greetings | From [space]’, lettering in red within pale green decorated panel, verso blank, pp. [3–4]; title, verso blank, pp. [5–6]; fly-title, verso with Persons, pp. [7–8]; text, pp. 9–55; p. [56] blank.

28Issued 1) in ivory parchment covers folded over card stiffeners, glued down at gutter of spine, front cover lettered in red within design as on title but in gold and publisher’s imprint replaced by design, spine and back cover blank; top edges gilt, fore and bottom edges untrimmed; no endpapers; glassine wrapper (Plate 17a). It was also issued 2) in a deluxe version, in full deep turquoise blue crushed morocco grain leather, front cover blocked gold ‘The Land | of | Heart’s | Desire | ~ | W. B.Yeats’, within a flower and leaf design, also blocked gold, within a blind-stamped rule border, pale blue/buff mottled end-papers, top edges gilt, fore and bottom edges trimmed (Plate 17b). It lacks the first two leaves, the first page being the title, and has an additional leaf at the end, pp. [57–58].

29Allan Wade noted that this book was published on 30 October 1909, but given the similarity in design of the two titles I would suspect there was a shorter time gap between its publication and the appearance of the Dodd, Mead edition of The Shadowy Waters (Wade 32), which Wade states as having been published in the autumn of 1901, although it is not mentioned in his 1908 Bibliography. The dating of both volumes is therefore uncertain, until evidence that dates each more closely can be found. A later printing exists:

30THE • LAND | OF • HEART’S | DESIRE | BY | WBYeats | Dodd, Mead | & Company | New York 14.9 × 8.0; pp. 56: comprising blank leaf, pp. [1–2]; half-title, verso blank, pp. [3–4]; title, verso blank, pp. [5–6]; fly-title, verso with Persons, pp. [7–8]; text, pp. 9–55; p. [56] blank.

31Issued in ivory parchment covers folded over card stiffeners, glued down at gutter of spine, front cover lettered in red as top five lines of title within design in pale green, spine and back cover blank; top edges trimmed, fore and bottom edges untrimmed; endpapers glued only at gutter, with what would be the paste-down endpaper folded under cover. This is printed on a thicker paper than the earlier printing (Plate 17c).

32I also have a further copy printed on a slightly finer paper, with further damaged characters in the text and the cover printing in a much paler green, which I believe to be a later reprint (Plate 17d). These later printings were also issued with outer glassine wrappers, of a coarser and more durable nature.

*****

  • 3 In 1917, with Horace Liveright, the brothers Boni also set up the publishing company Boni & Liveri (...)
  • 4 For further information on the Little Leather Library I suggest those interested should look at An (...)

33An edition that was almost unknown in Britain before the appearance of Abebooks and eBay was that published in the Little Leather Library series. The Little Leather Library (LLL) was set up in 1915 by the bookseller brothers Charles and Albert Boni,3 Harry Scherman and Maxwell Sackheim, and it flourished until October 1924.4 There were various printings of this title, all undated, indicated only by the variations in paper and wear of type. Most titles in the Library are undated, but some copies of a very few titles carry the date 1921, the year that the Library started being advertised in the press (National Geographic, and elsewhere). They were not only promotional items but were sold as sets, and some of their history can be traced through the marketing ephemera. Thirty LLL titles would be sold for $2.97 and the set of 101 LLL for $9.97, so effectively they were priced at 10¢ each.

34The Little Leather Library Corporation was bought in 1924 by Robert K. Haas Inc. who published thirty titles as Little Luxart Library Books, which are bound in red material and the cover designs are similar to those on the original greenish/copper bindings. It would appear that The Land of Heart’s Desire was not reprinted after the change of ownership. Haas gave up publishing in 1925.

35The Land of Heart’s Desire had been published in at least three different bindings prior to the Redcroft Editions (the title given to the series after the Miniature Library, in which this title first appeared). Details of the wide variety of bindings in which volumes of the Library can be found are available on a page at Ana Dahlen’s website http://www.unearthlybooks.com. I am indebted to her for the remarkable amount of information she has made available there.

36THE LAND OF | HEART’S DESIRE | W. B. YEATS | [four points in diamond position] | LITTLE LEATHER LIBRARY | CORPORATION | NEW YORK

379.5 × 7.7; pp. 96: comprising pp. [1–2] blank; title, verso blank, pp. [3–4]; persons in play, verso blank, pp. [5–6]; text, pp. 7–77; pp. [78– 96] blank.

38This was issued in leather-patterned cloth backed with a corky material, described by Rahlen as ‘croft leatherette’, with Yapp edges; and design reverse blind stamped on front cover and spine; no endpapers; all edges trimmed. As no. 84 in the series, it was first published in the original tan full leather, then the two versions of red Miniature Library edition printed in yellow on front cover ‘land of | heart’s | Desire | [short rule] | w. b. yeats [title and author enclosed within rectangular border] | miniature | [short rule] | library [imprint slightly curved around the rule]’ and on spine ‘land of heart’s desire’ (see Plate 18a). These copies contain a list of titles in the Little Leather Library on pp. [78–80], this volume being listed as no. 84. Pages 81–96 remain blank. In one copy I have, there is an extra blank wove paper leaf tipped onto the first leaf of the book, which is printed on laid paper, giving pp. [ii], 96. It was issued in 1919 and some copies lack the Miniature Library logo. Later printings were on wove paper of varying thickness, and some have one or more extra leaves at the beginning. The copy that has the thinnest paper and a damaged T in the THE on the title is obviously the latest printing, It is 0.44 cm thick, while the Miniature Library copy, for example, is 0.54 cm thick.

39The third binding is in flat green with the Redcroft Edition logo (Plates 18b & c), followed by the green/bronze edition advertised in various magazines (as mentioned above Plates 18d, e & f) the fifth was a turquoise Redcroft edition. The sixth had the Biltmore Hotel logo ‘THE BILTMORE | [short rule] | John McE Bowman | President | NEW YORK CITY’ on a shield on the back replacing the LLL logo, produced for the Bowman hotel chain, while the seventh was issued in both matt and glossy brown leatherette. It was of lower quality and did not have a design on the back cover or the Yapp top edges. These bindings copied the design of the copies in original leather which had been dropped due to cost, or possibly a shortage of leather because of its use to the American war machine. The third to fifth style bindings have the LLL design on the back cover, centred or slightly higher, of a large letter L with ‘ittle | eather | ibrary’ in its hollow, and the words ‘Redcroft Edition’ below it.

40Physically related to the above is the Shrewesbury edition, which was printed from the same type, the wear on which (including the damaged T on the title: Plate 19a) indicating it to be the later printing. After Haas closed the LLL in 1925 – about a year after he had bought it, and before he printed a Little Luxart Library edition of The Land of Heart’s Desire – it would appear he sold the printing plates and goodwill to the Shrewesbury Publishing Company, of Chicago, who published it thereafter, but with considerably less success, judging by the rarity of the Shrewesbury copies compared to the Little Blue Books.

41THE LAND OF | HEART’S DESIRE | W. B. YEATS | [four points in diamond position] | SHREWESBURY PUBLISHING COMPANY | Chicago–Toronto

4210.9 × 8.3; pp. ii, 78: comprising pp. [i–ii, 1–2] blank; title, verso with ‘Printed in U.S.A.’, pp. [3–4]; persons in play, verso blank, pp. [5–6]; text, pp. 7–77; p. [78] blank.

43Issued 1) in brick red paper covers, printed black on front cover and spine (Plate 19b); all edges trimmed; some with front self-end-papers, and rear end-papers, and others without endpapers, and 2) in mottled paper-covered boards of varying colours – I have seen copies with slate and dull vermilion mottling, 11.5 × 8.1 cm, printed black on front cover ‘land of | heart’s | Desire | w. b. yeats’ and on spine ‘land of heart’s desire’; white end-papers, all edges trimmed (Plates 19c & d).

*****

44POCKET SERIES NO. 335 | Edited by E. Haldeman-Julius | The Land of | Heart’s Desire | W. B. Yeats | HALDEMAN-JULIUS COMPANY | GIRARD, KANSAS [stamped in light blue above imprint LITTLE BLUE BOOK SALES CO. | 363 Washington Street | PORTLAND, - - - OREGON.] (Plate 20a). 12.7–12.8 × 8.3–8.6 [trimmed crookedly]; pp. 64: comprising title, verso blank, pp. [1–2]; fly-title, verso blank, pp. [3–4]; persons in play, verso blank, pp. [5–6]; text, pp. [7]–50; advertisements, `Other Titles in Pocket Series’, pp. 51–58; pp. [59–64] blank.

45Issued in slate grey thick paper covers, printed on outside covers in black, front cover as title, back cover advertising Life and Letters, Haldeman-Julius Weekly and Know Thyself. It is likely to have been published on 22 September 1923 at 5 cents.

46The late Dr Gene De Gruson, Curator of the Haldeman-Julius Collection in the University of Kansas, informed me that the printing consisted of 10,000 copies, but given its rarity, I suspect the number to be very much smaller. The only copy I have come across is that in the Mungo Park Collection in the Princess Grace Irish Library, Monaco, and is of course that described here. Soon after the publication of this title, the Pocket Series was replaced by the Little Blue Book edition. The type size and leading is greater than the previous edition, and it is obvious that it was halved in length to reduce printing costs.

47LITTLE BLUE BOOK NO. 335 [series number in large type, taking up the depth of first two lines] | Edited by E. Haldeman-Julius | The Land of Heart’s | Desire | W. B. Yeats | HALDEMAN-JULIUS COMPANY | GIRARD, KANSAS

4812.7 × 8.8; pp. 32: comprising title, verso with country of printing at foot of page, pp. [1–2]; fly-title, verso with persons in play, pp. [3–4]; text, pp. [5]–29; advertisements, pp. 30–32. Issued in light blue paper covers, printed in black on front cover; stapled; no endpapers; all edges trimmed (Plate 20b).

49Printed in editions of 20,000 copies each in 1925, 1927, 1947, and 1950. The first printing has perfect type in the publisher’s name on title, later printings having a broken ‘H’ in ‘Haldeman’‘ (Plate 20c); the third printing measures 12.6 × 8.8; the fourth printing has Haldeman-Julius’ picture on back; the fifth printing has ‘University in Print’ device on back (a copy of this with an orange cover is in the Mungo Park collection, Princess Grace Irish Library, Monaco and also in a London private collection (the one here photographed): see Plate 20d).

50The fact that I am still coming across editions and bindings that I have not seen before now, so many decades after their publication and five decades since I started collecting W. B. Yeats’s publications, makes me doubt that I shall ever be able to state categorically that I have recorded them all. Were this article to be written a year hence I do not doubt that it would contain information on yet more interesting items. With the American editions of The Land of Heart’s Desire, I suspect it will always be a matter of ‘work in progress’.

Notes

1 For further detail and contextual background, see Warwick Gould, ‘Yeats in the States: Piracy, Copyright and the Shaping of the Canon’, Publishing History 51 (2002), 61–82.

2 As completeness rather than perfection has been my aim, some bibliographical gems have turned up on it, for example, I obtained a pair of the Knickerbocker Press edition of Representative Irish Tales (Wade 215) in full publisher’s trade calf, one volume with an extremely loose front cover, for less than £10.00. Its condition would have put off any collector, but I have never seen or heard of any other copy.

3 In 1917, with Horace Liveright, the brothers Boni also set up the publishing company Boni & Liveright, with The Modern Library as an imprint. In 1925 The Modern Library and its stock of 108 titles was bought from Boni & Liveright by its vice-president Bennett Cerf, and Donald Klopfer for $215,000. Random House began as a subsidiary of the Modern Library in 1927, but later became the parent company, and by a series of takeovers and mergers has, in 2013, become part of the first truly global publishing group, Penguin Random House, jointly owned by the multinationals, Bertelsman and Pearson.

4 For further information on the Little Leather Library I suggest those interested should look at Ana Dahlen’s site at http://www.webring.org/l/rd?ring=books;id=2;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eunearthlybooks%2Ecom%2F

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