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YEATS, William Butler (1865-1939). The Secret Rose. London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1897.
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YEATS, William Butler (1865-1939). The Secret Rose. London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1897.

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YEATS, William Butler (1865-1939). The Secret Rose. London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1897.

8o. Half-title, title printed in red and black with publisher's device, half tone frontispiece and 6 plates by Jack Butler Yeats. Original blue cloth with design by Althea Gyles stamped in gilt on covers and spine.

FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, FIRST BINDING, WITH "LAWRENCE & BULLEN" AT THE BASE OF THE SPINE. SIGNED BY W.B. YEATS AND J.B. YEATS on the title-page. A collection of short stories blending Irish with Rosicrucian characters and themes. The famous cover was designed for Yeats by Althea Gyles, "intended to make the book resemble a grimoire. At its center is a four-petalled rose joined to a cross, occupying a place just below the middle of the tree. The boughs of the tree resemble a serpent's folds; among them, just above the rose, are the kissing faces of a man and a woman" (Ellmann, The Identity of Yeats, pp. 64-65). It signifies "the conjunction of Rose and Cross, and of man and woman, in the midst of the serpentine folds of the Tree of Life. The three roses at the top represent the three principal states of being (Sephiroth) of the Kabbalistic Tree, and the skeleton at the bottom represents the lowest state of being or nature" (ibid). Symons, p. 8; Wade 21. A FINE COPY.

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