Rare Yeats poem sold for €7.1k at auction

A rare first edition of the renowned WB Yeats poem 'Easter 1916' was sold for €7,100 at auction.

A private buyer snapped up the poem, which was one of just 25 copies privately published by an English journalist the year after the rising.

It was expected to fetch between between €3,000 and €4,000 at Adam’s auctioneers in Dublin last night.

Written between May and September 1916, the poem sets out Yeats’s mixed feelings on the tumultuous event. It was distributed among only a select number of people for fear of its political impact.

There is a first edition copy in the National Library in Dublin and one in the British Library, but the whereabouts of the other 22 copies is unknown.

The poem was completed by Yeats in September 1916 in Coole Park, Co Galway - the centre of the Irish literary revival in the early 20th century and once home to Lady Augusta Gregory, dramatist, folklorist and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre.

Adam’s director David Britton said the copy, which belonged to a private collector in the capital, appealed to both Yeats enthusiasts and historians.


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