YEATS, W.B. Per Amica Silentia Lunae. London: Macmillan, 1918.
8vo., original blue publisher's cloth, elaborately ruled and decorated in gilt to upper board and spine with a rose motif by Sturge Moore; complete with the plain original unclipped dust jacket with lettering and publisher's devices printed in blue; edges untrimmed; pp. [vi], v-94, [ii], complete with errata slip to p.8-9; a lovely copy, slight bumping to corners and pushing to head and foot of spine, with a little accompanying rubbing; the jacket creased in places, particularly to inner front flap and edges; spine a little stained and chipped to head and foot, and one small brown spot to lower panel. Remarkably fresh in the scarce wrapper.
Of this, the First Edition, only 1500 copies were printed.
T. S. Eliot wrote of Yeats work that it was a "source of bewilderment and distress", and by 1917 the poet saw a need to explain his mystical perspective to his readers. Per Amica, therefore, was written in an attempt to rectify this problem by way of a small prose primer which expounded his beliefs. In one letter from 1917, Yeats wrote to a friend: "I have finished a little philosophical book - 60 pages in print perhaps - An Alphabet. It is in two parts: Anima Homins and Anima Mundi and is a kind of prose backing to my poetry." The volume was intended to be published alongside another book of poetry, which contained the poem entitled Ego Dominus Tuus, although some reviewers were still perplexed. "Suddenly he leaves us in a cloud", one wrote, "he talks a language we do not understand; we do not know whether it is a language at all or gibberish. Is that but one instance of the eternal difficulty between the Irishman and the Englishman?".