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Secret Rose – Gift Book Special Edition


Only 500 (numbered) copies of this special, collector’s edition will ever be made available; each signed, lovingly wrapped, and dispatched directly from me to you or your chosen reader.


A crowdfunder (see below) enabled me to create this beautiful piece of visual and literary art, in celebration of WB Yeats 15oth anniversary in 2015, and bring it to you.

WB Yeats youngIt’s not easy to find a unique and totally thoughtful gift these days but this book should give great joy to any lover of fine fiction and poetry — especially Maud Gonne Youngthose with an interest in Ireland and Irish cultural history.

It’s a very special edition of two-books-in-one. Yeats’s first book of short stories, The Secret Rose, together with my novel, Her Secret Rose, about his relationship with Maud Gonne, his muse, at the time of writing the stories. (Similarity of titles no coincidence).

And all in a special replica edition of that first 1898 production, reproducing its gold binding and mystical symbols, as designed by Yeats’s friend Althea Gyles.

I want this book to go to those who will appreciate it. As well as signing the book, I include a dedication and a handwritten card.

Normally £40 + postage, for Yeats Fans just £25.

Gift Offer including gold-straw packing, card, dedication and special message): only £25 + post & packing.

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Enter the reader’s name, and details of anything you’d like me to write on the book or in the card, in the “special instructions” box you’ll meet as you go through Paypal payment. If you’ve any other ideas about how you’d like to make it all special and personal, drop me an email here once you’ve ordered, to tell me your preferences.

It’s not just the book’s physical properties — the detailed gold foiling stamped on navy cloth pictorial boards, the intricate Celtic and occult imagery — that make this book so uniquely special. (You can read more about the challenges of creating this Victorian replica using up-to-date digital technology here, in The Bookseller Magazine.) It’s that Yeats Secret Rose stories are brought together as he originally envisaged, for the very first time.

Secret Rose special edition book giftWhen Yeats originally wrote his book of short stories, he had what he called a “definite plan”, for the book. The stories are all about the struggle between the spiritual and material life and he ordered then chronologically in the book, based on time era: from the birth of Christianity to the late 1890s.

He carefully places each era by describing customs, dress, weapons, musical instruments and even patterns of thought; and by varying the style of the writing to suit the time period in which the story is set. He wanted to give the reader the experience of passing through era after era, all the way to the approach of the second millennium, when he believed “our civilisation was about to reverse itself, or some new civilisation was about to be born from all our age had rejected.”

The last two stories were highly mystical and the final words were to be a short prayer, in English and Irish, that integrated Christian and Gaelic mystical belief. This mix of old and new, pagan and Christian is the point towards which all the stories in the book have been aimed.

But Yeats’s publisher had other ideas.

He insisted on the removal of the final two stories as a condition of publication, breaking the chronological and thematic structure the author had so carefully constructed, eviscerating the meaning of his book. We don’t have any record of how Yeats felt about this but we can imagine how devastating it must have been for him.

One of the things I wanted to do with this special edition was put all the stories back together in one volume, as Yeats originally intended. And to tell the story behind their creation.

For me, it was a labour of love and an act of homage to the writer who has most inspired me — by his life as much as his work, his unfailing dedication to the spiritual and creative dimensions of life.

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You can feel good about the purchase in another way, as a percentage of profits from the sale of this special edition fund two of local community arts projects: Creative Cricklewood & Friends of Cricklewood Library)

Secret Rose Crowdfunder Thanks

Screen Shot Crowdfunder PubslushThe Secret Rose Hall of Fame

Thank you to the wonderful readers who supported my crowdfunder project to make, publicize and distribute this special two-in-one book, in replica of WB Yeats 1897 first edition of The Secret Rose. Friends and patrons, I am so grateful to you for your support and hope you enjoyed being involved in this special project for #Yeats2015.

Your generosity meant that we exceeded our target, enabling me to offer a free one-week scholarship to Yeats Summer School 2015 to somebody who couldn’t afford to attend without your help. And your gift goes on giving, as profits from the book help fund the activities of Creative Cricklewood and Friends of Cricklewood Library.

And now, drumroll please!….. and my deepest thanks to you, without whom I couldn’t have made it:

  • Rachel Abbott
  • Thomas Ball
  • Colette Bleaky
  • Rory Carroll
  • Ethel Chiodeli
  • Yvonne Clark
  • Frances Cooney
  • Mags Cullingford
  • Kathy Dillon
  • Maura Dolan
  • George Patrick Dovel
  • Kathleen Duke
  • Lorna Fergusson
  • Tessa Floreano
  • Voula Greenfield
  • Deirdre Hassett
  • Karen Inglis
  • Desmond Kelly
  • Annette Kealy
  • Helen Langford
  • CJ Lyons
  • Catherine MacKerchar
  • Cathal McCarthy
  • Conor McCarthy
  • Eoin McCarthy
  • Justine McGrath
  • Jean Murray
  • Phil Mason
  • Phil Murphy
  • Robert Moss
  • Jean Murray
  • Fidelma O’Neill
  • Yen Ooi
  • CJ Lyons
  • Jean Murray
  • Danny O’Sullivan
  • Joanna Penn
  • Rohan Quine
  • Aya Reinaos
  • Joni Rodgers
  • Catrien Ross
  • Caitlin Savannah
  • Lindsay Stanberry Flynn
  • Valerie Shanley
  • Anne Shine
  • JJ Toner
  • Peter Urpeth
  • Debbie Young