Selected plays of Lady Gregory

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C. Smythe, 1983 - Drama - 377 pages

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Contents

Foreword by Sean OCasey
7
The Travelling Man
21
Spreading the News
29
Copyright

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About the author (1983)

Lady Gregory's literary life did not blossom until after the death of her husband, Sir William Gregory, in 1892. At that time, she became very interested in Irish literature and history. After meeting William Butler Yeats in 1898, she dedicated her talent, wealth, and position to nurturing Irish national consciousness, and the growing renaissance of Irish literature. Lady Gregory was one of the founders of the Irish National Theatre Society, the author of books on Irish folklore, and an important playwright. Her story of the revival of native drama for the Irish stage is told in Our Irish Theatre (1913). Her journals reveal her as courageous and honest, with the gift of bringing out the best in the many people she befriended, among them W. B. Yeats, whose close friend and collaborator she remained from their meeting in the 1890s. She directed the Abbey Theatre with him until her death and with him wrote the play Kathleen ni Houlihan (1902). Her own, usually brief, plays were Irish legendary fantasies, patriotic historical dramas, and the comedies of peasant life for which she is best known. Simplicity, which Lady Gregory as a writer always sought, should not be confused with naivete. Her balanced dialogue and "constant stripping away of easy sentiment" have been commented on by her editor, Ann Saddlemyer. Among the eclectic Abbey Theatre playwrights, Lady Gregory was a source of unity and consistency.

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