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Lady Augusta Gregory (Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory) Biography

(1852–1932), (Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory), Our Irish Theatre, Cathleen Ni Houlihan, The Pot of Broth

Irish playwright and folklorist, the youngest daughter of an Anglo-Irish landowner; she was born in Roxborough, Co. Galway. Following the death of her husband Sir W. H. Gregory in 1892, she took over the management of his estate at Coole Park, County Galway. A leading figure in the Irish Revival, her close association from 1897 onward with W. B. Yeats, who regularly stayed at Coole, resulted in the foundation of the Abbey Theatre. Her account of the theatre's earlier history is contained in Our Irish Theatre (1913). Her skills in the written recreation of the dialects of western Ireland were used to assist Yeats in the writing of Cathleen Ni Houlihan, The Pot of Broth, performed in 1902, and other plays. She wrote some forty independent works as a playwright, including a series of dialect adaptations of Molière's work collected as The Kiltartan Molière (1910). The majority of her own works are one-act comedies, the best being contained in Seven Short Plays (1909); among her numerous further collections of plays are New Comedies (1913) and Three Wonder Plays (1922). Her other works include the translations from the Irish of Gods and Fighting Men (1904) and the compilations from Irish folklore published as Poets and Dreamers (1903), A Book of Saints and Wonders (1906), and Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland (1920). The many volumes of the Coole Edition of her works began appearing under the general editorship of Colin Smythe in 1970. Elizabeth Coxhead's Lady Gregory: A Literary Portrait appeared in 1961.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Francis Edward Grainger Biography to Thomas Anstey Guthrie Biography