Augusta Gregory entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Augusta Gregory was a highly energetic and creative force in the Irish Literary Revival, which began in the late nineteenth century. Material from her collections and translations of Irish folklore, epics, and oral poetry inspired new literary works by herself and others. At the age of fifty, she began writing plays for the Abbey Theatre, which she co-founded and co-directed. Her skill at rendering idiomatic conversation, honed through years of listening to the stories told to her by country people in county Galway, is evident throughout her writing. In addition to her drama and folklore, Lady Gregory wrote several articles on Irish politics and culture, two memoirs, a history of the Abbey Theatre, diaries, and an autobiography. As a nationalist with an identity grounded in the ruling class, she can be seen as a colonialist reformer.
15 March 1852 Isabella Augusta Persse (later AG) was born just after midnight in Roxborough House, near Loughrea in Galway, Ireland. Bibliographic Citation link.
23 September 1882 After a trip to Egypt with her husband, AG published an article in the Times, "Arabi and His Household", supporting the Egyptian nationalist Arabi Bey. Bibliographic Citation link.
2 April 1902 Cathleen Ni Houlihan, a one-act play co-authored by AG and W. B. Yeats, was first performed by the Irish National Dramatic Company at St Teresa's Hall, Dublin, with Maud Gonne in the title role. Bibliographic Citation link.
27 December 1904 AG's popular comedy about village gossip, "Spreading the News", was performed alongside Yeats's On Baile's Strand and their co-written Cathleen Ni Houlihan for the opening of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Bibliographic Citation link.
By July 1928 Knowing she had not long to live, AG published Three Last Plays, a volume which included "The Would-Be Gentleman" (adapted from Molière), "Sancho's Master" (from Don Quixote by Cervantes), and her last play, "Dave". Bibliographic Citation link.
After 25 January 1930 Near the end of her life, AG published (as 'Lady Gregory') My First Play, nearly thirty years after its composition, with an introduction explaining the circumstances of its publication. Bibliographic Citation link.
22 May 1932 AG died of the breast cancer which had dogged her for nine years. Bibliographic Citation link.
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