Gregory, Isabella Augusta, Lady.
Gregory, Isabella Augusta, Ladyalso known as Persse (b. March 5, 1852, Roxborough, County Galway, Ire.--d. May 22, 1932, Coole)
Irish writer and playwright who--by her translations of Irish legends, her peasant comedies and fantasies based on folklore, and her work for the Abbey Theatre--played a considerable part in the late 19th-century Irish Literary Renaissance .
In 1880 she married a member of Parliament, Sir William Henry Gregory; her literary career did not begin until after his death (1892). In 1898 she met Yeats, William Butler and became his lifelong friend and patron. She took part in the founding of the Irish Literary Theatre (1899) and became a director (1904) of the Abbey Theatre. Her peasant comedies were based on Irish folkways and picturesque peasant speech, offsetting the more tragic tones of the dramas of Yeats and John Millington Synge.
Lady Gregory wrote or translated nearly 40 plays. Seven Short Plays (1909), her first dramatic works, are among her best, vivid in dialogue and characterization. The longer comedies, The Image and Damer's Gold, were published in 1910 and 1913, and her strange, realistic fantasies, The Golden Apple and The Dragon, in 1916 and 1920. She also arranged and wrote continuous narratives of various versions of Irish sagas, translating them into an Anglo-Irish peasant dialect known as Kiltartan. They were published as Cuchulain of Muirthemne (1902) and Gods and Fighting Men (1904).