Gregory, Lady Isabella Augusta Perse.
Gregory, Lady Isabella Augusta Perse
(1852 - 1932) Irish dramatist. The first forty years of Lady Gregory's life were from a literary viewpoint extremely uneventful. With the death of her husband, Sir William Gregory, in 1892, however, she developed a strong interest in Irish literature and history, and in 1898, when she met William Butler Yeats, she was ready to lend her talent, wealth, and position to the slowly developing sense of national consciousness that was to burgeon into the Irish literary renaissance. The major focus of her energy was directed to the Irish National Theatre, which later evolved into the Abbey Theatre and which she served as a director. In 1914 she wrote a history of the movement, Our Irish Theatre.
Her own literary efforts were primarily designed to reawaken the Irish national consciousness through translations and collections of ancient Celtic legend and folklore. She is best known, however, for her one - act plays, which were originally designed as " fillers " for the Abbey program. Among these the best known are Spreading the News (1904) and The Rising of the Moon (1907). Seventy Years: Being the Autobiography of Lady Gregory (ed Colin Smythe, 1976) is a collection of anecdotes, letters, and journal entries that she had thought of as her autobiography. It was first published more than forty years after her death.
Her beautiful estate at Coole in western Ireland is celebrated in Yeats's lovely poem " The Wild Swans at Coole. "See Irish Renaissance.