Shaw, Lady Gregory, & the Abbey: A Correspondence and a Record
22.8 x 15.0 cm.
Bernard Shaw, who made his international reputation as a playwright in London, and Augusta Gregory, founder-director of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, are generally considered as belonging to different theatrical traditions. But in 1909, when the Abbey produced The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet, which had been banned in England, there began a close involvement of Shaw with Irish theatre and a warm personal friendship with Lady Gregory.
The complete surviving correspondence between the two, published for the first time, reveals their developing relationship: the battle with Dublin Castle over Blanco, Shaw’s support for Lady Gregory in the rows over Synge’s Playboy in America; the controversy with military authorities over O’Flaherty V.C., written for the Abbey in 1915; the lively exchange of views on Ireland, politics, the Hugh Lane pictures, the schooling of the Gregory grandchildren; which ended only with Lady Gregory’s death in 1932.
Drawing upon letters to and from other correspondents, diaries and engagement books, private memoranda, newspaper reports, and press releases, the editors have enlarged the correspondence into a comprehensive record of Shaw’s important and previously unrecognised contribution to the Irish theatre. Shaw and Lady Gregory’s crisp, witty and informal letters, in the context of their joint commitment to the Abbey, make the book rewarding reading for all those with an interest in the theatre.