The Comedies, being the First Volume of the Collected Plays
General Editors of the Coole Edition: T.R.Henn CBE and Colin Smythe
Edited and with a Foreword by Ann Saddlemyer
22.2 x 13.8 cm
Lady Gregory first tried her hand at playwriting when she was almost fifty years old, and during the last thirty years of her life this late-flowering talent produced nearly fifty plays. These are published in four volumes: I, The Comedies; II, The Tragedies and Tragic-Comedies; III, Plays dealing with Wonder and the Supernatural; IV, Translations, Adaptations, and Collaborations with W. B. Yeats and Douglas Hyde. (Lady Gregory's direct translations of Dr. Hyde's plays appear in her Poets & Dreamers).
This volume contains those plays by which she is probably best remembered and which are still performed after sixty years: Spreading the News, Hyacinth Halvey, The Jackdaw, The Rising of the Moon and The Workhouse Ward (this last giving rise to an anonymous parody, The Worked-Out Ward, A Sinn Féin Allegory, which is given in an appendix). They appeared in Lady Gregory's first volume of plays, Seven Short Plays, published in 1909 and dedicated to W. B. Yeats, ‘because you have taught me my trade’. Of her later comedies, The Bogie Men was revised after publication; the revised version being given in the body of the text while the first version is to be found in the Appendix. A Losing Game, the first version of her first play to be performed, Twenty Five, is also included among the Appendices.
There are also five plays written after 1916 which have not been published before: Michelin, The Meadow Gate, The Dispensary, The Lighted Window and The Shoelace.