General Editors of the Coole Edition: T.R.Henn CBE and Colin Smythe
Edited and with a Foreword by Ann Saddlemyer
22.2 x 14.00 cm.
This volume of Lady Gregory’s Collected Plays contains all those that deal with the magic of Irish folk stories or the supernatural aspects of ghosts or religion. Those which use as their plot magic and kings' sons were written for an audience of children. In The Dragon the theatrical monster is to come and carry off the princess as all good dragons should and then be killed by a prince, but in this case the disguised prince does not kill the beast but does a transplant giving him a squirrel's heart which makes him chase off to the West Indies in search of cocoa-nuts.
For her adult audiences, Lady Gregory wrote her Irish passion play, The Story Brought by Brigit, and Shanwalla, a play about the drugging of a prize racehorse just before a race. The innocence of the accused trainer is only proved after the appearance of the ghost of the trainer's murdered wife who supplies particularly relevant information which shakes the villain into a confession. The third act of this play was not as good as it might have been, and after Yeats had criticised it Lady Gregory rewrote the first part, published here for the first time. The original act, together with Yeats' criticisms, are included in an Appendix. The other plays in this volume are what Lady Gregory called her “first play”, Colman & Guaire; her beautiful miracle play set in the West of Ireland, The Travelling Man; The Full Moon; Aristotle's Bellows and Dave.
Volume I of the Collected Plays contains the Comedies; Volume II The Tragedies and Tragic-Comedies, and Volume IV the Translations, Adaptations and Collaborations. Each volume is edited and has a foreword by Professor Saddlemyer.