Lady Gregory, Fifty Years After


It is now over fifty years since the death of Augusta Gregory, who as a playwright, folklorist, essayist, poet, translator, editor, theatre administrator and nationalist, contributed so much and so uniquely to the realisation of modern Ireland. Yet soon after her death she seemed to be virtually forgotten, and the words on her gravestone – ‘she shall be remembered for ever’ – had a very hollow ring about them.

It has only been in the last twenty-five years that Lady Gregory’s reputation has turned round, beginning with Elizabeth Coxhead’s biography, and the subsequent appearance of the Coole Edition of her works. The publication of Mary Lou Kohfeldt’s biography in 1985 and now the appearance of this volume – the first collection of essays to be devoted to her – must surely create a greater awareness of her importance as a cornerstone of the Irish Literary Revival.