The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Gregory, Isabelle Augusta, Lady

Edition of 1920. See also Lady Gregory on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

GREGORY, Isabelle Augusta, Lady, Irish authoress. She is the youngest daughter of Dudley Persse of Roxborough, County Galway, and in 1881 married Sir William Gregory, formerly member of Parliament for County Galway and for Dublin, and Governor of Ceylon. He died in 1892. Lady Gregory edited his letters two years later, and subsequently launched upon a literary career. In 1898 appeared ‘Mr. Gregory's Letter-Box,’ an edition of die letters of Wilham Gregory, her husband's grandfather, who had been undersecretary of State for Ireland. About this time the movement which came to be known as the Irish Literary Revival (q.v.) held the attention of all those who were interested in national literary history. Through her friendship with William Butler Yeats (q.v.), Lady Gregory became deeply engrossed in this movement and soon occupied a conspicuous place in its promotion. Her first important contributions were her translations of ‘Cuchulain of Muirtemne’ (1902), and ‘Gods and Fighting Men,’ in which she displayed that rare felicity in translation and keen sympathy with her subject which became the distinguishing characteristics of her later work. It was in connection with the Irish Literary Theatre (now the Abbey Theatre, Dublin) that Lady Gregory's best talents were displayed. Her lively dramatic sense and ability to render fluently the quaint turns of the Anglo-Irish idiom, combined with her rare judgment and managerial ability were important factors in making the venture permanent. The story of the persons interested and of the struggle of the theatre to maintain itself is told in her ‘Our Irish Theatre’ (1913). She rendered constant assistance to Yeats, collaborating with him in ‘The Unicorn and Other Plays’; and also, if George Moore's testimony can be accepted, in ‘Kathleen ni Houlihan’ and ‘A Pot of Broth.’ Besides these, she has made striking adaptations in the idiom from Molière, under the title ‘The Kiltartan Molière’ (1910); from Sudermann's ‘Teja’ (1908), and from Goldoni's ‘Mirandolina’ (1910). Her other works comprise folk tales, essays and plays, among which may be noted ‘Ideals in Ireland,’ a series of articles by prominent Irish authors, of which she was the editor (1901); ‘Poets and Dreamers’ (1903); ‘The Book of Saints and Wonders’ (1907); ‘The Kiltartan Wonder Book’ (1910); ‘Seven Short Plays’ (1910); ‘The Image’ (1910); ‘Irish Folk History Plays’ (1912); ‘The Kiltartan History Book’ (1912); ‘New Comedies’ (1913); ‘The Rising of the Moon’ (1915); ‘The Golden Apple’ (1916); and ‘Visions and Beliefs’ (1916). In 1911-12, and again in 1913, she visited the United States with the Irish Players and was enthusiastically received. Consult Weygandt, ‘Irish Plays and Playwrights’ (Boston 1913); and Moore, George, ‘Hail and Farewell’ (New York 1911-13).