Search Results for 'Augusta Lady Gregory'
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Augusta Lady Gregory, writer, folklorist and great patron of the arts, who died at her home at Coole Park in 1932, reappeared during the Druid production of five of her plays each evening this week. Druid is no stranger to magic, and such is their skill that Lady Gregory (Marie Mullen) makes several appearances inviting the audience to follow her for yet another of her plays performed in different locations around her home. From the edge of Coole lake to the old stables and yards, her ghostly figure seductively beckoned. The audience followed enchanted, moved by the strange power of her deceptively simple plays.
‘Dearest beloved - It is such a beautiful morning that you ought to be here and we should be walking in the garden …and if we were, what more should we do where the bushes hid us?’ These intimate words were written by the British politician, later prime minister, Ramsey MacDonald, to Lady Margaret Sackville whose initials are on the famous autograph tree at Coole.
In April 1902 Augusta Lady Gregory was working hard at her home at Coole, translating from Irish the myths and legends of Ireland. Somebody had dubbed Coole ‘the workshop of Ireland’, and the phrase went straight to her heart. Her pride in it glows in her letters to Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, her one-time lover and life-long friend, and admirer.*
It may seem out of place that the name Robert (known as Robbie) Ross is associated with probably the best known literary monument in Ireland, namely the autograph tree at Coole Park. With the exception of two soldiers’ names, all 24 others are poets, writers and artists all of whom Lady Gregory believed were worthy to be included in her particular and original ‘hall of fame.’
‘On Thursday last, a servant-maid at Merlin Park, the seat of Charles Blake Esq. near this town, in the act of proceeding to deliver a message which she received from Mrs Lawrence, who was then indisposed in the house, ran with so much violence against the bannisters as to cause them to give way, by which she was unfortunately precipitated to the bottom of the stairs, and killed on the spot. Every medical assistance and attention was immediately provided, but to no purpose, as the fall was so great as to have completely broken the skull in many parts.’ (Connaught Journal November 10 1823).
Even on Christmas morning, if Santa had forgotten that one important item, batteries for the impotent toy lying motionless on the floor at home, or a packet of cigarettes to tide mum and dad over the holiday, you could knock on the front door of Gillanes, after Mass, and Kitty or Liam would gladly sort you out.
Augusta Lady Gregory, and her husband Sir William, were away in Italy in May 1888, when her former lover Wilfrid Scawen Blunt was imprisoned in Galway for participating in an anti-eviction rally at Woodford the previous October. I described last week, that within two days of her return to Galway she visited his empty cell, and remained sometime.*
The affair between Augusta Lady Gregory and Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, the romantic traveller, poet and a somewhat eccentric man addicted to political causes, lasted one year. It carried on almost under the eyes of her husband Sir William. He did not notice it, or if he did, he chose not to notice it.
NUI Galway hosted the Lady Gregory Yeats Gathering with a book launch for Lady Gregory’s Irish Writings 1883-1893 edited by James Pethica and a new exhibition of materials at the Special Collections Reading Room of the James Hardiman Library.
A great grandson of Galway's World War I fighter ace Major Robert Gregory, Robin Murray Brown, read WB Yeats' famous poem An Irish Airman Foresees His Death in Belfast last Sunday. St Anne's Cathedral was filled to capacity for a service to commemorate the centenary of the Royal Air Force (RAF), which succeeded the Royal Flying Corps in which Major Gregory flew. Major Gregory joined the war effort in 1916 and was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry. He was also awarded the Legion d’Honneur — France’s highest honour.