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Lady Augusta Gregory Gort County Galway Ireland
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Lady Augusta Gregory   ~   Gort

Isabelle Augusta Gregory is easily the best known literary figure to have been born and raised in Galway. After the death of her elderly husband, Sir William, in 1891, Lady Gregory began her transformation into one of the nation's cultural champions. In her lifetime she wrote over 40 plays in addition to a great number of poems and essays. Her greatest accomplishment was the founding of what became the Abbey Theatre with William Butler Yeats in 1904. 
The establishment of the theatre marks the official beginning of the Irish Literary Revival, and plays from Yeats, J.M. Synge, Sean O'Casey and herself were produced in the years to follow.
Lady Augusta Gregory Gort County Galway Ireland
A few of Lady Gregory's most famous plays included Spreading the News (1904), The Gaol Gate (1906), and The Rising of the Moon (1907).

Lady Gregory possessed a most remarkable mind. It was at the young age of 50 that she first mastered the Irish language, a development that would be critical for her many prodigious contributions to the Gaelic League and other efforts to strengthen nationalism through the public appreciation of Irish literature and speech. Some of her greatest work comes from the long days she spent collecting Irish folktales and stories in the countryside: Cuchulain of Muirthemne was a work that Yeats called, "The best book that has ever come out of Ireland." Her study of the Irish language also led her to develop the first Anglo-Irish dialect to be adopted by the poets and playwrights of the land. The dialect was called Kiltartan, after the region from which it sprung.

Because of Lady Gregory's prominent position in the revival, her home at Coole Park  became a second home for the writers of this Irish Renaissance. Yeats spent many summers there, and the famous 'autograph tree' on the estate still bears the signatures of the frequent visitors J.M Synge, W.B Yeats, Jack Yeats, George Russell (AE), Douglas Hyde, Sean O’Casey and George Bernard Shaw, to name a few.



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