“Our Kathleen”: Yeats’s Collaboration with Lady Gregory in the Writing of Cathleen ni Houlihan

  • James Pethica
Part of the Yeats Annual book series (YA)


When explaining in the preface to his Plays in Prose and Verse in 1922 how often Lady Gregory had collaborated with him in playwriting, Yeats concluded that of the eleven plays in the volume only two could be considered “wholly” his work (VPl 1306). So extensive was the collaboration in the years between Lady Gregory’s first tentative contribution of “a sentence here and there”1 to Diarmuid and Grania in 1900, and the last occasion of their working together in 1927,2 that even its full range remains uncertain. For besides contributing abundantly to each other’s work — Yeats’s influence, as critic, on Lady Gregory’s plays being no less considerable than her more direct contribution to his — they worked together on numerous other projects: writing scenarios for Douglas Hyde, constructing an acting version of Deirdre of the Sorrows from the fragmented mass of manuscripts left by Synge at his death, and, throughout their time at the Abbey, acting as critics and “playdoctors” to the hundreds of scripts submitted for their consideration.3


Authorial Responsibility Irish Theatre Manuscript Draft Peasant Family Manuscript Page 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Lady Gregory, Our Irish Theatre ( London: Putnam, 1913 ) p. 80.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    George Moore, Ave ( London: Heinemann, 1911 ) p. 273.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    William M. Murphy, Prodigal Father: the Life of John Butler Yeats 1839–1922 ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1978 ) p. 201.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    George Moore, Vale ( London: Heinemann, 1914 ) p. 204.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    “Lady Gregory, Co-Author and Sometimes Author of the Plays of W. B. Yeats”, Modern Irish Literature: Essays in Honor of William York Tindall eds Raymond J. Porter and James D. Brophy ( New York: Iona College Press, 1972 ) p. 47.Google Scholar
  6. 36.
    Mary Colum, Life and the Dream ( Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1947 ) p. 139.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Warwick Gould 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Pethica

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations