Meet Mr Blythe

  • E. H. Mikhail
Part of the Interviews and Recollections book series (IR)


Mr Ernest Blythe looks well against the black-and-old-gold of the Abbey’s interior decoration. He sort of belongs. I could not tell why at first. Then it dawned on me. For black-and-old-gold are the predominant colours in Chinese lacquer-work, and if anyone in Dublin has the air of an ivory Buddha it is Mr Blythe. His glinting eyes, behind his large round spectacles, his Chrysoprase smile, the shining baldness, the gleaming teeth, the hands folded in repose across the stomach — all these are the carven Buddha’s.


Good Play Predominant Colour Foreign Film Irish Television Awkward Question 
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  1. Ernest Blythe (1889–1975), politician and theatre manager. As Minister for Finance he gave the first direct grant to the Abbey Theatre. He was managing director of the Abbey from 1941 to 1967, retiring at seventy-seven. His policies drew sustained criticism. It was said that he engaged players for their knowledge of Irish rather than for their acting ability, that he rejected good plays and put on bad ones, and that he favoured kitchen comedies to swell box-office receipts. In 1957 he published Trasna na Boinne (Dublin: Sóirséal and Dill, 1957), an account of his life until 1913.Google Scholar
  2. His writings include The Abbey Theatre (Dublin: The National Theatre, [1965])Google Scholar
  3. ‘Gaelic Drama’ in The Irish Theatre: Lectures Delivered During the Abbey Theatre Festival held in Dublin in August 1938 , ed. Lennox Robinson (London: Macmillan, 1939).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. H. Mikhail
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LethbridgeAlbertaCanada

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