The Abbey Theatre

  • Joseph Hone


On Yeats’ return from America Miss Horniman fulfilled her promise to provide the National Theatre Society with a small theatre to be at the Company’s disposal. In a formal letter she explained that her gift was due to her great sympathy with Yeats’ artistic and dramatic aims, as publicly explained by him on various occasions. “I can only afford“, she wrote, “to make a very little theatre, and it must be quite simple, you all must do the rest to make a powerful and prosperous theatre with a high artistic ideal.” Before the Theatre was opened, however, she already asked herself whether she had not made a mistake in befriending an Irish movement. There seems to have been no one in Dublin who pleased her, except Yeats himself, her “Demon”,1 and it was evident that even he paid far more deference to Lady Gregory’s views than to hers. The mischief commenced, perhaps, when her designs for the costumes in The King’s Threshold failed to meet with appreciation.2 Henceforth Yeats had to listen to continual complaints about the manners of the town. George Moore uttered some unkind witticism at her expense, and she was much hurt when Yeats repeated it to her and astounded when George Russell expected her to meet Moore as if nothing had happened.


Irish Theatre Judicial Separation Bitter Land Problem Play Irish Movement 
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Copyright information

© Anne Yeats and Michael B. Yeats 1962

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Hone

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