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 Towards the end

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PostSubject: Towards the end   Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:11 am

A trip to Inisheer in the Aran Islands in 1893 reawoke an interest in the Irish language[14] and in the folklore of the area in which she lived. She organised Irish lessons at the school at Coole and began collecting tales from the area around her home, especially from the residents of Gort workhouse. This activity led to the publication of a number of volumes of folk material, including A Book of Saints and Wonders (1906), The Kiltartan History Book (1909), and The Kiltartan Wonder Book (1910). She also produced a number of collections of "Kiltartanese" versions of Irish myths, including Cuchulain of Muirthemne (1902) and Gods and Fighting Men (1904). ("Kiltartanese" is Lady Gregory's term for English with Gaelic syntax, based on the dialect spoken in Kiltartan.) In his introduction to the former, Yeats wrote "I think this book is the best that has come out of Ireland in my time."[15] James Joyce was to parody this claim in the Scylla and Charybdis chapter of his novel Ulysses.[16]

Towards the end of 1894, encouraged by the positive reception of the editing of her husband's autobiography, Lady Gregory turned her attention to another editorial project. She decided to prepare selections from Sir William Gregory's grandfather's correspondence for publication as Mr Gregory’s Letter-Box 1813–30 (1898). This entailed researching Irish history of the period, and one outcome of this work was a shift in her own position from the 'soft' Unionism of her earlier writing on Home Rule to a definite support of Irish nationalism and Republicanism and what she was later to describe as "a dislike and distrust of England".[17]




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