Cuchulain of Muirthemne: the story of the men of the Red Branch of Ulsterby Lady Augusta Gregory
sabella Augusta, Lady Gregory (née Persse; 15 March 1852 - 22 May 1932) was an Irish dramatist, folklorist and theatre manager. With William Butler Yeats and Edward Martyn, she co-founded the Irish Literary Theatre and the Abbey Theatre, and wrote numerous short works for both companies. Lady Gregory produced a number of books of retellings of stories taken from Irish mythology. Born into a class that identified closely with British rule, her conversion to cultural nationalism, as evidenced by her writings, was emblematic of many of the political struggles to occur in Ireland during her lifetime.
Cuchulain of Muirthemne
Is a version of the Cú Chulainn legends based on previous oral and written versions as collected and translated by Lady Augusta Gregory. First published in 1902, it is one of the earliest such collections to appear in English. The book covers the lifespan of the hero, from conception to death, and draws on folklore and oral tradition in addition to the stories of the Ulster Cycle.Lady Gregory considered herself a supporter of the Irish Literary Revival, rather than a writer. She recorded in her diary that "I dreamed that I had been writing some article & that W.B.Y. said 'It's not your business to write - Your business is to make an atmosphere'". She undertook the book only after William Butler Yeats refused an offer to translate his own edition of Irish myth.
In 1900, a commission on education in Ireland issued a report declaring Irish literature devoid of idealism or imagination.This report, written by Trinity College Professor Robert Atkinson and parroted by Professor John Pentland Mahaffy, infuriated the Gaelic League, its founder Douglas Hyde, and Irish nationalism, including Yeats and Gregory.
Later that same year, English publisher Alfred Nutt asked Yeats to compose a collection retelling Irish myth and legend. Yeats refused, excusing himself as being too busy with his own work. Lady Gregory volunteered instead, initially hoping the work might serve as a source of raw material to nationalist poets, as well as a rebuttal to critics of Irish literature like Atkinson and Mahaffy. At first, she lacked confidence in her writing abilities and expected the work to take her a lifetime. After she earned the encouragement of Yeats, the work went to press in less than two years
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