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The Abbey Theatre, 1899-1999Form and Pressure$
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Robert Welch

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198121879

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198121879.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 April 2021

1899–1902: ‘Four Green Fields’

1899–1902: ‘Four Green Fields’

(p.1) 1 1899–1902: ‘Four Green Fields’
The Abbey Theatre, 1899-1999

Robert Welch

Oxford University Press

This first chapter is a narrative of how a summer house owned by Florimand Comte de Basterot became the venue where the foundation of the Abbey started. W. B. Yeats, during his stay in the Duras, dreamed of an Irish theatre, where his plays and Edward Martyn's could be performed. Together with Lady Gregory, Yeats exerted effort to raise funds to build this theatre. In a proposal written by Lady Gregory, she also added plans for the theatre, as well as the interest to perform certain Celtic and Irish plays every spring. The theatre they had in mind was going to be a venue where they could hope for audiences willing to listen to eloquent language by virtue of its appreciation of oratory. Yeats and his colleagues also expressed the intention to steer clear from the all political factionalism. Yeats, at the time expressed his dream of a theatre to Lady Gregory, also expressed that he was in a state of ‘leprosy of the modern’ — ‘tepid emotion and many aims’. The letter Lady Gregory sent out to her many influential friends garnered enough support and funds to create the Irish Literary Theatre. The Abbey Theatre has its roots in the Irish Literary Theatre and its inaugural performance was in 1899.

Keywords:   Irish Literary Theatre, Duras, Celtic and Irish plays, Edward Martyn, Lady Gregory, W.B. Yeats

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