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The Theatre of NationIrish Drama and Cultural Nationalism 1890-1916$
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Ben Levitas

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253432

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253432.001.0001

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The Union of Sceptics, 1903–1906

The Union of Sceptics, 1903–1906

Chapter:
(p.75) 3 The Union of Sceptics, 1903–1906
Source:
The Theatre of Nation
Author(s):

BEN LEVITAS

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253432.003.0004

This chapter examines the fracture of the theatre movement and cultural nationalist alliances in the post-Boer period. Yeats, with financial backing from Annie Horniman, was able to set up the INTS in the Abbey Theatre and establish the organisation as a professional company. Cultural nationalists, particularly Griffith and Moran, attacked the theatre for rejecting propagandist imperatives; however, their attack on Synge reveals a conservative nationalist agenda also evident in their anti-Semitic support for the Limerick Pogrom of 1903. Beyond the apparent oppositions, however, a ‘union of Sceptics’, often in left-literati combinations, operated to suggest alternatives. Journals such as Dana, the Nationist, and the National Democrat; theatre groups such as the Theatre of Ireland and the Ulster Literary Theatre; and the range of material available at the Abbey from Colum, Boyle and Lady Gregory demonstrate a broad spectrum of opinion.

Keywords:   Yeats, Synge, Horniman, Abbey Theatre, Griffith, Limerick Pogrom, Moran, Padraic Colum, William Boyle, Lady Gregory

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