Collaborative One-Act Plays, 1901–1903 ("Cathleen ni Houlihan," "The Pot of Broth," "The Country of the Young," "Heads or Harps")
Edited by James Pethica
The four short works collected in this book were among the earliest plays to be authored collaboratively by W. B. Yeats and Lady Gregory. Written in the pivotal years during which the "Irish Literary Theatre" experiment of 1899–1901 began to evolve into what would become the Abbey Theatre, they show both writers engaging with questions central to the early Irish dramatic movement: How should "Irishness" be represented on the stage? To what extent should artists engage directly with Nationalist politics? And what role might literature play in the creation of a new Ireland?
The manuscripts presented here chart the evolution of two plays published over Yeats's name: "Cathleen ni Houlihan"—the pair's most successful collaboration, and the work that confirmed Yeats's credentials as a Nationalist writer—and the "peasant" farce "The Pot of Broth." This book also includes manuscript material for "The Country of the Young" and "Heads or Harps," which the writers left unpublished and unproduced during their lifetimes.