Date of Award
Thesis - Open Access
MA in Women's History
Lady Gregory was an important part of nineteenth and twentieth-century Irish History, but her name is not associated with it as much as her male counterparts. Being born into an Anglo-Irish family, Lady Gregory was awarded certain privileges throughout her life in colonial Ireland. After marrying her husband, Sir William Gregory, she was a part of an elite titled family that awarded her more status. Her family, both strict unionists and heavily Protestant, taught her that women should succumb to the patriarchal society that raised her and hold status over the indigenous Irish. Nonetheless she created her own ideologies becoming a middle person for both viewpoints of nationalism and unionism. She broke down the societal standards put in place for her as a Victorian woman to preserve the history and language of the indigenous Irish. In the beginning, I believed that this thesis would argue that Lady Gregory was the oppressor of the indigenous Irish and used her status to create a career off of their stories. However, throughout my research in reading her archived sources, I have changed my opinion of her. She understood her status as an elite woman in Ireland but used her privileges to award those who were less fortunate. She used her status and power to help more than oppress. Lady Gregory created a career for herself after her husband’s death and established the Abbey Theatre in Ireland to uphold Irish playwrights. My thesis argues that the lack of women historians around the time of her death and the new Irish Republic became why she has not kept her popularity in modern historical narrative.
Weinstock, Sarah, "“Always a Friend” The Complex Life of Lady Gregory Aristocracy, Womanhood, and the Indigenous Irish" (2022). Women's History Theses. 59.