W.B. Yeats, the Abbey Theatre, Censorship, and the Irish State: Adding the Half-pence to the Pence

Hardcover | November 4, 2010

byLauren Arrington

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W.B. Yeats, the Abbey Theatre, Censorship, and the Irish State: Adding the Half-pence to the Pence utilizes new source material to reconstruct the current understanding of the relationship between the productions of the Abbey Theatre and the politics of the Irish state. This study begins in1916, at the start of the Irish Revolution and in the midst of the theatre's financial crisis, and it ends with the death of the Abbey Theatre's last surviving founder, W.B. Yeats. To date, histories of the Abbey Theatre have repeated Yeats's assertion that there was no censorship of the theatre inIreland. However, this study incorporates financial records, government correspondence, Dail debates, and minutes from the Abbey's directors' meetings to produce surprising conclusions: censorship of the theatre did occur, but it occurred internally rather than by external means. Yeats and hisfellow directors privately self-censored plays when there was potential for financial gain, such as in the Abbey's campaign for a state-sponsored reconstruction scheme - the details of which have never been explored prior to this study. Any attempts by the state to directly interfere in thetheatre's programme were unsuccessful but were manipulated by the press-savvy Yeats in order to create profitable controversies. Despite Yeats's vocal campaign against censorship, his organisation of the Irish Academy of Letters, and his famous speeches from the Abbey stage decrying the censorshipof the 'mob', he was willing to sacrifice the freedom of the artist when he foresaw an opportunity to ensure the longevity of his theatrical enterprise.

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W.B. Yeats, the Abbey Theatre, Censorship, and the Irish State: Adding the Half-pence to the Pence utilizes new source material to reconstruct the current understanding of the relationship between the productions of the Abbey Theatre and the politics of the Irish state. This study begins in1916, at the start of the Irish Revolution an...

Lauren Arrington is Lecturer at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool. She completed a D.Phil at the University of Oxford in 2008 and was subsequently appointed Adrian Research Fellow in English at Darwin College, Cambridge. She also holds an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama from University College Dublin and...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:252 pagesPublished:November 4, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199590575

ISBN - 13:9780199590575

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Table of Contents

Preface1. 'We have no gift to set a statesman right': Representation, Reform, Subsidy and Censorship2. 'The dance is changing now': Economics and Revolution, 1916-19213. 'The right twigs for an eagle's nest': Negotiating the Subsidy, 1922-19254. 'All think what other people think': George O'Brien's Tenure, 1925-19265. 'What if the Church and State Are the Mob that Howls at the Door?': Fighting the Irish at Home and Abroad, 1927-19346. 'I sing what was lost and dread what was won': Yeats and the Legacy of Censorship, 1935-19397. 'Theatre business, management of men': The Politics of CompromiseSelect BibliographyIndex