Letter from W.B. Yeats to Miss Fitzgerald, describing the reception of his play "The Countess Cathleen",
 May 21.
|Main Creator:||Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939.|
"... I had to face with mine an organized opposition stirred up by a personal enemy, who issued a pamphlet charging me with blasphemy & the like. The Nation the ultra Catholic organ took up these charges & called upon the audience to hoot the players from the stage. the opposition was however ultimately extinguished by applause."
Although the play is not named in the letter, there is no doubt that the letter refers to "The Countess Cathleen". Cardinal Logue, who had not bothered to read the play, accused its author of blasphemy. Frank Hugh O'Donnell wrote a pamphlet attacking the play. The pamphlet, which was distributed throughout Ireland, asked whether its characters were acting within the known precepts of Celtic behavior.
Yeats mentions at the end of his letter that Edward Martyn's play proved to be one of the greatest triumphs that he has ever seen and, in a postscript, that "The music was old Irish music & I am told very fine".
|Citation:||National Library of Ireland. Department of Manuscripts.|
On headed paper "Coole Park, Gort, Co. Galway".
Physical description: 1 sheet.
|Call Number||View in||Collection|
|MS 41,718||Manuscripts Reading Room Special Access||Manuscripts|