[Augusta, Lady Gregory, leading figure in Irish Literary Revival.] Autograph Letter Signed ('A Gregory') to 'Miss Wheeler', discussing her method of collecting the words of Aran folk songs, and her neglect of the 'folk airs'.

Author: 
Augusta, Lady Gregory [née Persse] (1852-1932), leading figure in Irish Literary Revival, co-founder of Irish Literary Theatre and Abbey Theatre with William Butler Yeats and Edward Martyn, folklorist
Publication details: 
On letterhead of Coole Park, Gort, Co. Galway. 25 October [no year].
£600.00
SKU: 22002

4pp, 12mo, with postscript crosswritten at head of first page. Bifolium on grey paper. In fair condition, aged and worn, with traces of tape from mount along gutter, which has damage at head. The letter, which may concern Lady Gregory's folklore volume 'Poets and Dreamers' (1903), begins: 'Dear Miss Wheeler | I should be very glad to help you with folk airs if I could, but I am afraid I cant – Most of the songs I give were taken down in Aran by boys – I have an Aran teacher here, Conolly - & he wrote to boys there, & they took down a good many by degrees – I sent them some little present at the time, but I forget their names, & Conolly is now in America -'. She explains how the air to the song about 'the girl who is so joyful at her brothers return from America' was published, 'as far as I remember, by [?], who took it down in this neighbourhood'. The letter concludes: 'I know so little of music, I dont attempt to get airs, but only try for the words – And getting either, as you know, requires a great deal of patience'. The postscript reads: 'I have just come across a letter from one of ye Aran boys, & enclose it-'.