IWOTA #7 Lady Gregory cultural nationalism

Isabella Augusta Persse, who became a famous literary figure as Lady Gregory after marrying Sir William Henry Gregory, was born on this date, 15 May, 171 years ago, in 1852 in County Galway, Ireland.

Wikipedia reports that study of her grandfather-in-law’s letters lead to a shift in her politics “from the “soft” Unionism of her earlier writing on Home Rule to a definite support of Irish nationalism and Republicanism, and to what she was later to describe as “a dislike and distrust of England”.” (The anglosphere is a very big place.)

Lady Gregory took her motto from Aristotle: “To think like a wise man, but to express oneself like the common people.”

I call her an Indigenous Woman Of The Anglosphere (IWOTA) because of her wonderful skill in the English language.

Here are some examples:

“I’ll take no charity! What I get I’ll earn by taking it. I would feel no pleasure it being given to me, any more than a huntsman would take pleasure being made a present of a dead fox, in place of getting a run across country after it.”

“It takes madness to find out madness.”

“It’s best make changes little by little, the same as you’d put clothes upon a growing child.”

“If I had not married I should not have learned the quick enrichment of sentences that one gets in conversation; had I not been widowed I should not have found the detachment of mind, the leisure for observation necessary to give insight into character, to express and interpret it. Loneliness made me rich—’full’, as Bacon says.”

“There’s more learning than is taught in books.”

“It was among farmers and potato diggers and old men in workhouses and beggars at my own door that I found ………. the expression of love, and grief, and the pain of parting, that are the disclosure of the individual soul.”

“It is not always them that has the most that makes the most show.”

“I don’t know in the world why anyone would consent to be a king, and never to be left to himself, but to be worried and wearied and interfered with from dark to daybreak and from morning to the fall of night.”

“The way most people fail is in not keeping up the heart.”

“There is lasting kindness in Heaven when no kindness is found upon earth.”

George Bernard Shaw once called Gregory “the greatest living Irishwoman”.

God Bless Freedom (because that’s how we really learn who we are)

Geoff Fox, 15th May, 2023, Down Under

Previous Indigenous Women Of The Anglosphere include Rosa Parks, Shirley Temple, Mrs Patrick Campbell, Mary Astor and Audrey Hepburn.

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