‘The right twigs for an eagle's nest’: Negotiating the Subsidy, 1922–1925

Lauren Arrington

in W.B. Yeats, the Abbey Theatre, Censorship, and the Irish State

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590575
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595523 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs

‘The right twigs for an eagle's nest’: Negotiating the Subsidy, 1922–1925

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This chapter is devoted to the lengthy campaign for a subsidy, which began immediately following the establishment of the Provisional Government after the Treaty settlement in 1922. It analyses the proposals made by the Abbey directors to the government (through Desmond FitzGerald and Ernest Blythe) and evaluates the way in which the directors articulated the role of a subsidized theatre in comparison with the theatre's founding principles. Simultaneous with its petition to the government, the Abbey directors were negotiating with the Carnegie Trust for a subvention. The publication of Yeats's sexually explicit poem ‘Leda and the Swan’ and Lennox Robinson's short story ‘Madonna of Slieve Dun’ in the newspaper To‐Morrow (1924) caused the Trust to withdraw consideration of funding the Abbey. The To‐Morrow controversy did not affect the government's consideration of a subsidy, which was granted in 1925, but it did instil caution amongst the directors that financial assistance could be endangered by bold aesthetic stances.

Keywords: Subsidy; Lennox Robinson; Ernest Blythe; Desmond Fitzgerald; Carnegie Trust

Chapter.  15298 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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