|Maud Gonne, 1866-1953 (Photo source: ireland.wlu.edu)|
Today is the birthday of Edith Maud Gonne, actress, feminist, and political activist born in England on December 21, 1866. According to the Encyclopeaedia Brittanica online, Gonne was the romantic muse of Irish poet William Butler Yeats, and inspired his early poetry and plays. Although Yeats proposed marriage to her on numerous occasions, Gonne refused his proposals because of her involvement with a French journalist.
While visiting Dublin last month, Maud Gonne came across my radar screen in two different instances. The first was at the Schoolhouse Hotel in Ballsbridge, where I stayed during my trip. All of the guest rooms at the hotel are named after people with a literary connection. My room was named for Christy Brown, the Irish artist and author of My Left Foot, which was adapted into a movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Several doors down the hall was the Maud Gonne room.
My second Maud Gonne "sighting" was at the National Library of Ireland's exhibition, The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats. Among other things, the exhibit chronicles the Gonne-Yeats relationship with photos, letters, and biographical data.
Maud was a fascinating woman who played a significant role in Irish history. She influenced a major literary figure, and was involved in the development of Irish theatre and in the fight for Irish independence from England.
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Friday Facts--Maud Gonne was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.blogspot.com. This post cannot be republished without express written consent.