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February 19 , 2010

Diarmuid and Grania


William Butler Yeats was born near Dublin in 1865 and was encouraged from a young age to pursue a life in the arts. He attended art school for a short while, but soon found that his talents and interest lay in poetry rather than painting. His father's love of reading aloud exposed Yeats early on to William Shakespeare, the Romantic poets and the pre-Raphaelites, and developed an interest in Irish myths and folklore. One of Yeats' many plays based on Irish mythology is "Diarmuid and Grania", the story of two lovers who run away together before Grania's marriage to the celebrated warrior Finn MacCumhail. George Moore had written a novel based on a translation by Lady Gregory of "The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne", one of the Fenian tales, and then later collaborated with Yeats on a play version. The legend is often seen as a forerunner to the Tristian and Iseult tales.

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