to Miss Olive Purser, to Mr. Lennox Robinson, to Mr. F. R. Higgins, to the Earl and Countess of Longford for suggestions on technical details; to Miss Elizabeth Yeats for the generous loan of valuable original documents; to Miss Lily Yeats for unfailing encouragement and for a store of illuminating memories, and to the late W. B. Yeats himself for discussions and conversations and for his benediction upon an Englishman's attempt to write the history of his work. If this book fails, and it does, for it is not the book I meant to make it, it is not for lack of generous help from these and from many others.
March 17, 1939.
FOURTEEN YEARS HAVE PASSED since the first edition of this volume appeared and the steadily increasing study of the Irish Dramatic Movement, with the many contributions made to its history, have made the projected second volume unnecessary. But I did not want to let this study of the earlier movement go into a second edition without an attempt to link it with the Irish drama of the years immediately before the recent war. This link, which takes the form of a short extension of the final chapter, is the only alteration, apart from the correction of a few errors and misprints and some changes in the book-list at the end. The body of the book remains in its original form, for, although I should perhaps have modified a judgment here and there if I had been re-writing the whole, I have seen no reason to alter substantially what I then said. My enjoyment of this drama has suffered no diminution with the passage of the years nor has my faith in the quality of the Irish imagination grown dimmer.