Section 8: Blessed Bridget O'Coole
In her 70s, Gregory continued to make Coole a creative center, welcoming old friends and fostering new writers such as Sean O'Casey, who referred to her in his memoirs as ''Blessed Bridget O'Coole," thus comparing her to the much-revered sixth-century Irish saint. The property was sold to the Forestry Department in 1927, but she remained living there under a lease agreement, writing Coole, a farewell to the house and its woods and a celebration of Coole's share in Irish history. Characteristically, she also looked ahead as well as behind, taking greatest pleasure in the progress of her beloved grandchildren, ''the chicks." Her journal records her long and indomitable fight against the breast cancer that finally killed her. Yeats spent most of Gregory's last year with her at Coole and composed the elegies that must have both comforted her and made her ever more sure of the lasting renown of their friendship and collaborations and of her own achievements. Coole was demolished in 1941, but the lands of the estate remained undeveloped and are now a nature reserve.