Chosen and Introduced by Richard Allen Cave
The tenth volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.
Hardback ISBN: 0-86140-142-5 / 978-0-86140-142-0 £30.00
Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-143-3 / 978-0-86140-143-7 £ 8.95
21.6 x 13.8 cm.
Contains: Sovereign Love, Birthright, Maurice Harte, The Briery Gap, Autumn Fire, The Pipe in the Fields, the essay ‘George Shiels, Brinsley MacNamara, Etc.’, and the previously unpublished Illumination , bibliographical checklist.
The playwriting career of Thomas Cornelius Murray (1873-1959) started in 1909 with the production of his first play, Wheel of Fortune (which he revised in 1913 and renamed Sovereign Love), at the Cork Little Theatre, but it was his Birthright, produced at the Abbey Theatre in the following year that established him as a writer of stark and tragic realism. His most enduring plays were all written during the next two decades, but none of the plays written after 1930 can be compared for quality with his earlier work.
The present selection contains Sovereign Love (1909, revised 1913), Birthright (1911), Maurice Harte (1912), The Briery Gap (1917), Autumn Fire (1925), and The Pipe in the Fields (1927), together with Appendices containing Murray's essay 'George Shiels, Brinsley MacNamara, Etc.' (1939), which not only discusses these authors' work but sheds considerable light on his own views about playwriting, and Illumination (1939) which despite its evident weaknesses is still the best of his later dramas. There is a bibliographical checklist of his writings.
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