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INTRODUCTION The three plays here presented were the outcome of a period when Björnson's views on many topics were undergoing a drastic revision and he was abandoning much of his previous orthodoxy in many directions. Two of them were written during, and one immediately after, a three years' absence from Norway—years spent almost entirely in southern Europe. [Note: Further details respecting Björnson's life will be found in the... more...

ACT I (SCENE.—A handsomely furnished, carpeted room, with a door at the back leading to a lobby. The FATHER is sitting on a couch on the left-hand side, in the foreground, reading a newspaper. Other papers are lying on a small table in front of him. AXEL is on another couch drawn up in a similar position on the right-hand side. A newspaper, which he is not reading, is lying on his knee. The MOTHER is sitting, sewing, in an easy-chair drawn... more...

ACTORS' DESCRIPTION OF CHARACTERS Margaret Chalmers. Twenty-seven years of age; a strong, mature woman, but quite feminine where her heart or sense of beauty are concerned. Her eyes are wide apart. Has a dazzling smile, which she knows how to use on occasion. Also, on occasion, she can be firm and hard, even cynical An intellectual woman, and at the same time a very womanly woman, capable of sudden tendernesses, flashes of emotion, and abrupt... more...

PREFACE. The main rules which we proposed to ourselves in undertaking this Edition are as follows: 1. To base the text on a thorough collation of the four Folios and of all the Quarto editions of the separate plays, and of subsequent editions and commentaries. 2. To give all the results of this collation in notes at the foot of the page, and to add to these conjectural emendations collected and suggested by ourselves, or furnished to us by our... more...

INTRODUCTION TO SARDANAPALUS Byron's passion or infatuation for the regular drama lasted a little over a year. Marino Faliero, Sardanapalus, and the Two Foscari, were the fruits of his "self-denying ordinance to dramatize, like the Greeks ... striking passages of history" (letter to Murray, July 14, 1821, Letters, 1901, v. 323). The mood was destined to pass, but for a while the neophyte was spell-bound. Sardanapalus, a Tragedy, the second and,... more...


INTRODUCTION. Two of the dramas contained in this volume are the most celebrated of all Calderon's writings. The first, "La Vida es Sueno", has been translated into many languages and performed with success on almost every stage in Europe but that of England. So late as the winter of 1866-7, in a Russian version, it drew crowded houses to the great theatre of Moscow; while a few years earlier, as if to give a signal proof of the reality of its... more...

ACT I [Roadside with big stones, etc., on the right; low loose wall at back with gap near centre; at left, ruined doorway of church with bushes beside it. Martin Doul and Mary Doul grope in on left and pass over to stones on right, where they sit.] MARY DOUL. What place are we now, Martin Doul? MARTIN DOUL. Passing the gap. MARY DOUL — [raising her head.] — The length of that! Well, the sun's getting warm this day if it's late... more...

PLAY IN FOUR ACTS. ACT FIRST. (A rocky coast, running precipitously down to the sea at the back. To the left, a boat-house; to the right, rocks and pine-woods. The masts of two war-ships can be seen down in the cove. Far out to the right, the ocean, dotted with reefs and rocky islands; the sea is running high; it is a stormy snow-grey winter day.) (SIGURD comes up from the ships; he is clad in a white tunic with a silver belt, a blue cloak,... more...

PREFACE About seven years ago I began to dictate the first of these Plays to Lady Gregory. My eyesight had become so bad that I feared I could henceforth write nothing with my own hands but verses, which, as Theophile Gautier has said, can be written with a burnt match. Our Irish Dramatic movement was just passing out of the hands of English Actors, hired because we knew of no Irish ones, and our little troop of Irish amateurs—as they were... more...

THE TURN OF THE ROAD. SCENE I. A farm kitchen of the present day. Door at back, opening to yard, and window with deal table on which are lying dishes and drying cloths with basin of water. A large crock under table. A dresser with crockery, etc., stands near to another door which opens into living rooms. Opposite there is a fireplace with projecting breasts, in which a turf fire is glowing. Time, about eight of a summer evening in July. Mrs.... more...