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T. C. Murray, Dramatist
Voice of the Irish Peasant

Albert J. DeGiacomo

Cloth $29.95    |    0-8156-2945-1    |   2002

Drawing on the archives of libraries in Dublin, New York City, and Boston, Albert J. DeGiacomo assesses T. C. Murray's contribution to the Irish dramatic movement. One of "the Cork realists" of the Abbey Theatre, Murray wrote seventeen plays in one, two, or three acts. A prominent National Teacher and a seemingly apolitical playwright in the Irish Literary Revival, Murray expressed nationalistic aspirations in his peasant tragedies. His characters' drive for self-determination and their religious consciousness mark Murray's dramatic landscape.

"A second-generation playwright for Dublin's acclaimed Abbey Theatre, Murray enjoyed international popularity from 1912 to about 1950. While well crafted and deeply in contact with rural Irish life, his plays were classical in structure and maintained a strong unity of theme: the need for social religious, and individual freedom. . . . DeGiacomo begins with a biography and ends with a short critical assessment. He reveals, for instance, that Murray, a reclusive Roman Catholic schoolteacher, felt like an outsider among Abbey directors W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, and Lennox Robinson, who were all Protestant. In between the biographical portions are four chapters that examine 17 plays. A plot summary, a review of performances in Ireland and abroad, and initial critical response are included for each. The academic apparatus is well managed. . . . And there is an impressively long bibliography. The first book-length survey of Murray, this is recommended for specialists in theater or Irish literature studies."
Library Journal

"We must be grateful to Albert J. DeGiacomo for pulling T. C. Murray out from the shadows of his more famous contemporaries."
English Literature in Transition 1880-1920

6 x 9, 176 pages

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