British Drama since Shaw

British Drama since Shaw

British Drama since Shaw

British Drama since Shaw


This penetrating survey covers the most creative of the Anglo-Irish modern playwrights, beginning with George Bernard Shaw and including the avant-garde dramatists of the 1960s. Emil Roy, an expert in British drama, is the author of Christopher Fry,previously published in this series.

Roy devotes individual chapters to Shaw, W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, and Sean O'Casey. He discusses T. S. Eliot and Christopher Fry together, since Fry is Eliot's disciple in poetic drama. And in his concluding chapter, entitled "The Moderns," he provides an examination of John Osborne, John Arden, Harold Pinter, Arnold Wesker, and John Whiting.

Up-to-date and concise, the book thus affords a view of the best of modern British drama.


Emil Roy's book on British Drama Since Shaw takes us further into the subject than earlier books in the same vein. Professor Roy's study does this because he includes the younger, advance-guard playwrights of the 1960s.

The title of this volume might lead some potential readers into thinking it deals only with playwrights after Bernard Shaw. But Shaw is very much a part of this book, whose first chapter is specificially devoted to him. The author puts Oscar Wilde into a second chapter, although he is usually considered as preceding Shaw. But Dr. Roy considers only one play of Wilde's, his comic masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest, which dates from 1895, two years before the first publication of Shaw's not yet produced Widowers' Houses. Certainly Wilde's other theatrical writings, such as An Ideal Husband and Lady Windermere's Fan, are now interesting as only trivial period-pieces; even Salome is viable today only as the libretto of Richard Strauss's opera.

The third, fourth, and fifth chapters of this book deal with three other Irish-born playwrights, William Butler Yeats, John Millington Synge, and Sean O'Casey. Of these men, Yeats kept up his relationship with Ireland, although he spent much time in England and elsewhere, and O'Casey lived the last part of his life in England; but Synge, who like Wilde died prematurely, lived most of his life in Ireland; his youthful residence in Paris was an exception.

Professor Roy next takes up T. S. Eliot and Christopher Fry, to the second of whom he devoted a book . . .

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