This first volume of the letters of Sean O'Casey covers his life from the age of thirty to sixty-one. We first meet him as an unemployed railway worker in Dublin: writing his early letters in defence of the labour movement, acting in amateur plays, and producing pamphlets on Irish history- By 1919 he was writing his first two plays. After four rejections, the Abbey Theatre performed his initial work, The Shadow of a Gunman, and his career as a dramatist was launched.
At the Abbey he met and became friendly with Lady Gregory, Barry Fitzgerald and Gabriel Fallon, to whom he opened his mind and heart in letters over the years. In 1926 the correspondence shows him fighting savagely in defence of The Plough and the Stars, which had provoked nationalist and religious group riots. Things came to a head in 1928 when Yeats, Lennox Robinson and Lady Gregory rejected The Silver Tassie, and O'Casey sent all the Abbey correspondence, plus his own blistering letters to Yeats, to the English and Irish press.
The 1930s saw a lively volley with Shaw and a sharp exchange with George Russell over modern art. Meanwhile, Yeats had had a change of heart over The Silver Tassie and produced it at the Abbey in 1935, which led to a reconciliation- between the two men. O'Casey, however, still found plenty of targets for his caustic pen: Ethel Mannin over propaganda in art, Malcolm Muggeridge over the validity of the Moscow treason trials, Lady Rhondda over the ideals of Marxism.
The book has no dust jacket but the front and back covers are in good condition. Page 769/770 is not properly bound and is creased otherwise the pages are clean throughout.