George Fitzmaurice

Arthur E. McGuinness

1975
91 pages
ISBN 0-8387-7870-4
Contemporary Irish Writers

George Fitzmaurice is another outstanding contribution to the Irish Writers Series. These monographs have been designed to treat in individual volumes the significant Anglo-Irish writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Studies will prove helpful to both literary scholars and to students of literature. When complete the series will constitute a significant history of modern Anglo-Irish literature, and will encompass discussions of nearly 40 writers.

The present volume examines the career of George Fitzmaurice (1877-1963). A North Kerryman by birth and inclination, Fitzmaurice wrote seventeen plays, several of which were among the first plays produced at the Abbey Theatre. His comedy The Country Dressmaker has been one of the most frequently revived plays in the Abbey repertoire. Fitzmaurice's best play are his folk-plays and fantasies, plays like The Magic Glasses and The Dandy Dolls. In these plays he creates an unforgettable picture of the Irish countryman and the domestic, social, and supernatural forces that shape him. Fitzmaurice had a fine ear for North Kerry dialect and replaced it more authentically than Synge. Long neglected by a Dublin theater that valued domestic comedy, Fitzmaurice is now being rediscovered as a significant Irish dramatist who understood the darkness and loneliness of life as well as its wit and foolishness.

About the author:

Arthur E. McGuinness is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches eighteenth century and modern Anglo-Irish Literature. He is presently working with Robert Hogan and James Kilroy on a documentary history of the Irish theater. His book on the eighteenth century Scottish man-of-letters Henry Home Lord Kames appeared in 1970, and he has published essays and reviews in such journals as Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Studies in Scottish Literature, and Studies in Burke. He is founding editor of the journal Eighteenth Century Studies.

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