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‘I thought that no man liveth and dieth to himself, so I put behind what I thought and what I did the panorama of the world I lived in – the things that made me.’
Sean O’Casey, 1948
Sean O’Casey’s six-part Autobiography, originally published between 1939 and 1955, is an eloquently comprehensive self-portrait of an artist’s life and times, unsurpassed in literature.
As its title suggests, Rose and Crown (1952) reflects O’Casey’s experience of making a new home in England where, socialist passion intact, he makes a sharp study of the General Strike of 1926. Sunset and Evening Star (1954) offers both valediction and celebration: for though O’Casey views Ireland as ‘a decaying ark… afraid of the falling rain of the world’s thought’, he can still envisage the nation’s young ‘throwing out some of the musty stuff, bringing the fresh and the new…’
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