My Uncle John
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2nd hand good condition
Edward Millington Stephens, a Dublin lawyer who died in 1955, was devoted to the memory of his uncle, J. M. Synge, and spent many years writing his biography. Born in 1888, when the playwright was seventeen years old, Stephens grew up in a house next door to that of Synge and his mother, in the Dublin suburbs, and spent many summers with them in County Wiciclow. In later years he became custodian of Synge’s papers, and had access to important unpublished documents from which he could supplement his own invaluable personal recollections.
The typescript of Stephens’s biography, containing over three-quarters of a million words, has been drawn on by scholars but has never been published in its entirety. Now, for the general reader, Andrew Carpenter has edited passages from the work to form a consecutive biographical account which preserves the quality of an intimate memoir. As Dr. Carpenter notes in his Introduction, ‘Without some knowledge of the forces which moulded Synge his family (particularly his mother), his home, his religion, his love of the Irish countryside and country people, his social background one can hardly understand the energy and bravado of his plays.* Ned Stephens was .superbly placed to supply this knowledge, and Anglo-Irish family life at the turn of the century forms a rich backdrop for his admiring portrait of his famous uncle John.