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Paperback The Steward of Christendom Book

ISBN: 0413718204

ISBN13: 9780413718204

The Steward of Christendom

(Part of the Dunne Family Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

'The play that established Barry as one of Ireland''s most powerful contemporary playwrights. Thomas Dunne, ex-chief superintendent of the Dublin Metropolitan police looks back on his career built during the latter years of Queen Victoria''s empire, from his home in Baltinglass in Dublin in 1932. Like King Lear, Dunne tries valiantly to break free of history and himself. The Steward of Christendom took London by storm when it premiered at the Royal...

Customer Reviews

2 ratings


It's no surprise that this play, one of the finest I have ever seen, won considerable international acclaim. I would not hesitate to rank it among the top ten masterpieces of 20th century drama. Plays come and go, but this one, first produced at London's Royal Court in 1995, has all the hallmarks of a timeless treasure. It's drama, and poetry, full of unbelievably rich characterizations and history of Ireland's Time of Troubles. Thomas Dunne, the seventy-something Da, anchors the play firmly, though not exactly in the play's here and now, about 1932. Three of Da's four children have relegated him to an Irish county home, not for lack of love. No, Da's gone mad, as his effervescent lapses into the past make altogether real. He is not so mad, though, not to know the truth of things, and there is the beauty in this Lear-like drama. Play-lovers will melt on reading or hearing the final 15-minute soliloquy of this masterpiece. Da tells about a dog he had as a child, a dog his father did not want him to have, one that he brought home anyway."And I knew that dog and me were for slaughter. My feet carried me on to where he stood, immortal you would say in the door. And he put his right hand on the back of my head, and pulled me to him so that my cheek rested against the buckle of his belt...."And I would call that the mercy of fathers, when the love that lies in them deeply like the glittering face of a well is betrayed by an emergency, and the child sees at last that he is loved, loved and needed and not to be lived without, and greatly."That hint of the powerful closing, though, is just the beginning. For the play proves equally rich throughout. Alyssa A. Lappen

If you can't see the play, you should still read it.

This is a wonderful play. I saw it performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and was drawn in by the beauty of the language and the power of the story. It's quiet, at first; and then the drama of a man left behind by history gradually insinuates itself into your consciousness and your heart.
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