(Critical Survey of Literature, Revised Edition)

G. Martínez Sierra served an apprenticeship in the theater as an actor under Jacinto Benavente, a prominent Spanish playwright, ten years before he wrote any plays of his own. Though not his first written play, THE CRADLE SONG, CANCION DE CUNA in the original, was his first definite success in Madrid in 1911, in New York in 1921, in London in 1926, and again in New York in 1927, when Eva Le Gallienne brought it to her Civic Repertory Theater. Since that time it has been considered a success wherever it has been presented. Martínez Sierra’s wife, usually his collaborator, had more than her usual interest in this play because it was reminiscent of her home town, where her father was the convent doctor and where his sister, Sister Joanna of the Cross in the play, became a nun. The two acts of the play are divided by a poem covering a lapse of eighteen years. This is a play of laughter and tears, in which the stifling of the mother instinct is the theme before which the characters pale.