Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 212
Six of Hugh Leonard’s plays are collected in Selected Plays of Hugh Leonard (1992). The collection includes The Au Pair Man (1968), The Patrick Pearse Motel (1971), and Leonard’s most famous play, Da (1973).
Hugh Leonard’s first novel, Parnell and the Englishwoman (1991), is based on the life of Charles Stewart Parnell, who led the struggle for Irish home rule in the nineteenth century, and his romance with an English married woman, Kitty O’Shea.
George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion (1912) is one of his most popular. Its story of how a professor tries to pass off a flower girl as a lady is mirrored in The Au Pair Man. Leonard’s style is also frequently likened to Shaw’s, with both writers favoring brilliantly witty aphorisms that subvert the reader’s expectations. The play is available in a 1994 Dover publication.
William Butler Yeats is widely considered to be Ireland’s greatest poet. Many of his most memorable poems and four plays are collected in Selected Poems and Four Plays (1996), edited by M. I. Rosenthal. Subjects are the big ones, ranging from love, wisdom, and death to Ireland’s landscape and the passions ignited by Irish nationalism. Yeats’s use of language is often musical and incantatory and sometimes classically spare, but always powerful.
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