Samuel Beckett Additional Biography


Samuel Barclay Beckett grew up in a suburb of Dublin, Ireland, a Protestant in a Catholic country and therefore something of an exile in his own land. He attended Trinity College in Dublin, where he discovered his talent for languages and studied English, French, and Italian. He taught for two terms at Campbell College in Belfast and then, in 1928, traveled to Paris, where he lectured in English at the ècole Normale Supèrieure. It was during this tenure that he met his countryman James Joyce. Beckett returned to Ireland to teach four terms at Trinity College, but, in 1932, after much consideration and anguish, he left the teaching profession for good, convinced that he could not survive as a writer in academe. For the next five years, he wandered through Europe, and, in 1937, he settled in Paris permanently. It was in Paris that Beckett died in 1989, at the age of eighty-three.

There were probably many reasons for Beckett’s self-imposed exile and for his decision to write in a language not his by birth, but surely one reason was the influence of Joyce, who recommended exile for artists. It would be difficult to overestimate the effect that Joyce had on Beckett’s life and work. In the late 1930’s, the younger Irishman was an intimate member of Joyce’s inner circle. He worked on a translation of Joyce’s “Anna Livia Plurabelle” into French, took dictation for his friend, wrote a critical study of Joyce’s writings, ran errands for the Irish...

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(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Samuel Beckett was born on April 13, 1906, in Foxrock, Ireland. His family was financially and socially comfortable, and his parents sent him to a good private school and then to a university, hoping that he would join the family firm of surveyors upon graduation. Beckett belonged to the “Anglo-Irish” wing of Irish society. He was not a Celt or a Roman Catholic; his family had come to Ireland in the seventeenth century, and the original family name was “Becquet,” his ancestors being French Huguenots, who fled religious persecution.

The Anglo-Irish contribution to Irish letters is considerable, the works of Jonathan Swift, for example, being a rich addition to Irish literature. Swift’s family came from England...

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(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Samuel Barclay Beckett was born at Foxrock, near Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 1906, the second son of Mary and William Beckett. In 1920, he was sent to Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, and in 1923, he proceeded to Trinity College, Dublin, to study Italian and French. After receiving his B.A. degree in 1927, he went to Belfast as a French tutor, then to the École Normale Supérieure in Paris as a lecturer for two years, a period during which he became acquainted with James Joyce. Beckett then became lecturer in French at Trinity College and studied for his M.A. After two years, he left for Germany and returned to Paris in 1932. Doing odd jobs and writing when he could, he traveled to London, through France and Germany. This trip...

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(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Samuel Barclay Beckett was born in Foxrock, a modestly affluent suburb of Dublin, Ireland. He gave Good Friday, April 13, 1906, as his birth date, but some convincing contrary evidence suggests that this particular day may have been chosen more for its significance than for its accuracy. His parents, William and Mary (May) Jones Roe, belonged to the Protestant middle class known as Anglo-Irish in Ireland. Beckett’s childhood, in contrast to the unpleasant imagery of many of his novels, was a relatively cheery one of genteel entertainment at the family home, Cooldrinagh, private education at Portora Royal School in county Fermanagh, and greater success on the cricket green than in the classroom.

Beckett matriculated to...

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(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

In 1906, Good Friday happened to fall on the thirteenth day of April, bringing religion and superstition into rare conjunction. Samuel Beckett, whose writings contain more than their share of both, favored that date when citing his birth, although several of his biographers and commentators suggest a more likely birthdate later in the spring, citing a midsummer baptismal certificate as evidence. In any event, Samuel Barclay Beckett was born in the “comfortable” Foxrock district of Dublin sometime during the first half of 1906, the second son of William Beckett, who had prospered as an estimator of construction costs, and the former Mary Roe. William Beckett, born in Ireland of French Huguenot stock, thus bequeathed to his sons...

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(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Although first expressed in the experimental fiction that he continued to write until his death, Samuel Beckett’s lyrical pessimism found its strongest and most memorable expression in his plays, which represent both a landmark and a turning point in the history of world drama. Notable for their accessibility despite an apparent complexity, Waiting for Godot, Endgame, and Krapp’s Last Tape remain in the worldwide dramatic repertory decades after they were first performed, challenging actors and audiences alike with their haunted, haunting humanity.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Samuel Barclay Beckett was the younger of two sons who were very close as children. The parents were loving and dutiful but demanding. Early in life, Beckett was active in sports, emulating his father. The family belonged to the Church of Ireland, but organized religion meant little to the future writer. He was sent to private schools in Dublin and, at age thirteen, to Portora Royal School, a Protestant boarding school in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.

In 1923, Beckett entered Trinity College, Dublin, where he majored in modern languages. He became interested and accomplished in academics for the first time in his life, achieving honors in Italian, French, and English.

Upon his graduation in 1927, he...

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Samuel Beckett was born near Dublin, Ireland, on April 13,1906. During his school years he was more interested in athletics than in...

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Samuel Beckett was born on April 13, 1906, in Foxrock, near Dublin, Ireland, to a middle-class Protestant family. Beckett was an active and...

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Samuel Barclay Beckett was born in Foxrock County, Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 1906. He was the second of two sons of a Protestant...

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Samuel Beckett Published by Gale Cengage

Samuel Barclay Beckett was born at Cooldrinagh (his family’s home) in Foxrock, a town in County Dublin, Ireland; although there is some...

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