Three Plays: Juno and the Paycock / the Shadow of a Gunman / the Plow and the Stars
Sean O'Casey was born in 1880 and lived through a bitterly hard boyhood in a Dublin tenement house.
He never went to school but received most of his education in the streets of Dublin, and taught himself to read at the age of fourteen.
He was successively a newspaper-seller, docker, stone-breaker, railway-worker and builders' labourer.
In 1913 he helped to organise the Irish Citizen Army which fought in the streets of Dublin, and at the same time he was learning his dramatic technique by reading Shakespeare and watching the plays of Dion Boucicault.
His early works were performed at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, and Lady Gregory made him welcome at Coole, but disagreement followed and after visiting America in the late thirties O'Casey settled in Devonshire.
He lived there until his death in 1964, though still drawing the themes of many of his plays from the life he knew so well on the banks of the Liffey.
Out of the ceaseless dramatic experimenting in his plays O'Casey created a flamboyance and versatility that sustain the impression of bigness of mind that is inseparable from his tragi-comic vision of life.