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Guide to the David H. Greene Collection of Sean O'Casey Letters
1944 - 1962
 MSS.236

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Phone: (212) 998-2596
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Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Colin Wells

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on July 06, 2017
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator - aut: O'Casey, Sean, 1880-1964
Source: Greene, David H. (David Herbert), 1913-2008
Title: David H. Greene Collection of Sean O'Casey Letters
Dates [inclusive]: 1944-1962
Abstract: Sean O'Casey (1880-1964) was an Irish playwright and memoirist noted for his portrayal of the lives of Ireland's working class and poor. O'Casey is assoicated with Dublin's Abbey Theatre, and his significant plays include "The Shadow of a Gunman", "Juno and the Paycock", "The Plough and the Stars", "Cock-A-Doodle Dandy", and "The Bishop's Bonfire". Casey also produced a six-volume autobiography. This collection consists of letters written by O'Casey to David H. Greene, a leading scholar of Irish literature. Greene edited 1000 years of Irish Prose,  An Anthology of Irish Literature, and co-edited  The Matter with Ireland, a collection of writings from George Bernard Shaw. He also co-wrote the authorized biography of Irish dramatist John M. Synge. O'Casey and Greene met in the 1930s, and continued a friendship and correspondence until O'Casey's death in 1964.
Quantity: 0.2 Linear Feet (1 box)
Call Phrase: MSS.236

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Biographical Note

Sean O'Casey (1880-1964) was an Irish playwright and memoirist noted for his portrayal of the lives of Ireland's working class and poor. O'Casey was born in Dublin in 1880 and struggled in his early life with poverty and illness. He became involved in the Irish nationalist movement, was noted for his socialist and communist political beliefs, and was often critical of the Catholic Church. O'Casey's first significant success as a dramatist came with the acceptance and production of  The Shadow of a Gunman by the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1923. The Abbey Theatre would produce several of his subsequent plays, including  Juno and the Paycock, and  The Plough and the Stars, which caused riots after being criticized as anti-Irish. In 1926, O'Casey went to London on what was intended to be a short visit, but decided to remain in England as a result of disputes with the Abbey Theatre and several figures in the Irish literary community. He continued to write and produced several other notable dramatic works, including  Purple Dust,  Red Roses for Me,  Cock-A-Doodle Dandy, and  The Bishop's Bonfire. O'Casey also produced an autobiography that was released in six individual volumes from 1939 to 1954. Sean O'Casey is regarded as one of the leading Irish playwrights of the 20th Century. (1)

David H. Greene (1913-2008), was a leading scholar of Irish literature and professor at New York University. Greene edited  1000 years of Irish Prose,  An Anthology of Irish Literature, and co-edited  The Matter with Ireland, a collection of writings from George Bernard Shaw. He also co-wrote the authorized biography of Irish dramatist John M. Synge,  J.M. Synge, 1871-1909. O'Casey and Greene met in the 1930s while Greene was a graduate student at Harvard University, and continued a friendship and correspondence until O'Casey's death in 1964. (2)

Sources:
(1) daRin, Doris.  Sean O'Casey. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1976.
"Sean O'Casey, Irish Playwright, is Dead at 84."  New York Times, September 19, 1964. (2) Hevesi, Dennis. "David H. Greene, Scholar of Irish Literature, Dies at 94."  New York Times, July 13, 2008.

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Scope and Content note

The David H. Green Collection of Sean O'Casey Letters consists of one series containing correspondence primarily from Sean O'Casey to David H. Greene from 1944 to 1962. The letters contain comments by O'Casey on Irish literature, theater, and criticism, as well as discussions of his personal life. There are two letters written by Eileen O'Casey, Sean O'Casey's spouse, on his behalf while he was ill. In addition, there is one letter addressed to Catherine Greene, David Greene's spouse. A small number of letters include enclosures such as newspaper clippings and other correspondence.

Arrangement

Materials are arranged chronologically.

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Correspondence

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Greene, David H. (David Herbert), 1913-2008
  • O'Casey, Sean, 1880-1964

Subject Topics

  • O’Casey, Sean, -d 1880-1964 -- Correspondence.
  • Authors, Irish |y 20th century |v Correspondence
  • Abbey Theatre.
  • Dramatists, Irish -y 20th century -- Correspondence.
  • Irish literature |y 20th century.
  • Irish drama -- 20th century.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections, fales.library@nyu.edu, 212-998-2596.

Use Restrictions

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections, fales.library@nyu.edu, 212-998-2596.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); The David H. Greene Collection of Sean O'Casey Letters; MSS 236; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.

Provenance

The David H. Greene Collection of Sean O'Casey Letters were donated to the Fales Library in 2005 by David H. Greene from his personal papers .

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Container List

Series I: Correspondence

Scope and Content note

The series contains correspondence primarily from Sean O'Casey to David H. Greene from 1944 to 1962. The letters contain comments by O'Casey on Irish literature, theater, and criticism, as well as discussions of his personal life. There are two letters written by Eileen O'Casey, Sean O'Casey's spouse, on his behalf while he was ill. In addition, there is one letter addressed to Catherine Greene, David Greene's spouse. A small number of letters include enclosures such as newspaper clippings and other correspondence.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Autograph Correspondence
1944
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Autograph Correspondence
1945
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Autograph Correspondence
1947
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Autograph and Typescript Correspondence
1948
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Autograph Correspondence
1949
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Autograph Correspondence
1950
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Autograph and Typescript Correspondence
1951
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Typescript Correspondence
1952
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Autograph and Typescript Correspondence
1953
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Autograph and Typescript Correspondence
1954
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Autograph Correspondence
1955
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Autograph and Typescript Correspondence
1956
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Autograph and Typescript Correspondence
1957
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Typescript Correspondence
1958
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Autograph Correspondence
1959
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Autograph and Typescript Correspondence
1962

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