N.L.I. Acquires Rare Sean
By Julia Brodsky, Editorial Assistant
April / May 2016
At a special event this February, the National Library of Ireland (N.L.I.) celebrated the official arrival of a first draft manuscript of Sean O’Casey’s play Juno and the Paycock.
The manuscript, bought at auction, differs greatly from the published version of the play and contains handwritten drafts of Acts I and II, a list of characters, notes, and a plot synopsis by the author (pictured below).
The play, first produced in 1924 at the Abbey Theatre, is the second of O’Casey’s “Dublin trilogy” (the other two are The Shadow of a Gunman and The Plough and the Stars) and depicts the trials of the Boyles, a downtrodden urban family during Ireland’s Civil War.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys said: “The National Library plays such a fundamental role in preserving our country’s story and memory. . . .I’m delighted that this Seán O’Casey manuscript will now be added to its collection. ♦