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The Purgatory of Saint Patrick
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The Purgatory of Saint Patrick


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Two of the dramas contained in this volume are the most celebrated of
all Calderon's writings. The first, "La Vida es Sueno", has been translated
into many languages and performed with success on almost every
stage in Europe but that of England. So late as the winter of 1866-7, in
a Russian version, it drew crowded houses to the great theatre of
Moscow; while a few years earlier, as if to give a signal proof of the
reality of its title, and that Life was indeed a Dream, the Queen of
Sweden expired in the theatre of Stockholm during the performance of
"La Vida es Sueno". In England the play has been much studied for its
literary value and the exceeding beauty and lyrical sweetness of some
passages; but with the exception of a version by John Oxenford
published in "The Monthly Magazine" for 1842, which being in blank
verse does not represent the form of the original, no complete
translation into English has been attempted. Some scenes translated
with considerable elegance in the metre of the original were published
by Archbishop Trench in 1856; but these comprised only a portion of
the graver division of the drama. The present version of the entire play
has been made with the advantages which the author's long
experience in the study and interpretation of Calderon has enabled
him to apply to this master-piece of the great Spanish poet. All the
forms of verse have been preserved; while the closeness of the
translation may be inferred from the fact, that not only the whole play
but every speech and fragment of a speech are represented in English.

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File Last Updated:
March 14, 2009
This title was added to our catalog on March 14, 2009.