Michael Joseph Molloy (1917-1994) was born and died in Milltown, Co. Galway. He originally intended to join the priesthood but was struck down by tuberculosis. It was during the long periods he spent in the hospital that he started writing plays, having been inspired by a childhood visit to the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. His first play, Old Road, was produced at the Abbey in 1943, as were The Visiting House in 1946 and The King of Friday's Men in 1948. When the old theatre burned down and the company moved to the Queen's Theatre, his The Wood of the Whispering and The Paddy Pedlar were produced there, followed by The Will and the Way, The Right Rose Tree, and The Wooing of Duvesa. After the company's return to the rebuilt theatre in 1966 his plays—with their romantic plots and Syngean dialogue—did not find favor with the new Abbey, and, with the exception of Petticoat Loose in 1979, none of his later works were performed professionally.
This selection contains The King of Friday's Men, The Paddy Pedlar, The Wood of the Whispering, Daughter from Over the Water, Petticoat Loose, and the previously unpublished The Bachelor's Daughter. The volume includes a bibliographical checklist of Molloy's writings.
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