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J.M. Synge was a tireless traveller who, while celebrating the beauties of the Irish landscape, never flinched from describing the harsh, unromantic reality of rural life.
Capturing the embers of a dying culture, the great playwright walks, drinks and talks with a rich assortment of country people, offering unforgettable descriptions of the Puck Fair at Killorglin and horse-racing on the strand near Dingle, of remote cottages and isolated fishing villages. Seamus Heaney wrote of Synge in 'Glanmore Eclogue' that he
Was never happier than when he was on the road
With people on their uppers. Loneliness
Was his passport through the world. Midge-angels
On the face of water, the first drop before thunder...
His spirit lives for me in things like that.
Synge's wandering spirit, as well as the farmers and tinkers, weavers and boat-builders he befriended, live on in these pages, which cannot fail to delight anyone who loves Ireland and her literature.