Rose and Crown

bySean O’Casey. Macmillan, $4.73.

This is the fifth volume of an autobiography written in prose that is a continual enchantment in all of its keys — tender, caustic, sly, whimsical, passionate, lyrical, or savagely combative. O’Casey is probably without equal as a virtuoso of rhetoric. Certainly there is no voice in the least like his, with its Irish cadence, its Elizabethan brio, and its old-fashioned,
idealistic proletarian fervor. This son of the slums may still cherish illusions about the red star,”but what matters a great deal more is that the values he cherishes are those which the red star would extinguish.
The present volume brings him to London hi the twenties, where the sponsor of his new play shows off the “slum dramatist” to the elite. O’Casey writes about his marriage, his battle with the Abbey Theatre over The Silver Tassie; his conflicts with religious censorship in Ireland. There is a priceless encounter with Baldwin, a game of croquet with Yeats. And the story ends with a visit to the United States when Within the Cates was done on Broadway.