J.M. Synge, one of the greatest English language playwrites of the 20th century, immortalized the Aran Islands and its people with vivid written portraits that are among the greatest in modern literature. Synge’s vibrant language and earthy themes breathtakingly capture the folklore and way of life that has since perished on these remote northern islands. As an aspiring writer in 1897, Synge was commanded by William Butler Yeats to, "Go to the Aran Islands. Live there as one of the people themselves; express a life that has never found expression." Synge captures his first four visits to the islands in this magical book. However, their influence continued to permeate his work, including The Playboy of the Western World. Filled with the exuberant energy of an artist coming into his own, The Aran Islands provides an unforgettable look at a land that holds Ireland’s ancestral language, culture and uncorrupted heart. Synge’s lyrical glimpses into the past, coupled with Donal Donnelly’s rich, lilting voice transports listeners to these tiny Emerald Islands.
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