PART OF A LONG STORY by Agnes Boulton


Email this review


As wife of Eugene O'Neill, during his most productive years, Agnes Boulton here shares the ecstasies, the agonies, the torturing doubts of that strange love story. Chiefly it is important for casting light into the darkness of the period when the Provincetown theatre was in its early creative days, when O'Neill's lie was produced, and In the Zone when Beyond the Horizon hung fire, waiting for the Barrymore brothers to be free to do it, when Anna Christie was in a period of gestation, and The Moon of the Caribee; and The Straw were completed and he won his first Pulitzer. It was the time when his ""lost weekends"" demanded long periods of recovery -- and a strange, sadistic unknown took over. It was the time when he demanded seclusion- almost to the point of morbidity, for the two of them, and she pushed aside her family, the girl child she scarcely knew, and put Gene and his needs first. It was a time when finances were precarious and uncertainly torturing. But it was, too, the time of their greatest happiness, of radiant sun and sea washed days at Provincetown, of the sordid back rooms and bars of Greenwich Village- and the temptations they afforded pushed behind them. It is a strange book; but then he was a strange man, a genius who made his own hell on earth. This ""part of a long story"" ends in the '20's with the birth of their son, Shane. At times there are moments of superb writing- steeped in the O'Neill reflected magic. At other times it seems disorganized, erratic, strained. Possibly this will capture the periphery of the current O'Neill revival.

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 1958
ISBN: 1163812803
Publisher: Doubleday