John Millington Synge’s Playboy of the Western World, first American edition, published by John W. Luce & Company, Boston (1911). A beautiful little book of under 100 pages, printed in large type on thick acid-free paper with a soft, quilted texture. Early performances of the play in both Ireland and the U.S. ended in rioting.
A week ago my son asked to see something “a hundred years old” and I handed him this. The Latin grammarian Terentianus Maurus wrote that books have their own destinies. I’ve owned this one for nearly twenty years but never guessed its destiny would include serving as an example of antiquity for a six-year-old boy.