The plays in this volume range from the once shockingly realistic Ghosts (1881), "the play that launched a thousand ships of critical fury"; through The Wild Duck (1884) with its innovatory symbolism and its touching portrait of a fourteen-year-old girl held in thrall by her feckless father; to The Master Builder (1892), showing the semi-autobiographical relationship between an ageing genius and a dynamic young woman.
"Meyer's translations of Ibsen are a major fact in one's general sense of post-war drama. Their vital pace, their unforced insistence on the poetic center of Ibsen's genius, have beaten academic versions from the field."—George Steiner
"Crisp and cobweb-free, purged of verbal Victoriana."—Kenneth Tynan
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) is generally regarded as the father of modern theatre: "His influence on contemporaries and following generations, whether directly or indirectly ... can hardly be overestimated."—John Russell Taylor
The Master Builder is an 'elegiac late Ibsen play, with its central themes of youth and ageing, renewal and decay.' Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard (London), 17.9.10 'What does it profit a man if he conquers the world but fails to slay his own demons? Ibsen's The Master Builder, first published 14 years before his death in 1906, distils many of his preoccupations as a dramatist into their purest essence. It warns us that what we fear most and seek to avoid is the thing we are bound to confront. It reminds us that the most towering reputation can be built on the weakest foundation. It has the strangeness, simplicity and quiet terror, too, of a fairy tale.' Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph, 18.9.10 The Master Builder: 'Ibsen explores, in often devastating detail, the dark tragedy of betrayal, the consuming needs of sexual passion as well as the thorny crown of ambition' Daily Express - Paul Callan, 19.11.10 The Master Builder: 'A disturbing masterpiece' Guardian - Michael Billington, 19.11.10 The Master Builder: 'Weirdly gripping' Independent on Sunday - Kate Bassett, 21.11.10