Originally published in 1949, and reprinted as a paperback in 1965, this is an introduction to Strindberg's life and work. In the biographical chapters, Professor Downs reveals Strindberg's life of spiritual violence and tragedy and shows how the search to know and to become himself, to recognise in his own life the working of the supernatural, led him to the edge of madness and attempted suicide. Innumerable attempts to bend the supernatural to his will led to three disastrous marriages and in the end to a bitter solitude of suffering. In the second half, Miss Mortensen deals with the plays, the novels and the short stories, showing their impact on Swedish audiences and readers and estimating their place in European literature. The final two chapters deal with the directly autobiographical works, and Strindberg's poetry, criticism and correspondence.