The four plays in this volume, written late in Ibsen's career as a dramatist, move away from his earlier preoccupation with people at odds with society to instead explore the inward struggle with their own thoughts, feelings and dreams. "The Master Builder" (1892) depicts a powerful man whose illusions collapse in the face of a young woman's courageous common sense. In "Rosmersholm" (1886), an idealist is forced to question his beliefs and confront terrible truths about the past, while "Little Eyolf" (1894) portrays a man's self-deception, which brings both tragic repercussions for his family and new hope for their future. And in "John Gabriel Borkman" (1896), a dying woman returns to reclaim the affections and loyalty of her nephew, resulting in a bitter struggle with her sister.
Henrik Ibsen was born at Skien in Norway in 1828. He was one of the earliest writers to dramatise the individual's alienation from society. Although never fully appreciated during his lifetime, he has since come to be recognised as one of the greatest dramatists and the 'Father of Modern Drama'. Translated by Una Ellis-Fermor