Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen, 1929 Doubleday edition illustrated by Elizabeth MacKinstry.


Written by Peer Gynt. Illustrated by Elizabeth MacKinstry. First edition thus, 1929. Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc. Garden City, New York.

Scene I

(Scene. - The wooded mountain-side near AASE's farm, with a strea rushing past. On the farther bank stands an old mill. It is a hot summer's day. Peer Gynt, a sturdy youth of twenty, comes down the path, followed by his mother AASE, who is short and slight. She is scolding him angrily.)

"Peer, you're lying!

Peer Gynt (without stopping)
No, I'm not!

Well then, will you swear it's true?

Peer Gynt
Swear? Why should I?

Ah, you daren't!
Your whole tale's a pack of lies!"

In five acts, the feckless Peer Gynt spends his youth in a series of misadventures, chasing dreams of becoming a hero. He travels the world, encountering trolls, princesses, shipwrecks, and exotic lands. All end in disaster. He even woos a sweetheart, dumps her, then turns around and abducts her at her wedding, only to return her. As the faithful Solveig waits for him at home. Peer Gynt evenually returns home to Norway, and to Solveig, old and bruised, but redeemed.

Front Flap:

"From the moment that Peer, the sturdy, wild young romancer goes to his sweetheart's wedding and carries away the bride to the end of his pilgrimmage in quest of himself, the fantasy is a succession of pictures. But it is not physical adventures which concerns the artist. [MacKinstry], like Ibsen, is seeking to trace Peer's spiritual odyssey. The brown-horned woman with her startled eyes, Peer's thought child, Anitra, and above all the button moulder, Miss MacKinstry visualizes with a wicked exultation equal to that of Ibsen's own unleashed imagination."

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) was a Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of modernism in theatre and one of the most influential dramatists of the 19th century. His plays, such as A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, and The Wild Duck, explored the moral and social issues of his time with realism and penetrating dialogue. He wrote in Dano-Norwegian and lived for 27 years in Italy and Germany. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature three times and left a lasting legacy on world literature.

Elizabeth MacKinstry (1878 - 1956) was an American poet, illustrator, and sculptor. She studied with the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin in Paris and later worked as an artist and art teacher in Buffalo, New York. She moved to New York City in the 1920s and became a prolific illustrator of children's books, such as The Fairy Alphabet and Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen. She also created costume designs, decorations, and illustrations for local theater groups. She donated her collection of illustrated books to the Lenox Library in Massachusetts, where she spent her later years.
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Condition: Very Good/Good. Dust jacket: Darkening along the spine; two-toned paper (outer jacket a darker white than front and back flaps) with moderate soiling from handling, front and back; light shelf wear along lower edge; crease along upper edge, on the front, with chipping near the spine and small open tear in the top right corner; small closed tear on the back, lower edge; small open tear on the spine, small chip at the tail. Green quarter-bound cover boards with yellow paste down. Pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.

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