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Baby Doll and Other Plays (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Tennessee Williams
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Book Description

5 Mar 2009 Penguin Modern Classics
Tennessee Williams's controversial Hollywood screenplay Baby Doll opens with Archie Lee's teenage bride driving him to distraction, as she has refused to consummate their marriage until the day of her twentieth birthday. Enter wily Sicilian Silva Vaccaro, Archie's rival both in the cotton business and for the affections of the flirtatious Baby Doll, and things reach breaking-point. This volume also contains Something Unspoken, a brilliantly comic study of a wealthy, manipulative Southern spinster, and Summer and Smoke, a sexually charged portrayal of Alma, a sensitive, unmarried minister's daughter, and her childhood love, the wild, sensual doctor's son John.

Frequently Bought Together

Baby Doll and Other Plays (Penguin Modern Classics) + Suddenly Last Summer and Other Plays (Penguin Modern Classics) + The Rose Tattoo and Other Plays: "Camino Real","Orpheus Descending" (Penguin Modern Classics)
Price For All Three: 31.75

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (5 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141190299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141190297
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 12.8 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 570,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tennessee Williams was born in 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi, where his grandfather was the episcopal clergyman. When his father, a travelling salesman, moved with his family to St Louis some years later, both he and his sister found it impossible to settle down to city life. He entered college during the Depression and left after a couple of years to take a clerical job in a shoe company. He stayed there for two years, spending the evenings writing. He entered the University of Iowa in 1938 and completed his course, at the same time holding a large number of part-time jobs of great diversity. He received a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1940 for his play Battle of Angels, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 and 1955. Among his many other plays Penguin have published The Glass Menagerie (1944), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Summer and Smoke (1948), The Rose Tattoo (1951), Camino Real (1953), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), Orpheus Descending (1957), Sweet Bird of Youth (1959), Period of Adjustment (1960), The Night of the Iguana (1961), The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1963; revised 1964) and Small Craft Warnings (1972). Tennessee Williams died in 1983.

Image reproduced Courtesy of New Directions Pubilshing.



Product Description

About the Author

Tennessee Williams was born in 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi, where his grandfather was the episcopal clergyman. When his father, a travelling salesman, moved with his family to St Louis some years later, both he and his sister found it impossible to settle down to city life. He entered college during the Depression and left after a couple of years to take a clerical job in a shoe company. He stayed there for two years, spending the evenings writing. He entered the University of Iowa in 1938 and completed his course, at the same time holding a large number of part-time jobs of great diversity. He received a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1940 for his play Battle of Angels, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 and 1955. Among his many other plays Penguin have published The Glass Menagerie (1944), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Summer and Smoke (1948), The Rose Tattoo (1951), Camino Real (1953), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), Orpheus Descending (1957), Sweet Bird of Youth (1959), Period of Adjustment (1960), The Night of the Iguana (1961), The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1963; revised 1964) and Small Craft Warnings (1972).

Tennessee Williams died in 1983.


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The kid's a killer 31 Jan 2003
Format:Paperback
One could be forgiven for dismissing this collection of plays as 'typical Williams territory', as he once again conjures up the faded beauty of southern USA in the early part of the last century. To paraphrase John Osborne (Whom I quoted from the review title), Baby Doll's charms are lethal. 'Baby Doll', the first play in the collection, describes the troubled relationship between failing cotton merchant Archie Lee and his teenaged bride, nicknamed 'Baby doll', as though apparently innocent and vulnerable, she proves adept at manipulating her husband, playing him off against his business rival, the smooth sicilian Di Silva. Williams demonstrates a brilliant understanding of human nature and female behaviour, commenting on issues of great sociological relevance. The version in this book is taken from the screenplay, but William's detailed directorial notes are in some ways more descriptive than stage directions.
The theme of manipulation is also explored in 'Somethng unspoken'- a short piece of drama that was intended to run with 'suddenly last summer'. In 'Something Unspoken' the action does not move from an aging matriach's parlour, yet depicts the superficial world inhabited by thirties' southern belles, exposing the insecurities and faded hope that lie beneath them.
"Suddenly last summer" is, I feel, one of William's best works, recounting how the almost incestuous love a mother has for her son to push her to jealousy and vindication. William's gift lies in creating characters so believable that their most terrible acts can have some kind of reason behind them, and yet I felt a deep sympathy for Catherine, the victim of her aunt's jealousy. Despite the violence that exists within each play, the fading hope leading to absolute despair, the poetry within Williams' language lends his play an indescribable beauty. If you enjoyed this collection of plays, I would recomend 'Cat on a hot tin Roof', 'Camino Real' and 'The milk train doesn't stop here anymore'.
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