New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1917. — 305 p.is considered by some to be one of the great Russian storytellers, metaphorically standing beside by the likes of Ivan Turgenev, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Leo Tolstoy. While these famed authors detailed the lives of Russian nobility, Ostrovsky tackled the stories of the commoners, the homespun merchants, and the Russian masses.’’Plays’’ is a collection of four of Ostrovsky's most notable works, presented here with a detailed introduction written by editor Noyes. ’’A Protégée of the Mistress’’, an 1858 work that was once banned from Imperial theatres, is an examination of serfdom and the hardships it brings to the Russian people. ’’Poverty is No Crime’’, written in 1854, tells the story of a poor apprentice (the story's hero) and a wealthy manufacturer (the villain), and showcases Ostrovsky writing with a more upbeat tone than in other works. ’’Sin and Sorrow are Common to All’’, written in 1863, is a gloomy examination of the conflict between two classes, the tradesmen and the nobility, and is perhaps one of Ostrovsky's most tragic works. The final play in this collection, ’’It's a Family Affair — We'll Settle it Ourselves’’, is actually the first major work of Ostrovsky, written in 1849, and differing in tone from much of his other work. Family Affair is a comedy that was banned from the stage for its portrayal of the Russian merchant class. It is this work that gained Ostrovsky the notoriety he was afforded throughout this care er.Plays is an excellent introduction to the work of Alex Ostrovsky, presenting four works of one of the most influential Russian writers and commentators. It is a must read for both those familiar with the author's work and those coming upon it for the first time.Contents. A Protégée of the Mistress. Poverty Is No Crime. Sin and Sorrow Are Common to All. It’s a Family Affair — We’ll Settle It Ourselves.
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