The plays of María Martínez Sierra were popular in Spain, South America and in translation on Broadway and London's West End in the first half of the 20th century but they were thought to be written by her husband, the celebrated director and playwright Gregorio Martínez Sierra. After his death, the authorship of his work was revealed to be that of María, making her one of the most important playwrights of her time.
This edited collection features three plays by María Martínez Sierra, translated by Helen and Harley Granville-Barker, along with an introduction by Patricia O'Connor, University of Cincinnati, US, which examines María's extraordinary life and work, and the battle for her authorship to be recognized in both the Spanish-speaking and anglophone world. This volume focuses on plays centred on strong women; and each is translated by the eminent man of theatre Harley Granville-Barker and his wife, Helen, whose own story holds stark parallels to Maria's in terms of authorship. The collection is edited by playwright Richard Nelson and Professor Colin Chambers, who contribute an essay on the translation work of the Granville-Barkers.
The plays are: The Kingdom of God (1928); The Romantic Young Lady (1920) and Take Two From One (1931).
María Martínez Sierra: A Great Playwright Hidden in Plain Sight recognizes María de la O Lejárraga García, to use her birth name, as one of the most important female playwrights, not just in Spain, but globally, in the first half of the 20th century.
María de la O Lejárraga García (1874 - 1974), usually known as María Martínez Sierra, was a Spanish writer, dramatist, translator and politician.
Richard Nelson, a major US playwright, is the recipient of the PEN/Laura Pels Master Playwright Award and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and is an Honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Emeritus Professor Colin Chambers, former RSC Literary Manager, has written extensively on the theatre and, as an editor, is known for The Companion to 20th Century Theatre. Together, they edited Granville Barker on Theatre (Bloomsbury Methuen).
Emerita Professor Patricia O'Connor, renowned expert on Maria Martinez Sierra, critic and translator, launched Spanish theatre journal Estreno in 1975 and served as editor for 17 years; books include Gregorio y Maria Martinez Sierra: Cronica De Una Colaboracion (1987) and Mito y realidad de una dramaturga española: María Martínez Sierra (2003)