Henrik Ibsen, poet and playwright was born in Skein, Norway, in 1828. His creative work spanned 50 years, from 1849-1899, and included 25 plays and numerous poems. During his middle, romantic period (1840-1875), Ibsen wrote two important dramatic poems, Brand and Peer Gynt, while the period from 1875-1899 saw the creation of 11 realistic plays with contemporary settings, the most famous of which are A Doll's House, Ghosts, Hedda Gabler, and The Wild Duck. Henrik Ibsen died in Christiania (now Oslo), Norway in 1906.
With her assertion that she is 'first and foremost a human being', Nora Helmer sent shockwaves throughout Europe when she appeared in Ibsen's greatest and most famous play, A Doll's House. Depicting one woman's struggle to be treated as a rational human being, and not merely a wife, mother or fragile doll, the play changed the course of theatrical history and sparked debates worldwide about the roles of men and women in society. Ibsen's follow-up Ghosts was no less radical, with its unrelenting investigation into religious hypocrisy, family secrets and sexual double-dealing. These two masterpieces are accompanied here by The Pillars of Society and An Enemy of the People, both set in Norwegian coastal towns and exploring the tensions and dark compromises at the heart of society.
The new Penguin series of Ibsen's major plays offer the best available editions in English, under the general editorship of Tore Rem. All the plays have been freshly translated by the best modern translators and are based on the recently published, definitive Norwegian edition of Ibsen's works. They include new introductions and editorial apparatus by leading scholars.