It is 1936 and A. E. Housman is being ferried across the river Styx, glad to be dead at last. His memories are dramatically alive. The river that flows through Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love connects Hades with the Oxford of Housman's youth: High Victorian morality is under siege from the Aesthetic movement, and an Irish student called Wilde is preparing to burst onto the London scene.
On his journey the scholar and poet who is now the elder Housman confronts his younger self, and the memories of the man he loved his entire life, Moses Jackson-the handsome athlete who could not return his feelings. As if a dream, The Invention of Love inhabits Housman's imagination, illuminating both the pain of hopeless love and passion displaced into poetry and the study of classical texts. The author of A Shropshire Lad lived almost invisibly in the shadow of the flamboyant Oscar Wilde, and died old and venerated-but whose passion was truly the fatal one?
"Vintage Stoppard in its intelligence and wit."-Matt Wolf, Variety
"Tom Stoppard at his best; manipulative, inquisitive, irresistible . . . a master at work."-Sunday Times (London)
"So beautifully constructed that the playwright seems to be discovering his play only one jump ahead of the audience. It has that sense of surprise and wonder."-Vincent Canby, The New York Times
"A magical memory play which meanders like an elaborate dream . . . Stoppard has been inspired to write the most emotionally powerful and enthralling play of his career. Never before has he written with such exciting eloquence."-Nicholas de Jongh, Evening Standard
"Some of the finest, most passionate, and most disarmingly brilliant dramatic writing that he has given us."-Alastair Macaulay, The Financial Times
Tom Stoppard is the author of such seminal works as Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Arcadia, The Real Thing, Travesties, Every Good Boy Deserves Favor, and The Real Inspector Hound.
Tom Stoppard's work includes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Real Inspector Hound, Jumpers, Travesties, Night and Day, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, After Magritte, Dirty Linen, The Real Thing, Hapgood, Arcadia, Indian Ink, The Invention of Love, the trilogy The Coast of Utopia and Rock 'n' Roll. His radio plays include If You're Glad I'll Be Frank, Albert's Bridge, Where Are They Now?, Artist Descending a Staircase, The Dog It Was That Died, In the Native State and Darkside (incorporating Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon). Television work includes Professional Foul, Squaring the Circle and Parade's End. His film credits include Empire of the Sun, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which he also directed, Shakespeare in Love, Enigma and Anna Karenina. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
And speaking of scholar-poets.... In the first minutes of Tom Stoppard's play THE INVENTION OF LOVE, Charon, the ferryman of the River Styx, has been sent to meet a scholar and a... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Glenn J. Shea
Such a good play. I didn't understand many of the references on the first readthrough, but Stoppard wrote well enough that I had to go back and try to see what everything meant. Read morePublished 7 months ago by wibblywobblytimeywimey
In spite of being a seriously scholarly book, Yalom's wit and elegance dominate the deep knowledge the book conveys. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Tamar March
As a fan of A.E. Housman's poetry and criticism I really should have read this play sooner. I look forward to seeing it live, but until then it is excellent Stoppard dealing with... Read morePublished on April 30, 2013 by T. Rex
"My life was not short enough for me to not do the things I wanted to not do, but they were few and the jackals will find it hard scavenging. Read morePublished on March 9, 2013 by Brady Kiesling
Tom Stoppard's the Invention of Love is a rich, complex and sometimes difficult play chronicling the life of poet and translator A.E. Read morePublished on October 1, 2009 by Danny C. Johnson
If you've already read 3 or 4 Stoppard plays (& liked them), this may be a good play to read next. When I saw the (stunning) Broadway production, I realized why I hadn't liked the... Read morePublished on September 7, 2004 by allthatfall
I like this play because it blends the aesthetic with the dramatic. It's aesthetic because it discusses the great works of literature with the great writers and critics of that... Read morePublished on January 15, 2002 by Walker E. Rowe III