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Cover for The Road to the Temple

The Road to the Temple

A Biography of George Cram Cook

Susan Glaspell


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Eugene O' Neill is one of America's most celebrated playwrights, but relatively few Americans know the name of the man who essentially gave O' Neill his first chance at greatness: George Cram Jig Cook, one of America's most colorful and original thinkers and the founder of the Provincetown Players, the first company to stage O'Neill. Cook's story, with all its hopes, dreams, and disappointments, is told in The Road to the Temple. First published in 1927 in the United States and reprinted in 1941, this biography is the work of Cook's third wife, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Susan Glaspell, It traces Cook's lifelong search for self, a search that took him from his birthplace in Davenport, Iowa, to New York to Delphi; from university teaching and truck farming, to the Provincetown Players, to the antiquity of Greece. Part of Jig's story is told by excerpts from his journals, pictures, poetry, and fiction. Interwoven with narrative flashbacks, these entries concerning his day-to-day activities as well as his thoughts and feelings bring him to life for the reader. In addition, Glaspell offers finely crafted portraits of the American Midwest in the late nineteenth century; a vivid picture of Greenwich Village between 1910 and 1920; and a moving and lyrical account of the life she and Jig lived in Greece, where Jig died on January 11, 1924. A compelling combination of biography and autobiography, this volume presents a unique and personal picture of a fascinating American original.

McFarland & Company, 9780786420841, 356pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2005

About the Author

The late Susan Glaspell was a leading modern American woman playwright. Linda Ben-Zvi is professor Emerita from Tel Aviv University and Colorado State University in theatre and English.