“None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.” –Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Eugene O’Neill, Connecticut’s Born Playwright
Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953) was a US playwright in the early to mid-20th century who was born in New York, the son of an actor, and summered as a child in an 1840s cottage in New London, Connecticut. The family home of these early seasons in his life, which he also developed as an autobiographical setting for some of his writing, is called the “Monte Cristo Cottage.”
O’Neill’s life had many personal, emotional, and physical challenges, and the depth of his thought throughout his youth and adult years poured into his plays, which consistently addressed the pains of the human condition.
Eugene O’Neill won a Nobel Prize for Literature, four Pulitzer Prizes, and a legacy of prestigious literary and theater awards and programs in his name, to the credit of the renowned Eugene O’Neill Theater Center at 305 Great Neck Road in Waterford.
His works include: Beyond the Horizon (1920), Anna Christie (1922), Desire Under the Elms (1924), Strange Interlude (1928), Mourning Becomes Electra (1931), The Iceman Cometh (1946), and posthumously Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1957).
Monte Cristo Cottage
The home, a National Historic Landmark, is open to the public on an appointment-only basis. It is located at 325 Pequot Avenue. Read about the house here: https://www.theoneill.org/mcc. According to this website, “Situated in New London, Connecticut, the Monte Cristo Cottage is the boyhood summer home of Eugene O’Neill, America’s only Nobel Prize-winning playwright. The 1840s cottage is named in honor of Eugene O’Neill’s father, the actor James O’Neill, and his most popular role as Edmond Dantès in The Count of Monte Cristo.”
Watch a video about it on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/LtY_Jnm9hfg.
More to See
Fans of Eugene O’Neill often pilgrimage to his stately California home above the spectacular Pacific Ocean shoreline in Central California. It is operated by the National Park Service. Read more about it here: https://www.nps.gov/euon/index.htm.
Monte Cristo Cottage is the third stop of the coastline part of the Connecticut Author Adventures Trail.