By Denis Jordan
This little tale is all about snobbery, and was told by Sean O’Casey himself in part two of his autobiography. He refers to himself throughout in the third person as ‘he’, no doubt because the first person sounds too egotistical, the second person sounds rude unless you use the poetic ‘thou’, and the third person makes it easy to distance to distance yourself from any glaring errors.
Sean had found some fame in Ireland, but no fortune, so he had gone over to America, called The New Island by some Gaelic speakers, to mend his ways and means.
He was almost penniless, so even this sally-port would have been beyond his means had it not been for the kindness of Lord and Lady Londonderry, who had given a guarantee to his bank for two hundred pounds.
The guarantee had not been called-in, as his expedition proved successful, so now Sean was back home and his pockets bulging with American dollars. Home in this case was London.
Sean and his wife, Eileen, had rented a five-room flat in Battersea, an area still not up to Chelsea standards, so that all the permanent residents had disguised their snobby shame by identifying the postal address simply as London, S.W.11.
Sean of course was not a snob, being Irish, but he was cute enough to know that third person singular could never be brought to Court for anything, as that would be hearsay.