Tom Stoppard’s Czech Roots

Playwright Tom Stoppard left Czechoslovakia 68 years ago. “He has said that he is ‘English now’ but that at some level he has never stopped also being Czech. His mother’s death a few years ago may have subtly freed Stoppard to explore himself for traces of his origins. But no sudden self-discovery led to this play. It seems to have been prompted by reflecting on his friend Vaclav Havel’s moral and philosophical writings, and by reading about the background to the Czech ‘Chartist’ dissidents in the 1970s.”