Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
An Enemy of the People

An Enemy of the People

A New Version by Christopher Hampton

Henrik Ibsen; From a Literal Translation by Christopher Hampton

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Trade Paperback

An Enemy of the People concerns the actions of Doctor Thomas Stockmann, a medical officer charged with inspecting the public baths on which the prosperity of his native town depends. He finds the water to be contaminated. When he refuses to be silenced, he is declared an enemy of the people. Stockmann served as a spokesman for Ibsen, who felt that his plays gave a true, if not always palatable, picture of life and that truth was more important than critical approbation.

Praise for An Enemy of the People

“An unequivocal triumph.” —Times Literary Supplement (London)

“Christopher Hampton's new version of the text is also a revelation . . . An Enemy of the People has been reborn as a passionate current debate about the value of the individual . . . The dust has been blown off the original text, and it will not settle for a long time . . . There is a vitality, vehemence and victory here against the odds.” —Spectator (London)

“More than any revival of Ibsen's plays I've seen, it creates a sense of place vital to the theme . . . An Enemy of the People is little short of superb, for it gives us both a big, rich, public play and the private drama of two men locked in rivalry that probably goes back to the playpen . . . You want an unforgettable picture of the idealist at his most necessary yet impossible? Here it is.” —The Times (London)


Reviews from Goodreads

Henrik Ibsen; From a Literal Translation by Christopher Hampton

Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen was born in 1828. His plays include Peer Gynt (1867), A Doll's House (1879), Ghosts (1881), An Enemy of the People (1882), Hedda Gabler (1890), and The Master Builder (1892). He died in 1906.

Christopher Hampton was born in the Azores in 1946. He wrote his first play, When Did You Last See My Mother?, at the age of eighteen. His many works for the theatre, television and cinema include The Philanthropist, translations of Yasmina Reza's Art, Life x 3, and The Unexpected Man, his adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Laclos, translations from Ibsen and Molière, and the screenplays Dangerous Liaisons, Carrington, and The Secret Agent.

Henrik Ibsen

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Latest on Facebook