Personally, the 1980s were stable years for Arthur Miller. Sixty-five when the decade began, Miller had long since established himself as a, if not the, major figure in the American theatre. Having returned to playwriting in 1964 with After the Fall, a play that may well have helped him come to terms with his first two marriages and the suicide of his second wife, Marilyn Monroe, the Miller of the 1980s shared a comfortable life in Roxbury, Connecticut, with his third wife, Inge Morath, a professional photographer who co-produced three handsome travel accounts with her husband: In Russia (1969), In the Country (1977), and Chinese Encounters (1979).
Miller had purchased the Roxbury farm during his marriage to Monroe, but he seldom used the residence until he married Morath. By the 1980s, the couple had raised a daughter there and sent the young Rebecca to Yale. Miller, who, like Willy Loman, longed to work with his hands, found the eighteenth-century frame house a hospitable setting for his hobby, which, since the age of six, was carpentry. Relaxed in his Roxbury home (and only moderately disrupted by a 1983 fi re that claimed a portion of it, including his best books), Miller dedicated many hours to drafting and redrafting the copious manuscripts of the last thirty years. In the 1980s, colleagues and interviewers reported that the gentleman farmer/carpenter/writer/husband/ father was personally content.