Henry Arthur Jones - Encyclopedia




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HENRY ARTHUR JONES (1851-), English dramatist, was born at Grandborough, Buckinghamshire, on the 28th of September 1851 the son of Silvanus Jones, a farmer. He began to earn his living early, his spare time being given to literary pursuits. He was twenty-seven before his first piece, Only Round the Corner, was produced at the Exeter Theatre, but within four years of his debut as a dramatist he scored a great success by The Silver King (November 1882), written with Henry Herman, a melodrama produced by Wilson Barrett at the Princess's Theatre. Its financial success enabled the author to write a play "to please himself." Saints and Sinners (1884), which ran for two hundred nights, placed on the stage a picture of middle-class life and religion in a country town, and the introduction of the religious element raised considerable outcry. The author defended himself in an article published in the Nineteenth Century (January 1885), taking for his starting-point a quotation from the preface to Moliere's Tartuffe. His next serious piece was The Middleman (1889), followed by Judah (1890), both powerful plays, which established his reputation. Later plays were The Dancing Girl (1891), The Crusaders (1891), The Bauble Shop (1893), The Tempter (1893), The Masqueraders (1894), The Case of Rebellious Susan (1894), The Triumph of the Philistines (1895), Michael and his Lost Angel (1896), The Rogue's Comedy (1896), The Physician (1897), The Liars (1897), Carnac Sahib (1899), The Manoeuvres of Jane (1899), The Lackeys' Carnival (1900), Mrs Dane's Defence (1900), The Princess's Nose (1902), Chance the Idol (1902), Whitewashing Julia (1903), Joseph Entangled (1904), The Chevalier (1904), &c. A uniform edition of his plays began to be issued in 1891; and his own views of dramatic art have been expressed from time to time in lectures and essays, collected in 1895 as The Renascence of the English Drama.

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