Taking the Curtain Call: The Life and Letters of Henry Arthur Jones

By Doris Arthur Jones | Go to book overview

A LETTER

MY DEAR DORIS THORNE,

All good wishes to you in your task of writing the Life. I gather that you want to be judicial as well as filial. Assuredly that is what Henry Arthur would have liked you to be. In fact, without being judicial you can't be filial. A presentment of faultlessness is very lovely; but it has two drawbacks: it annoys, and it doesn't convince. Let Henry Arthur's faults be duly stressed, for his own sake and for ours. But--what were they? Off hand, I really couldn't say. I seem not to have noticed them, though I knew their possessor for almost forty years! I will continue this letter in the hope of finding them.

At the age of eighteen one is very observant, especially of a celebrated man whom one sees for the first time. Did I observe no faults in Mr. Jones on that morning in the autumn of 1890 when he sat in the drawing-room of The Grange, at Hampstead, reading to my brother, Herbert Tree, the crisp typescript of The Dancing Girl? He had ridden up from London, and his cord riding-breeches and lustrous riding-boots and spurs were certainly faultless, making the chintz armchair he sat on look very unworthy of his horsemanhood. Nor did Rotten Row occur to me as the right place for him. He Should have been charging and caracoling around his native county, Bucks. He was of rural aspect. His fresh pink complexion and very clear blue eyes, and the thrustfulness of his russet beard, were suggestive of nothing anywhere near the four-mile radius. Is great vitality, is an air of eager concentration, a fault? Then let it be granted that Henry Arthur was all wrong. Young though I was, I had heard two or three other plays

-vii-

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Taking the Curtain Call: The Life and Letters of Henry Arthur Jones
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • A Letter vii
  • Introduction xi
  • Contents xv
  • List of Illustrations xix
  • Part I- Early Life 1851-1882 1
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II 8
  • Chapter III 18
  • Chapter IV 26
  • Part II- Success 1882-1902 35
  • Chapter V 37
  • Chapter VI 51
  • Chapter VII 73
  • Chapter VIII 96
  • Chapter IX 132
  • Chapter X 150
  • Chapter XI 165
  • Part III- Later Years 1902-1929 181
  • Chapter XII 183
  • Chapter XIII 194
  • Chapter XIV 213
  • Chapter XVI 261
  • Chapter XVII 292
  • Chapter XVIII 320
  • Chapter XIX 337
  • Chapter XX 353
  • Appendix A- The Plays of Henry Arthur Jones 363
  • Appendix B- Writings and Speeches of Henry Arthur Jones 377
  • Appendix C Dramatic Technique Revealed by Dramatists 385
  • Index 391
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