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

By Doris Arthur Jones | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II

AT twelve years old, Henry Arthur began to earn his living. At the end of his life it was his proud boast that he had never borrowed a farthing from any man.

His father had often talked of sending Henry to Oxford, as he showed so much ability in his school work; but, instead, "when I was twelve and a quarter, he packed me off to his brother, the deacon of a Baptist chapel, who kept a shop at Ramsgate. I never had a day's schooling afterwards, and I consider this to have been a great advantage. I was able to educate myself in my own way and at my own expense, by keeping up a constant and loving acquaintance with the English classics, and with some of the French and German masterpieces; by a close study of social and political economy; and by extensive foragings among the sciences."

When he first left home. his father said that if he liked to be a teetotaler for three years, he'd give him five pounds at the end of that time. H. A. J., in recounting this, added, "That was a good thing for me. He was a fine man in spite of his faults."

His uncle kept a draper's shop in Harbour Street, Ramsgate. Henry Arthur loathed and hated the work, and loathed and hated his uncle. I do not think he minded very much working fourteen hours a day, seventeen on Saturdays, for a salary of £20 a year, but he could not bear the drab monotony of his life. He longed to get away from it. It was while he was at Ramsgate that he started writing odd snatches of poems and stories in the very few leisure hours he had to himself--I imagine mostly on Sunday afternoons.

-8-

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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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