Henry Arthur Jones and the Modern Drama

Henry Arthur Jones and the Modern Drama

Henry Arthur Jones and the Modern Drama

Henry Arthur Jones and the Modern Drama

Excerpt

There is a paradox in every man. It seems strange that Henry Arthur Jones, most earnest of pamphleteers, should have written for the theatre scenes and dialogues that sparkle with humor. One who saw on the stage The Liars would not believe its author had the temperament of an evangelist; one who read his serious discourses would not believe the speaker could write light comedy.

The last few years of his life were saddened by ill health and by the fading of his popularity. Neither Pinero nor Jones--the twin pillars of the temple in 1900--survived his reputation. Their contributions were too important and too lasting. But both survived the popularity of their plays. It was with poignant regret that Mr Jones, as an old man, remembered as he passed certain street-corners in London, that he used to see the queue forming in daylight to witness the coming performance of one of his plays.

Is one happier to have been the popular idol and in seclusion to remember the fact, or never to have had any public success at all? Possibly "a sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier things"; but to anyone like an actor, or a singer, or a playwright, who is . . .

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