Representative Plays - Vol. 3

Representative Plays - Vol. 3

Representative Plays - Vol. 3

Representative Plays - Vol. 3

Excerpt

It was at the outset of the eighteen-nineties that the mighty influence of Ibsen first made itself felt as a factor in the Renascence of the English Drama; but Henry Arthur Jones was less affected by it than any other English playwright of the time. Very early in his career -- in 1884, to be exact -- Mr. Jones, assisted in this nefarious task by Henry Herman, had made an adaptation of "A Doll's House ", entitled "Breaking a Butterfly", in which the play was given a happy I ending; but for this offence he made a manly apology in 1896, in his introduction to the English translation of Augustin Filon "The English Stage", wherein he said:

"When I came up to London sixteen years ago, to try for a place among English playwrights, a rough translation from the German version of 'The Doll's House' was put into my hands, and I was told that, if it could be turned into a sympathetic play, a ready opening would be found for it on the London boards. I knew nothing of Ibsen, but I knew a great deal of Robertson and H. J. Byron. From these circumstances came the adaptation called 'Breaking a Butterfly.' I pray it may be forgotten from this time, or remembered only with leniency amongst other transgressions of my dramatic youth and ignorance."

But, if Mr. Jones was not profoundly impressed by " A Doll's House " in the early eighteen-eighties, neither was he appreciably influenced by the Ibsen . . .

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