Henry Arthur Jones and the Modern Drama

By Richard A. Cordell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
THE RENASCENCE OF THE ENGLISH DRAMA

It must not be forgotten that ever since the success of The Silver King, in 1882, Jones had been tirelessly working for a freer theatre, a more general recognition of drama as literature, a national theatre, abolition of the censorship, copyright reform, revival of the old practice of printing plays, in general for a more intelligent and sympathetic view of the drama. Henry Arthur Jones was ever a fighter and enjoyed nothing more than battling for his chosen art. He was the knight errant of the dramatic renascence, a "Cyrano in whiskers", a phlegmatic observer termed him. Through speeches and articles in the press he flayed the public for its apathy towards the great dramatic revival and its predilection for tomfoolery and the inanities of musical comedy. He subjected himself to easy ridicule by propounding ideals he himself could not attain. In 1895 he published a collection of speeches and articles under the bold title The Renascence of the English Drama, the most important volume of dramatic criticism since the studies of the older English drama by Coleridge, Lamb, and Hazlitt. Until Shaw began publishing his plays with their critical prefaces and his

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Henry Arthur Jones and the Modern Drama
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Prefatory Note v
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter I - Late Victorian Drama 1
  • Chapter II - Melodrama 20
  • Chapter III - Jones and Ibsen 51
  • Chapter IV - Jones's Decade 72
  • Chapter V - The Renascence of the English Drama 142
  • Chapter VI - The New Century 158
  • Chapter VII - The Foundation of a National Drama 203
  • Chapter VIII - The High Comedies 212
  • Chapter IX - Last Battles 238
  • Index 255
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