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

By Doris Arthur Jones | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

My father charged me to write his life. He knew that I did not propose to make a critical study of his work. So many critics and men of letters, especially in America, have written books and pamphlets about his plays and books, and they are far better qualified than I am. It is difficult, if not impossible, for a daughter to be an impartial critic, but I do not believe any member of his family or any of his friends knew and understood my father better than I did. I have told the truth, and I have endeavoured to avoid stating my own opinions, or to offer any criticisms except when they spring from deep conviction. I want to show my father as the man he was--courageous, persevering, and industrious. These outstanding traits in his character were indissolubly linked with a supreme, deep, and abiding love for and devotion to his art. He was a most dutiful son, a highly appreciative husband, and, although he was not a model father, he was always a devoted and indulgent parent and grandparent.

Although I never told him, when I knew I was to write his life, I made a habit, especially when his old friends came to see him, of sitting behind his big armchair to take down in his own words what he felt and thought about the many interesting people and events he had known during his life. I christened this little book "H. A. J.'s Table Talk," and the quotations I have made from it throughout the book give a most valuable insight into his character.

In writing my father's life I have borne in mind the following passage from his book, as yet unpublished, The Shadow of Henry Irving:

"Who would wish after death to be decorated with

-xi-

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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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