Henry Arthur Jones

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Henry Arthur Jones
Henry Arthur Jones
Birthday/Birthplace (1851-09-20)20 September 1851
Granborough, Winslow, Buckinghamshire
Deceased 7 January 1929(1929-01-07)
Hampstead
Citizenship British
Profession(s) dramatist

Henry Arthur Jones (Granborough, near Winslow, in Buckinghamshire, September 20, 1851 – Hampstead, London, January 7, 1929) was an English dramatist.

Henry Arthur Jones’s Biography

Caricature by Leslie Ward published in Vanity Fair in 1892.

Of a humble Welsh family, he was a precocious and fruitful writer who began writing at the age of sixteen, although, by giving up his money as a commercial traveler, he only managed to premiere at twenty-seven in Exeter (Only ‘Round the Corner, 1878). His first success came soon, in 1882, with a drama written in collaboration with Henry Herman and premiered in London The Silver King; since then he no longer left his fortune and could devote himself only to writing.

He specialized in melodramas and pieces that, following the tradition of high comedy by William Congreve and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, added much more satire than usual, which is why he is situated halfway between the bourgeois drama and the critic and social Naturalism (adapted with Henry Herman House of dolls of the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen with the title of Breaking a Butterfly, 1884); it followed, however, the fixed schemas of the erotic triangle and the well-made plot that Victorien Sardou had established within a generally conservative and moderate ideology, except for an anticlericalism that caused some problems and his, more than feminism, defense of However, her criticism is purely moral, she did not extend her analysis to the lower classes and was content to describe the middle and upper classes. Among its virtues, the close observation of the weaknesses of the aristocracy, a keen sense of humor and a perfect sense of dramatic construction.

He wrote eighty-three plays. For him his masterpieces were Michael and His Lost Angel (1896) and The Liars (1857), the latter work that nevertheless deserved the disdain of George Bernard Shaw as the prototype of the drama “well done” and conventional, although we must also bear in mind that both Shaw and HG Wells (with whom Jones confronted him by writing My Dear Wells: a Manual for Haters of England, 1921, a collection of letters published in The New York Times) were imbued with the socialist ideas of the Fabian Society to which they belonged and detested the nationalist and imperialist ideas that Jones pointed out after the Wars of the Boers. Oscar Wilde’s contempt, however, (“There are three rules for writing plays, the first is not to write like Henry Arthur Jones, the second and third are the same”) had to do with its stiff conventionalism.

A collection of his complete theater began to be printed early in 1891. His theatrical ideas appear mainly in two essays: The Renascence of the English Drama (1895) and The Foundations of National Drama (1913); in other volumes it deals with more controversial ideological, economic and political matters, for example What is capital? (1925).

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