J. O. Francis, Realist Drama and Ethics

Culture, Place and Nation

Alyce von Rothkirch

J. O. Francis, Realist Drama and Ethics

Alyce von Rothkirch

Distributed for University of Wales Press

224 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2014
Paper $15.00 ISBN: 9781783160709 Published September 2014 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
E-book $40.00 ISBN: 9781783160716 Will Publish October 2019 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
This book introduces readers to the work of the neglected Welsh dramatist J. O. Francis, a major figure in amateur dramatic circles in Wales during the early twentieth century. Alyce von Rothkirch argues that Francis’s work displays a particular ethical response to Wales that aims at a realistic depiction of the nation without subscribing to widely available stereotypes. Francis’s work has been foundational for drama writing in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and is here for the first time analyzed in its context of Welsh amateur drama.

General Editor’s Preface


List of Tables


                J. O. Francis and a Welsh Ethics of Place

                J. O. Francis’s Life

                Cultural Background, Themes and Ideas

                J. O. Francis and the Land Ethic

1. A Son of Wales Enters the Scene

2. J. O. Francis and Amateur Theatre in Wales, 1920-40

                The Ethics of Amateur Theatre

                Amateur Drama in Wales

                Amateur Drama Competitions

3. Place, Politics and the Possibilities of Realism

                Change (1912)

                Cross-Currents (1922)

                The Beaten Track (1924)

                Howell of Gwent (1932)

                The Devouring Fire (1953?)

4. Poachers in Little Villages

                The One-Act ‘Play of Welsh Life’

                The Poacher (1912)

                The Dark Little People (1922)

                Tares in the Wheat (1942)/The Sheep and the Goats (1951?)

                The Bakehouse (1912) and The Sewing Guild (1943)

                Little Village (1928)

5. A Pilgrim to St David’s

                First Journey: London – Newport – Cardiff – Rhondda

                Second Journey: London – Brecon – Llanidloes – Aberdovey –


                Third Journey: Into the Heart of the Nation


List of Works by J. O. Francis

                Published Plays

                Published Plays: Translations

                Unpublished Plays

                Published Essays and Other Non-Fiction

                Work for Radio

List of Performances of Plays by J. O. Francis




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