"There are three rules for writing plays," said Oscar Wilde.
"The first rule is not to write like Henry Arthur Jones; the second and third rules are the same."
Although this famous quote is usually listed as "unsubstanciated ," Doris Arthur Jones states quite plainly on page 156 that her father himself
was fond of repeating this little joke at his own expense. And he, in turn, was always ready to throw a little tar and feathers on a fellow dramatist.
A known conservative, his response to George Bernard Shaw's anti-war manifesto Common Sense About the War was,
"The hag Sedition was your mother, and Perversity begot you.
Mischief was your midwife and Misrule your nurse,
and Unreason brought you up at her feet -
no other ancestry and rearing had you,
you freakish homunculus, germinated outside of lawful procreation."
(An this in spite of fact GBS was one of his dearest friends!)
Jones was born in 1851 and died 1929.
Also author of books on the dramatic arts and Edwardian-age political propaganda, a list of his plays produced in America
is on the Henry Arthur Jones page and below is a list of his plays as they were originally produced in London. There are twenty-six listed --
more than enough to make any playwright proud -- and yet he continued to claim he was the author of "over a hundred dramas."
His daughter suspected him of embellishing the truth until his death, when she went through all his papers in preparation
for writing his biography. She found, in reality, he was simply being honest.