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Widowing of Mrs Holroyd


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A: D. H. Lawrence W: 1911–14 Pf: 1920, Altrincham Pb: 1914 G: Drama in 3 acts S: The Holroyds' kitchen, mining village near Nottingham (Eastwood ?), early 20th c. C: 4m, 4f, 2 children, 2 extrasLizzie Holroyd's children tell her that Holroyd is at the local pub dancing with women from Nottingham. She would like to console herself with Blackmore, the colliery electrician, but their mutual affection remains unspoken. Later that evening Holroyd comes home tipsy with two of the women, who are alarmed by a rat running across the kitchen. Holroyd follows them back to the pub. Disgusted with him and her miserable existence, his wife tells him never to come back. That night Blackmore helps the now drunk Holroyd back to his home. Holroyd suspects Blackmore's motives and picks a fight with him. Blackmore knocks him flying on to the stone floor and begs Lizzie to come with him to Spain. Holroyd revives and staggers up to bed. Lizzie agrees to come to Blackmore with her children on the following Saturday. The next evening Blackmore comes in search of Holroyd, who has not returned from the mine. News comes that he has died in a pit fall. His body is brought in, and Mrs Holroyd is consumed with guilt, since she and Blackmore had wished his death. She and Holroyd's mother begin to wash his body.

A: D. H. Lawrence W: 1911–14 Pf: 1920, Altrincham Pb: 1914 G: Drama in 3 acts S: The Holroyds' kitchen, mining village near Nottingham (Eastwood ?), early 20th c. C: 4m, 4f, 2 children, 2 extras

Influenced by Synge's Riders to the Sea, this play is perhaps the best known of Lawrence's plays, which did not enjoy a full professional production until 1968 with a production at the Royal Court in London. By then its depiction of working-class life seemed at last in tune with the ‘kitchen-sink’ drama of the 1960s.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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