Dylan Thomas, a lemon, a World Record and Men in Dresses

Dylan ThomasI discovered a work by Dylan Thomas recently, that was totally new to me. Apparently he wrote the screenplay to an unremarkable film called, Rebecca’s Daughters. Despite having Peter O’Toole and Paul Rhys in the cast, the film has deservedly disappeared without trace. The interesting contribution it made to history was that it took 44 years from the time it was completed by Dylan Thomas in 1948, until its release in April 1992, which remains a world record for the longest time a screenplay has taken to be filmed.

What annoys me about the film is that it was a comedy. It was loosely based on the Rebecca riots which took place between 1839 and 1843 in mid and south Wales. Those riots were born out of poverty and injustice and were anything but funny. 

From 1815 Wales, like the rest of Britain, experience a post-Napoleonic war slump and agricultural prices remained volatile for many years and many farmers were unable to produce their crops profitably. At the same time a series of rent rises caused many farmers to lay off agricultural workers.  The rural counties of Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire experienced a major increase in population during that post-war period from industrial workers who have had been laid off and returned to their rural roots[1].

The first of three situations which culminated in the Rebecca riots occurred in 1834 when an amendment to the Poor Law created workhouses – a degrading institution housing the poorest members of the community unable to support themselves and requiring them to do pointless manual labour.

The second factor causing anger in Wales and contributing to the riots was a government requirement to pay tithes – a tenth of a man’s income – to the established Anglican Church. As the population was almost universally Non-conformist, this was particularly resented at a time when prices were falling and people were living at subsistence level. An Act in 1836 allowed tithes to be calculated on grain prices averaged over the previous seven years. This led to an increase of 7 per cent in tithes at a time when farming incomes were at 50 per cent of their pre-war level.[2]

However, the main powder keg that exploded in south and south-west Wales related to the numerous toll gates encountered by farmers moving around their area in order to service their farms. Historians are agreed that a chaotic system in operation throughout Britain was particularly inefficient in Wales where they were numerous and operated over small districts. Even on relatively short journeys, farmers might encounter a number of toll gates, particularly near larger towns like Swansea and Carmarthen. Those who had to make longer journeys in order to buy lime to use as fertiliser, for example farmers in northern Pembrokeshire who travelled to the south for supplies from the kilns, were particularly disadvantaged by a multiplicity of tolls they had to pay on their journey.

Rebecca RiotsOn 13 May 1839, a newly erected toll gate at Efailwen in Carmarthenshire was wrecked by protesters. Although the owners rebuilt the gate, a mob of 300-400 met together on the night of 6 June 1839 and destroyed the gate again. The protesters had assembled under the identity of ‘Daughters of Rebecca’ or ‘Children of Rebecca’, many with blackened faces and wearing women’s dresses. From this beginning incidents of destruction of toll houses and toll gates began to spread westwards across the county and into Pembrokeshire. However, after a month the disturbances largely ceased and there was a quiet period until winter 1842 when a much greater wave of protests started affecting trusts in both Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen. By 1844 the Rebecca rising had come to an end.

[1] D. Gareth Edwards, A History of Wales 1815-1906, (Cardiff, 1985) p.139

[2] D. Gareth Edwards, A History of Wales 1815-1906, (Cardiff, 1985) p146

12,929 comments on “Dylan Thomas, a lemon, a World Record and Men in Dresses

  1. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be useful to read articles from other authors and practice a little something from their websites.

  2. Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you finding the time and
    effort to put this informative article together. I once again find
    myself personally spending way too much time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

  3. Having read this I believed it was very informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

  4. Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I?d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  5. We are right here bringing ideal service to offer you much better. Our variety of solutions consists of all Air problem Functions. We do all sort of air conditioner jobs, a/c upkeep, a/c Fixing, Air Conditioner Setup, a/c solutions, Fridge Fixing, Washer Repair Service and also House Equipments Fixing. Our 100% Complete satisfaction Warranty might simply be one of the most iron-clad Fulfillment Warranty you’ll ever before see, anywhere, in any type of residence solution sector.

  6. Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  7. Hi! I simply wish to offer you a big thumbs up for the excellent information you have right here on this post. I’ll be coming back to your site for more soon.

  8. After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  9. Hi there! This post could not be written much better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  10. Hi, I do think your blog could be having web browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, great blog!

  11. Iím impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy I stumbled across this during my hunt for something relating to this.

  12. After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  13. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want?HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  14. Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I?d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering problems with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I can’t join it. Is there anyone else getting similar RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  16. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I’m hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own blog now 😉

  17. May I simply just say what a comfort to uncover someone who truly knows what they’re talking about on the web. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people really need to check this out and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you’re not more popular given that you surely possess the gift.

  18. Hmm, it seems like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer, but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any recommendations for newbie blog writers? I’d appreciate it.

  19. Amazing blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it
    from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple tweeks
    would really make my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your
    design. Kudos

  20. I really love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you develop this web site yourself? Please reply back as Iím wanting to create my own personal blog and want to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Appreciate it!

  21. Aw, this was an extremely good post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a great articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

  22. Next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, however I actually thought you would have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could possibly fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.

  23. Greetings from Florida! I’m bored at work, so I decided to browse your site on my iPhone during lunch break. I love the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G. Anyways, awesome blog!

  24. Hello, I read your blog occasionally, and I own a similar one, and I was just wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane, so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  25. Iím impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that too few folks are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy I found this in my search for something concerning this.

  26. Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I?d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  27. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast simply because I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this issue here on your web site.

  28. When I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *