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

13,561 comments on “Dylan Thomas, a lemon, a World Record and Men in Dresses

  1. Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this informative article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  2. Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won’t fail me just as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I truly thought you would probably have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you can fix if you weren’t too busy seeking attention.

  3. Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and
    you are just too fantastic. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re stating and
    the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take
    care of to keep it wise. I can’t wait to read much more from you.
    This is really a great website.

  4. Iím impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy I found this in my hunt for something regarding this.

  5. The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn’t fail me just as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I genuinely thought you would have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could fix if you weren’t too busy seeking attention.

  6. Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  7. Superb site you have here but I was curious if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get responses from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

  8. Very good website you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get opinions from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Cheers!

  9. Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  10. Good day! I could have sworn Iíve visited this blog before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím definitely delighted I came across it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

  11. Aw, this was a really nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to generate a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

  12. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back later in life. I want to encourage continue your great writing, have a nice afternoon!

  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. 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.

  15. I blog quite often and I really appreciate your content.
    This great article has truly peaked my interest.
    I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new
    details about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

  16. Aw, this was an extremely good post. Spending some time and actual effort to make a superb articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a whole lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

  17. 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.

  18. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been doing a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this issue here on your web page.

  19. Hi would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a fair price? Thank you, I appreciate it!

  20. hi!,I love your writing so much! proportion we keep up a correspondence extra approximately your article on AOL? I need a specialist in this area to solve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Taking a look forward to peer you.

  21. Iím impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I found this in my search for something relating to this.

  22. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  23. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this superb blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  24. 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!

  25. There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment?s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  26. You’re so cool! I do not suppose I’ve truly read through a single thing like that before. So nice to discover someone with a few original thoughts on this topic. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

  27. 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.

  28. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I’m quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  29. Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will return yet again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

  30. There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment?s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

Leave a Reply

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