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

13,897 comments on “Dylan Thomas, a lemon, a World Record and Men in Dresses

  1. Hi, I do think this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I’m going to return once again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

  2. I really like what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and coverage! Keep up the great works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll.|

  3. You’ve made some decent points there. I looked on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.

  4. I was pretty pleased to discover this page. I wanted to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and I have you book-marked to check out new stuff on your website.

  5. I blog often and I seriously appreciate your information. This great article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

  6. Hello there! I could have sworn Iíve visited this site before but after browsing through some of the posts I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím certainly pleased I stumbled upon it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

  7. I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your information. This great article has really peaked my interest. I will take a note of your website and keep checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your Feed too.

  8. I absolutely love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you create this web site yourself? Please reply back as Iím looking to create my own blog and want to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Thank you!

  9. After looking into a handful of the blog posts on your web site, I really like your technique of writing a blog. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my web site too and let me know your opinion.

  10. After I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Many thanks!

  11. 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 get four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service? Kudos!

  12. After checking out a few of the blog articles on your web page, I really like your technique of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my website as well and tell me how you feel.

  13. Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this content together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  14. Spot on with this write-up, I honestly feel this web site needs a great deal more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the information!

  15. Iím impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy I came across this in my hunt for something concerning this.

  16. After checking out a number of the blog articles on your web page, I truly appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site too and tell me your opinion.

  17. I’m pretty pleased to uncover this web site. I want to to thank you for ones time for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it and I have you book-marked to see new information on your website.

  18. Iím amazed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog thatís both equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something regarding this.

  19. The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won’t fail me just as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I genuinely believed you’d have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something that you can fix if you weren’t too busy seeking attention.

  20. Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this information to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Aw, this was a really good post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a top notch articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.

  22. Aw, this was an extremely good post. Spending some time and actual effort to make a top notch articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.

  23. Right here is the perfect web site for everyone who really wants to understand this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want toÖHaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic which has been written about for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  24. After checking out a handful of the articles on your blog, I really like your technique of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my website as well and let me know what you think.

  25. Can I simply say what a relief to uncover someone that really understands what they’re talking about on the internet. You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people must look at this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you’re not more popular given that you definitely have the gift.

  26. Hi, I do believe this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return yet again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

  27. I blog often and I seriously thank you for your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your website and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

  28. After going over a number of the articles on your web page, I really like your technique of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my website as well and tell me how you feel.

Leave a Reply

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