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

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

  1. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice at the same time as you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a weblog site? The account helped me a applicable deal. I have been tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast provided vivid transparent concept

  2. It is my belief that mesothelioma is most fatal cancer. It’s got unusual features. The more I really look at it the harder I am certain it does not react like a true solid tissues cancer. In the event mesothelioma is really a rogue virus-like infection, in that case there is the chance of developing a vaccine and offering vaccination for asbestos open people who are at high risk involving developing future asbestos related malignancies. Thanks for sharing your ideas on this important ailment.

  3. of course like your web site but you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the truth however I will certainly come again again.

  4. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such magnificent info being shared freely out there.

  5. It’s like you read my thoughts! This sometimes drives us to take actions that will stimulate our happy chemicals in our brains. It’s like you read my thoughts! This information is magnificent.

  6. This is an excellent, an eye-opener for sure! Your article has proven useful to me. This really solved my question. Great post!

  7. After I initially commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is a means you can remove me from that service? Kudos!

  8. You are so awesome! I don’t suppose I’ve read through something like this before. So wonderful to discover somebody with some genuine thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

  9. I used to be suggested this web site by my cousin. I’m no longer sure whether this publish is written via him as no one else recognise such certain about my trouble. You’re wonderful! Thanks!

  10. Good job on this article! I have been really distracted, to say the least. It’s like you read my thoughts! I enjoyed your post. Thank you.

  11. wonderful issues altogether, you simply received a emblem new reader. What may you recommend in regards to your post that you simply made some days in the past? Any positive?

  12. We are a bunch of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable information to paintings on. You have performed an impressive activity and our entire group shall be thankful to you.

  13. I’ve recently started a site, the information you provide on this website has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work. “Money is power, freedom, a cushion, the root of al evil, the sum of all blessings.” by Carl Sandburg.

  14. Somebody necessarily assist to make critically posts I might state.
    That is the very first time I frequented your website
    page and so far? I amazed with the analysis you made to make this particular submit
    amazing. Great task!

  15. Great read. This is an excellent, an eye-opener for sure! I visit this blog I am excited to learn new ideas.|I really like your article. Great post! Nice write up.

  16. This is an excellent, an eye-opener for sure! I enjoyed reading this. It’s like you wrote the book on it or something. You are obviously very knowledgeable.

  17. Hello, Neat post. There is a problem along with your site in internet explorer, might test this… IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a good part of folks will pass over your great writing because of this problem.

  18. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the layout of your blog?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more
    in the way of content so people could connect with it
    better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having
    1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  19. Exceptional post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Many thanks!

  20. Hello there, You’ve done a great job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

  21. Change is going to happen no matter what. This information is magnificent. Your article has proven useful to me. You are a very persuasive writer.

  22. Good post made here. One thing I would like to say is the fact most professional areas consider the Bachelor Degree just as the entry level requirement for an online degree. Though Associate Qualifications are a great way to get started on, completing a person’s Bachelors opens up many opportunities to various professions, there are numerous internet Bachelor Course Programs available through institutions like The University of Phoenix, Intercontinental University Online and Kaplan. Another issue is that many brick and mortar institutions give Online variants of their qualifications but commonly for a substantially higher amount of money than the corporations that specialize in online college diploma programs.

  23. Its such as you learn my mind! You appear to grasp a lot approximately this, such as you wrote the guide in it or something. I believe that you can do with some p.c. to pressure the message house a bit, however instead of that, this is wonderful blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

  24. hello there and thank you to your info – I’ve certainly picked up anything new from right here. I did however experience some technical points using this website, since I skilled to reload the web site a lot of occasions previous to I could get it to load properly. I have been brooding about if your hosting is OK? No longer that I am complaining, however slow loading circumstances instances will sometimes have an effect on your placement in google and can harm your high-quality score if advertising and ***********|advertising|advertising|advertising and *********** with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could glance out for much more of your respective exciting content. Make sure you replace this again very soon..

  25. I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thanks, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

  26. I really appreciate this post. I¡¦ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thanks again

  27. Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem together with your web site in internet explorer, might test this… IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a good component of other folks will omit your great writing due to this problem.

  28. You have noted very interesting points ! ps decent web site . “Enemies, as well as lovers, come to resemble each other over a period of time.” by Sydney Harris.

  29. Attractive component to content. I just stumbled upon your blog and
    in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts.
    Anyway I’ll be subscribing on your augment or even I success you get right
    of entry to consistently rapidly.

  30. Currently it looks like Movable Type is the preferred blogging platform out
    there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  31. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through
    Google, and found that it is really informative. I am gonna watch
    out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future.

    Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

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