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The Rag The Rag
MONKHOUSE, Allan

The Rag

London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1928


Small 8vo, pp. 80. Original red boards, lettered in black to spine. Printed dust jacket. Light offsetting to endpapers, corners and spine ends lightly bumped, but a very well preserved copy in an edgeworn dust jacket with a little loss to lower spine.


First edition, INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR TO HIS SISTER: 'Mary Monkhouse from Allan November 1928'.

Long-serving drama and literary critic at the Manchester Guardian and key member of the Manchester School of dramatists, Allan Monkhouse [1858-1936] threw his journalistic weight behind Annie Horniman when she founded the first repertory theatre company in Britain in 1908 at Manchester's Gaiety Theatre., and inspired by her new enterprise, Monkhouse wrote his first play: the one-act Reaping the Whirlwind was staged at the Gaiety in its inaugural year, and launched Monkhouse on a distinguished career which would occupy him for the rest of his life. The Rag was first performed at the Rusholme Theatre, Manchester, in 1929, and was filmed by Granada Television in 1960 with the title The Girl in the Window.

Monkhouse's work is rarely revived today, but London's Orange Tree theatre recently staged two of his plays to great acclaim: Mary Broome in 2011, and The Conquering Hero in 2012. Sam Walters, the theatre's then artistic director, was in contact with the Monkhouse family at the time of these productions and was sent this copy of The Rag, a three-act play set in the world of newspapers, in the hope that a production of it might be staged.

Monkhouse's sister Mary [1858-1946], to whom this copy is inscribed, was a painter (like her sister Florence, who was a founder member of the Manchester Society of Women Painters). She never married, and lived with her widowed father until his death in 1917.

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