-Hobson's Choice-


When was Harold Brighouse born?

in 1882 in Salford, Greater Manchester


What was Brighouse’s first job?

working in the office of a shipping merchant at the age of 17.


When did Brighouse start writing plays?

Brighouse wrote his first one-act play, Lonesome-like, in 1909, and many other plays followed. By the beginning of the First World War, he had established a career as a playwright.


Brighouse is considered to be one of the Manchester School of playwrights. Why are these playwrights significant?

The Manchester School of playwrights created plays about real-life and social issues for a wider range of audiences, including Manchester mill workers and people from the surrounding towns.


When studying Hobson’s Choice, what are the two social contexts (as well as our own) that we need to be aware of?

1880s Salford (when the play is set) and Britain in 1914 (when the play was written).


How is Hobson’s Choice like a tragic drama?

In a Tragedy , a great man (the tragic

hero) causes his own downfall by a character

flaw and misguided behaviour. The fall of

Henry Hobson, as he loses his daughters and

his business through drinking and selfish,

tyrannical behaviour, has parallels with

Shakespeare’s tragic heroes such as King



What did the Temperance movement encourage?

It strongly discouraged excessive

drinking, thus encouraging people to better their

lives through work and education.



In 1853 where was the the largest temperance organisation in the


Manchester was the home of the United Kingdom Alliance, set up in 1853, so it was topical, given the 1880 therefore setting of Hobson’s Choice.



Hobson's Choice

This comedy is based around the battle of wills between a hard-headed cobbler, called Hobson and his daughter Maggie. Maggie defies Hobson by marrying his most talented worker – the timid and downtrodden Will. She helps Will to develop his potential and together they turn the tables on Hobson.

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