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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
 
The Madras House
Harley Granville-Barker (1877–1946)
 
Madras House, The, by Granville Barker (1910). This play is a clever discussion of the woman problem, chiefly by a number of types of men, members of the firm of the Madras House, a great shop which caters to women. Act I. shows the suburban home on Sunday where Mr. Huxtable, one of the owners, lives with six grown unmarried daughters. Society provides no real interests to take the place of husbands, children or work to mitigate the dullness of the lives of the Misses Huxtable. District nursing, foreign missions, and water-color sketching are not sufficiently engrossing. In Act II. we hear about a scandal in the store. Mr. Philip Madras, the young, progressive member of the firm, has to consider the slavery of the shop for the employees, and the difficulties in the way of a clerk who ventures to become an unmarried mother. Act III. is the business meeting to consider the proposition of an American millionaire to buy the store. The men discuss the position of women in modern life. Mr. Charles Madras, the head of the house, resenting the stimulating presence of women in politics, business, and art, has solved the problem for himself by retiring to a Mohammedan country where women are segregated. The models, parading before them in the new costumes, illustrate the sex appeal of dress. Act IV. introduces Jessica, the attractive modern woman, wife of Philip Madras. After the meeting at the store the young husband and wife talk together of the price to be paid for free womanhood, and the problem of making the world less of a “barnyard” in spirit.  1
 
 
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