Hobson's Choice



  • A comedy by Harold Brighouse (1882 - 1958), first performedin 1916 and frequently revived. It is the story of the tyrannicalshoe-seller Hobson and his strong-willed daughter Maggie, who marriesthe timid Willie Mossop against her father's wishes and ultimatelytakes over his business. David Lean's classic film version, made in1954, starred Charles Laughton as Hobson and John Mills as Willie.

    The phrase 'Hobson's choice', meaning no choice at all, derivesfrom Thomas Hobson (1544? - 1631), a Cambridge liveryman who offeredhis customers the choice of the horse nearest the stable door or none.

Idiom of “Hobson's Choice”

the option of taking what is offered or nothing, in other words, no choice