The Linden Tree

Definition

Theater

  • A two-act drama by J. B. Priestley; first produced in London in 1947, it ran for 422 performances. The original cast was headed by Lewis Casson and Sybil Thorndike.

    The action takes place at the 65th birthday party of Robert Linden, auniversity professor in the dull provincial town of Burmanley. The family, which includes the Professor's unhappy wife, his son Rex, and his three grown-up daughters, gathers to celebrate but bitter differences soon emerge, reflecting a crisis of values in post-war Britain. While the Professor is an old-fashioned idealist, committed to his dull students and his thankless-seeming vocation, his wife longs for him to retire. One daughter has become a Catholic, another a communist, and Rex has returned from the war believing in nothing but careless pleasure. Only the youngest daughter, the lively but innocent Dinah, seems to offer a hope for the future.

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