The Skin Game

Definition

Theater

  • A play by John Galsworthy (1867 - 1933), first performedin 1920 in London. The story involves the conflict between the familiesof a country gentleman and a prosperous manufacturer. Squire Hillcristis furious with his loud nouveau-riche neighbour, Hornblower, forgoing back on his promise and evicting tenants from cottages thathe had bought from Hillcrist. When the squire's wife snubs Chloe,the pregnant daughter-in-law of Hornblower, the gloves come off and'the skin game' (or bare-knuckle fight) begins. Hornblower buys landoverlooking the Hillcrist house and announces his intention to buildkilns on it. Hillcrist's agent, Dawker, investigates the other familyand finds that Chloe was once a 'professional co-respondent' in divorcecases. The squire blackmails Hornblower, who agrees to sell the landto Hillcrist at a loss and reinstate the tenants if Chloe's secretis kept. However, Chloe's husband is suspicious and makes Dawker revealthe truth. She tries to end the marriage and commit suicide. Hillcrist,the victor, is left with a sense of shame at having abandoned hisown principles.
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