The Children’s Hour

“A play (1934) by US playwright Lillian Hellman (1905-84) about the scandal that erupts after a teacher is accused of lesbianism by a vengeful pupil. Filmed in 1936, the play was based on a real case that was reported in Scotland in the 19th century and pointed out to the author by her close friend, the crime novelist Dashiell Hammett. The title itself comes from the first verse of a poem by Longfellow:

‘Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.’

H.W. Longfellow: Birds of Passage, Flight the Second, ‘The Children’s Hour’ (1860)”

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

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