The main theme of the play is the clash between Jane Franklin, a woman of outstanding character and advanced ideas, and the Colonial Secretary, John Montague, leader of the autocratic officials.
Deals with the clashes between Sir John Franklin and the remnants of the 'Arthur Faction', principally the Colonial Secretary and the Chief Police Magistrate. Franklin's position is made the worse by a well-meaning but thoughtless Private Secretary....The Colonial Secretary is upheld and Franklin is disgraced and recalled, but his influence, in the form of the work he has done and the work of his wife, 'Jane, My Love', for the Colony, compensate for his official humiliation. Lady Jane Franklin is the dominating character who by her charm, poise, intellect and vision of the future commands respect, attention and affection. (The Campbell Howard Annotated Index of Australian Plays 1920-1955 (1993) edited by Jack Bedson and Julian Croft (1993):341)
Leslie Rees commented: 'By comparison, Catherine Shepherd's later stage play, 'Jane, My Love', produced during the Commonwealth Jubilee year, 1951, lacked intensity and drive. But it had a good subject, giving a picture of the Tasmanian capital as Lieutenant-Governor Franklin and his remarkable wife knew it, and dramatizing the conflict with the Colonial Secretary, Montagu, a contest of wills that led to the recall of Franklin to Britain. When reduced in length for radio, and renamed The Franklins of Hobart Town, the play made sharper impact on listeners.' (Leslie Rees The Making of Australian Drama: a Historical and Critical Survey from the 1830s to the 1970s (1973):191).
First performed at Theatre Royal, Hobart, Tasmania on 22 September 1951.
Produced by Frank D. Clewlow