Louis Esson was born at Leith, Edinburgh, in 1878. After his father's death, his mother brought him to Melbourne where he grew up in the home of his aunts and uncles. Esson was educated at the Carlton Grammar School and attended Melbourne University where he majored in English without taking a degree.
Esson's verse and sketches appeared in the Bulletin and the Lone Hand, but, disappointed with Australian culture, he left for London in 1904. Here he met the Irish playwrights J.
The action takes place in Melbourne in the weeks leading up to a federal election. The Women’s Anti-Socialist League have selected Doris Quiverton—daughter of the conservative Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Quiverton—to stand for the seat of Wombat. However, no sooner than Doris learns that she has been selected, her fiancé, Sydney Barrett, reveals that he is competing for the same seat. A socialist and an atheist, Barrett opposes everything both Doris’ Liberal father and the Women’s Anti-Socialist League stand for. Doris must carefully navigate extreme political ideals and intense personal relationships.
See the Austlit record for The Time is Not Yet Ripe.
Read the play here.
Listen to a recording from the Internet Archive here.
All images are in the public domain. They may have been modified for publication.
1921 General Strike, Norway. (Norsk bokmål: Bildet er hentet fra Nasjonalbibliotekets bildesamling. Anmerkninger til bildet var: Påskrift arkivark: Storstreiken 1921. Kø udenfor Kristiania Meieribolags udsalg Oslo, Oslo) Courtesy of the National Library of Norway. Via Wikimedia Commons. Source
S.T. Gill, 'English: Canvas Town' Yarra river, Melbourne en-route to the diggings, c.1852. From The Victorian Gold Fields 1852-3: An Original Album. Via Wikimedia Commons. Source
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Destruction of the schooner Gaspé in the waters of Rhode Island, 1772." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. Source
The Time is Not Yet Ripe
Albert R. Peters, 'Photograph showing sheep near Parliament House, Canberra', 1940s. Via Wikimedia Commons. Source