Gilbert of Gilbert & Sullivan: His Life and Character

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The History Press, Apr 11, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
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'A sympathetic and illuminating portrait of a quintessential Englishman' - Ian BradleyThe author of The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, H.M.S. Pinafore and the other great Savoy libretti, W.S. Gilbert was witty, caustic and disrespectful, one of the celebrities of the late Victorian era. He wrote the most brilliantly inventive plays of his time, and with Arthur Sullivan he wrote comic operas that defined the age. He became richer and more famous than he could have imagined, but at the price of his artistic freedom. In his time Gilbert had been many things: journalist, theatre critic, cartoonist, comic poet, stage director, writer of short stories, dramatist. Andrew Crowther examines W.S. Gilbert from all these angles, using a wealth of sources to tell the story of an angry and quarrelsome man, discontented with himself and the age he lived in, raging at life's absurdities and laughing at them. In this book Gilbert's glorious, contradictory character is explored and brought vividly to life.ANDREW CROWTHER is an expert on W.S. Gilbert, Secretary of the W.S. Gilbert Society, and the author of Contradiction Contradicted: the Plays of W.S. Gilbert. He lives in Bradford and is himself a playwright.'[W.S. Gilbert] had a keen eye for the foibles and eccentricities of his countrymen and their institutions. Andrew Crowther movingly describes the effects of Gilbert's unhappy childhood on his character and the way that he found escape and release in the fairy tale world of pantomime. He is particularly informative on the genesis of Iolanthe, perhaps the most biting and successful piece of social and political satire in the Savoy canon. Loudly let the trumpet bray!' - Ian Bradley, the author of The Complete Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan
 

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Contents

Title Page Dedication Epigraph Preface
The Gilbert Family 183653
Drifting 185361
Bohemian Nights 186164
The Road to Recognition 186566
Enfant Terrible
Marriage 1867
Bab Ballads and Burlesques 186769
In Demand 186972
The Lord High Disinfectant 1873
The End of the Beginning 187475
Trial and Tribulation 187577
A Very English Opera 1877
Harlequinade 1878
All Ablaze 187881
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About the author (2011)

Andrew Crowther is the secretary of the W S Gilbert Society and the author of Contradiction Contradicted: the Plays of W S Gilbert.

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