Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Overview
 
Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan (30 October 1751 – 7 July 1816) was an Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

-born playwright
Playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 and poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

 and long-term owner of the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is a West End theatre in Covent Garden, in the City of Westminster, a borough of London. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building standing today is the most recent in a line of four theatres at the same location dating back to 1663,...

. For thirty-two years he was also a Whig Member
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 of the British House of Commons for Stafford
Stafford (UK Parliament constituency)
Stafford is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. The sitting MP is the Conservative Jeremy Lefroy....

 (1780–1806), Westminster
Westminster (UK Parliament constituency)
Westminster was a parliamentary constituency in the Parliament of England to 1707, the Parliament of Great Britain 1707-1800 and the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801. It returned two members to 1885 and one thereafter....

 (1806–1807) and Ilchester
Ilchester (UK Parliament constituency)
Ilchester was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832. It was represented by two Members of Parliament until 1832...

 (1807–1812). Such was the esteem he was held in by his contemporaries when he died that he was buried at Poets' Corner
Poets' Corner
Poets' Corner is the name traditionally given to a section of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey because of the number of poets, playwrights, and writers buried and commemorated there. The most recent additions were a memorial floor stone unveiled in 2009 for the founders of the Royal Ballet...

 in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey Burials and Memorials
Honouring individuals with Burials and Memorials in Westminster Abbey has a long tradition. Henry III rebuilt Westminster Abbey in honour of the Royal Saint Edward the Confessor whose relics were placed in a shrine in the sanctuary and now lie in a burial vault beneath the 1268 Cosmati mosaic...

.
Quotations

An apothecary should never be out of spirits.

St. Patrick's Day (1775), Act I, sc. i.

Death's a debt; his mandamus binds all alike — no bail, no demurrer.

St. Patrick's Day (1775), Act II, sc. iv.

Date not the life which thou hast run by the mean of reckoning of the hours and days, which though hast breathed: a life spent worthily should be measured by a nobler line, — by deeds, not years...

Pizarro (first acted 24 May 1799), Act iv, Scene 1. Compare: "Who well lives, long lives; for this age of ours / Should not be numbered by years, daies, and hours", Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, Second Week, Fourth Day, Book ii.

You write with ease to show your breeding,But easy writing's curst hard reading.

Clio's Protest (1819).

An oyster may be crossed in love.

Clio's Protest (1819).

The right honorable gentlemen is indebted to his memory for his jests, and to his imagination for his facts.

Sheridaniana, Speech in Reply to Mr. Dundas.

Believe not each accusing tongue,As most weak persons do;But still believe that story wrong,Which ought not to be true!

Reported in Nicholas Harris Nicolas, The Carcanet: a Literary Album, Containing Select Passages from the Most Distinguished English Writers (1828), p. 132.

'Tis safest in matrimony to begin with a little aversion.

Act I, sc. ii

A progeny of learning.

Act I, sc. i

Never say more than is necessary.

Act II, sc. i

Encyclopedia
Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan (30 October 1751 – 7 July 1816) was an Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

-born playwright
Playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 and poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

 and long-term owner of the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is a West End theatre in Covent Garden, in the City of Westminster, a borough of London. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building standing today is the most recent in a line of four theatres at the same location dating back to 1663,...

. For thirty-two years he was also a Whig Member
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 of the British House of Commons for Stafford
Stafford (UK Parliament constituency)
Stafford is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. The sitting MP is the Conservative Jeremy Lefroy....

 (1780–1806), Westminster
Westminster (UK Parliament constituency)
Westminster was a parliamentary constituency in the Parliament of England to 1707, the Parliament of Great Britain 1707-1800 and the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801. It returned two members to 1885 and one thereafter....

 (1806–1807) and Ilchester
Ilchester (UK Parliament constituency)
Ilchester was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832. It was represented by two Members of Parliament until 1832...

 (1807–1812). Such was the esteem he was held in by his contemporaries when he died that he was buried at Poets' Corner
Poets' Corner
Poets' Corner is the name traditionally given to a section of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey because of the number of poets, playwrights, and writers buried and commemorated there. The most recent additions were a memorial floor stone unveiled in 2009 for the founders of the Royal Ballet...

 in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey Burials and Memorials
Honouring individuals with Burials and Memorials in Westminster Abbey has a long tradition. Henry III rebuilt Westminster Abbey in honour of the Royal Saint Edward the Confessor whose relics were placed in a shrine in the sanctuary and now lie in a burial vault beneath the 1268 Cosmati mosaic...

. He is known for his plays such as The Rivals
The Rivals
The Rivals, a play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, is a comedy of manners in five acts. It was first performed on 17 January 1775.- Production :...

, The School for Scandal
The School for Scandal
The School for Scandal is a play written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. It was first performed in London at Drury Lane Theatre on May 8, 1777.The prologue, written by David Garrick, commends the play, its subject, and its author to the audience...

and A Trip to Scarborough
A Trip to Scarborough
A Trip to Scarborough is an 18th century play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan , first performed on 24 February 1777. Sheridan based his work on John Vanbrugh's The Relapse , removing much of the bawdy content....

.

Life

R. B. Sheridan was born in 1751 in Dublin, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, where his family had a house on then-fashionable Dorset Street. While in Dublin Sheridan attended the English Grammar School in Grafton Street. The family moved permanently to England in 1758 when he was age seven. He was a pupil at Harrow School
Harrow School
Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.. The school is of worldwide renown. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was...

 outside London from 1762 to 1768. His mother, Frances Sheridan
Frances Sheridan
Frances Sheridan was an Anglo-Irish novelist and playwright.Frances Sheridan was born in Dublin, Ireland. Her father, Dr. Phillip Chamberlaine, was an Anglican minister. In 1747 she married Thomas Sheridan, who was then an actor and theatre director, and at the same time she began work on her...

, was a playwright and novelist. She had two plays produced in London in the early 1760s, though she is best known for her novel The Memoirs of Sidney Biddulph (1761). His father, Thomas Sheridan, was for a while an actor-manager at the Smock Alley Theatre
Theatre Royal, Dublin
At one stage in the history of the theatre in Britain and Ireland, the designation Theatre Royal or Royal Theatre was an indication that the theatre was granted a Royal Patent without which theatrical performances were illegal...

 but, following his move to England in 1758, he gave up acting and wrote a number of books concerning education and, especially, the standardisation of the English language in education.

In 1772 Richard Sheridan fought a famous duel against Captain Thomas Mathews. Mathews had written a newspaper article defaming the character of Elizabeth Linley, the woman Sheridan intended to marry, and honour dictated that a duel must be fought. A first duel was fought in London where they agreed to fight in Hyde park, but finding it too crowded they went to the Castle Tavern in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin's Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as...

. Far from its romantic image, the duel was short and bloodless. Mathews lost his sword and, according to Sheridan, was forced to 'beg for his life' and sign a retraction of the article. The apology was made public and Mathews, infuriated by the publicity the duel had received, refused to accept his defeat as final and challenged Sheridan to another duel. Sheridan was not obliged to accept this challenge, but would have become a social pariah if he had not. The second duel, fought in August 1772 at Kingsdown near Bath, was a much more ferocious affair. This time both men broke their swords but carried on fighting in a 'desperate struggle for life and honour'. Both were wounded, Sheridan dangerously, being 'borne from the field with a portion of his antagonist's weapon sticking through an ear, his breast-bone touched, his whole body covered with wounds and blood, and his face nearly beaten to jelly with the hilt of Mathews' sword'. Fortunately his remarkable constitution pulled him through, and eight days after this bloody affair the Bath Chronicle was able to announce that he was out of danger. Mathews escaped in a post chaise.

Playwright

In 1773, Richard Sheridan at age 21 married Elizabeth Ann Linley
Elizabeth Ann Linley
Elizabeth Ann Sheridan was the second daughter of the composer Thomas Linley and his wife Mary Johnson, and was herself the wife of the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan.-Life:Of the 7 Linley children destined for musical careers, it is said that Elizabeth had the greatest talent and beauty...

 and set up house in London on a lavish scale with little money and no immediate prospects of any — other than his wife's dowry
Dowry
A dowry is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings forth to the marriage. It contrasts with bride price, which is paid to the bride's parents, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both...

. The young couple entered the fashionable world and apparently held up their end in entertaining. When Sheridan settled in London, he began writing for the stage. Less than two years later, in 1775, his first play, The Rivals
The Rivals
The Rivals, a play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, is a comedy of manners in five acts. It was first performed on 17 January 1775.- Production :...

, was produced at London's Covent Garden Theatre. It was a failure on its first night. Sheridan cast a more capable actor for the role of the comic Irishman for its second performance, and it was a smash which immediately established the young playwright's reputation and the favour of fashionable London. It has gone on to become a standard of English literature
English literature
English literature is the literature written in the English language, including literature composed in English by writers not necessarily from England; for example, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Joseph Conrad was Polish, Dylan Thomas was Welsh, Edgar Allan Poe was American, J....

.

Shortly after the success of The Rivals, Sheridan and his father-in-law Thomas Linley the elder, a successful composer, produced the opera, The Duenna. This piece was accorded such a warm reception that it played for seventy-five performances.

In 1776, Sheridan, his father-in-law, and one other partner, bought a half interest in the Drury Lane
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is a West End theatre in Covent Garden, in the City of Westminster, a borough of London. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building standing today is the most recent in a line of four theatres at the same location dating back to 1663,...

 theatre and, two years later, bought out the other half. Sheridan was the manager of the theatre for many years, and later became sole owner with no managerial role.

His most famous play
Play (theatre)
A play is a form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of scripted dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference whether their plays were performed...

 The School for Scandal
The School for Scandal
The School for Scandal is a play written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. It was first performed in London at Drury Lane Theatre on May 8, 1777.The prologue, written by David Garrick, commends the play, its subject, and its author to the audience...

(Drury Lane, 8 May 1777) is considered one of the greatest comedies of manners
Comedy of manners
The comedy of manners is a genre of play/television/film which satirizes the manners and affectations of a social class, often represented by stock characters, such as the miles gloriosus in ancient times, the fop and the rake during the Restoration, or an old person pretending to be young...

 in English. It was followed by The Critic
The Critic (play)
The Critic: or, a Tragedy Rehearsed is a satire by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. It was first staged at Drury Lane Theatre in 1779. It is a burlesque on stage acting and play production conventions, and Sheridan considered the first act to be his finest piece of writing...

(1779), an updating of the satirical Restoration play The Rehearsal, which received a memorable revival (performed with Oedipus
Oedipus
Oedipus was a mythical Greek king of Thebes. He fulfilled a prophecy that said he would kill his father and marry his mother, and thus brought disaster on his city and family...

in a single evening) starring Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

 as Mr Puff, opening at the New Theatre
Noël Coward Theatre
The Noël Coward Theatre, formerly known as the Albery Theatre, is a West End theatre on St. Martin's Lane in the City of Westminster. It opened on 12 March 1903 as the New Theatre and was built by Sir Charles Wyndham behind Wyndham's Theatre which was completed in 1899. The building was designed by...

 on 18 October 1945 as part of an Old Vic
Old Vic
The Old Vic is a theatre located just south-east of Waterloo Station in London on the corner of The Cut and Waterloo Road. Established in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre, it was taken over by Emma Cons in 1880 when it was known formally as the Royal Victoria Hall. In 1898, a niece of Cons, Lilian...

 Theatre Company season.

Having quickly made his name and fortune, in 1776 Sheridan bought David Garrick
David Garrick
David Garrick was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century and was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson...

's share in the Drury Lane
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is a West End theatre in Covent Garden, in the City of Westminster, a borough of London. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building standing today is the most recent in a line of four theatres at the same location dating back to 1663,...

 patent, and in 1778 the remaining share. His later plays were all produced there. In 1778 Sheridan wrote The Camp
The Camp (play)
The Camp: A Musical Entertainment is a 1778 play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, with assistance from John Burgoyne and David Garrick. The set designs were by Philip James de Loutherbourg...

which commented on the ongoing threat of a French invasion of Britain. The same year Sheridan's brother-in-law Thomas Linley
Thomas Linley the younger
Thomas Linley the younger was the eldest son of the composer Thomas Linley the elder and his wife Mary Johnson. He was one of the most precocious composers and performers that have been known in England, and became known as the "English Mozart".-Early life:Linley's abilities were apparent from a...

, a young composer who worked with him at Drury Lane Theatre, died in a boating accident. Sheridan had a rivaly with his fellow playwright Richard Cumberland
Richard Cumberland (dramatist)
Richard Cumberland was a British dramatist and civil servant. In 1771 his hit play The West Indian was first staged. During the American War of Independence he acted as a secret negotiator with Spain in an effort to secure a peace agreement between the two nations. He also edited a short-lived...

 and included a parody of Cumberland in his play The Critic. On 24 February 1809 (despite the much vaunted fire safety precautions of 1794) the theatre burned down. On being encountered drinking a glass of wine in the street while watching the fire, Sheridan was famously reported to have said: "A man may surely be allowed to take a glass of wine by his own fireside."

Member of Parliament

In 1780, Sheridan entered Parliament as the ally of Charles James Fox
Charles James Fox
Charles James Fox PC , styled The Honourable from 1762, was a prominent British Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned thirty-eight years of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and who was particularly noted for being the arch-rival of William Pitt the Younger...

 on the side of the American Colonials in the political debate of that year. He is said to have paid the burgesses of Stafford five guineas apiece for the honour of representing them. As a consequence, his first speech in Parliament had to be a defence against the charge of bribery.

In 1793 during the debates on the Aliens Act
Aliens Act 1793
The Aliens Act 1793 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain regulating immigration into the country. The Act, inspired by a sharp increase in refugees from the French Revolution seeking asylum in Great Britain, required that aliens be recorded upon arrival and to register with the local...

 designed to prevent French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

ary spies and saboteurs from flooding into the country, Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party....

 made a speech in which he claimed there were thousands of French agents in Britain ready to use weapons against the authorities. To dramatically emphasise his point he threw down a knife
Knife
A knife is a cutting tool with an exposed cutting edge or blade, hand-held or otherwise, with or without a handle. Knives were used at least two-and-a-half million years ago, as evidenced by the Oldowan tools...

 onto the floor of the House of Commons. Sheridan is said to have shouted out "Where's the fork
Fork
As a piece of cutlery or kitchenware, a fork is a tool consisting of a handle with several narrow tines on one end. The fork, as an eating utensil, has been a feature primarily of the West, whereas in East Asia chopsticks have been more prevalent...

?", which led to much of the house collapsing in laughter.

During the invasion scare of 1803
British anti-invasion preparations of 1803–1805
British anti-invasion preparations of 1803–1805 were the military and civilian responses in the United Kingdom to Napoleon's planned invasion of the United Kingdom. They included mobilisation of the population on a scale not previously attempted in Britain, with a combined military force of over...

 Sheridan penned an Address to the People:

THEY, by a strange Frenzy driven, fight for Power, for Plunder, and extended Rule—WE, for our Country, our Altars, and our Homes.—THEY follow an ADVENTURER, whom they fear—and obey a Power which they hate—WE serve a Monarch whom we love—a God whom we adore...They call on us to barter all of Good we have inherited and proved, for the desperate Chance of Something better which they promise.—Be our plain Answer this: The Throne WE honour is the PEOPLE'S CHOICE—the Laws we reverence are our brave Fathers' Legacy—the Faith we follow teaches us to live in bonds of Charity with all Mankind, and die with Hope of Bliss beyond the Grave. Tell your Invaders this; and tell them too, we seek no Change; and, least of all, such Change as they would bring us.


He held the posts of Receiver-General of the Duchy of Cornwall
Duchy of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall is one of two royal duchies in England, the other being the Duchy of Lancaster. The eldest son of the reigning British monarch inherits the duchy and title of Duke of Cornwall at the time of his birth, or of his parent's succession to the throne. If the monarch has no son, the...

 (1804–1807) and Treasurer of the Navy
Treasurer of the Navy
The Treasurer of the Navy was an office in the British government between the mid-16th and early 19th century. The office-holder was responsible for the financial maintenance of the Royal Navy. The office was a political appointment, and frequently was held by up-and-coming young politicians who...

 (1806–1807).

When he failed to be re-elected to Parliament in 1812, after 32 years, his creditors closed in on him and his last years were harassed by debt and disappointment. On hearing of his debts, the American Congress offered Sheridan £20,000 in recognition of his efforts to prevent the American War of Independence. The offer was refused.

In December 1815 he became ill, largely confined to bed. Sheridan died in poverty, and was buried in the Poets' Corner
Poets' Corner
Poets' Corner is the name traditionally given to a section of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey because of the number of poets, playwrights, and writers buried and commemorated there. The most recent additions were a memorial floor stone unveiled in 2009 for the founders of the Royal Ballet...

 of Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

; his funeral was attended by dukes, earls, lords, viscounts, the Lord Mayor of London
Lord Mayor of London
The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of London is the legal title for the Mayor of the City of London Corporation. The Lord Mayor of London is to be distinguished from the Mayor of London; the former is an officer only of the City of London, while the Mayor of London is the Mayor of Greater London and...

, and other notables.

In 1825 the Irish writer Thomas Moore
Thomas Moore
Thomas Moore was an Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of The Minstrel Boy and The Last Rose of Summer. He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron's memoirs after his death...

 published a two-volume sympathetic biography Memoirs of the Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Memoirs of the Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Memoirs of the Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan was an 1825 biography written by Thomas Moore about the life of the playwright and politician Richard Brinsley Sheridan . It was published after nine years work, on and off, and had been delayed by a legal dispute over the use of Sheridan's papers...

which became a major influence on subsequent perceptions of him.

Family

He and his wife had two children: Thomas Sheridan, who married Caroline Henrietta Callender, daughter of Col. James Callander Campbell, of Craigforth, Stirling
Stirling
Stirling is a city and former ancient burgh in Scotland, and is at the heart of the wider Stirling council area. The city is clustered around a large fortress and medieval old-town beside the River Forth...

, and was the father of the 4th Baroness of Dufferin and Claneboye, Caroline Sheridan and the 12th Duchess of Somerset; and Edith Marcia Caroline Sheridan (d. 9 April 1876), m. 30 June 1864 to John Francis Thynne, of Haynes Park (17 June 1830 – 30 January 1910, Justice of Peace, of the Marquesses of Bath, and had issue.

Works

  • The Rivals
    The Rivals
    The Rivals, a play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, is a comedy of manners in five acts. It was first performed on 17 January 1775.- Production :...

    (first acted 17 January 1775)
  • St Patrick's Day (first acted 2 May 1775)
  • The Duenna
    The Duenna
    The Duenna is a three-act comic opera, mostly composed by Thomas Linley the elder and his son, Thomas Linley the younger, to an English-language libretto by Richard Brinsley Sheridan...

    (first acted 21 November 1775)
  • A Trip to Scarborough
    A Trip to Scarborough
    A Trip to Scarborough is an 18th century play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan , first performed on 24 February 1777. Sheridan based his work on John Vanbrugh's The Relapse , removing much of the bawdy content....

    (first acted 24 February 1777)
  • The School for Scandal
    The School for Scandal
    The School for Scandal is a play written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. It was first performed in London at Drury Lane Theatre on May 8, 1777.The prologue, written by David Garrick, commends the play, its subject, and its author to the audience...

    (first acted 8 May 1777)
  • The Camp
    The Camp (play)
    The Camp: A Musical Entertainment is a 1778 play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, with assistance from John Burgoyne and David Garrick. The set designs were by Philip James de Loutherbourg...

    (first acted 15 October 1778)
  • The Critic
    The Critic (play)
    The Critic: or, a Tragedy Rehearsed is a satire by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. It was first staged at Drury Lane Theatre in 1779. It is a burlesque on stage acting and play production conventions, and Sheridan considered the first act to be his finest piece of writing...

    (first acted 30 October 1779)
  • The Glorious First of June
    The Glorious First of June (play)
    The Glorious First of June is a 1794 play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. It depicts The Glorious First of June, a British naval victory over the French that took place on 1 June 1794 during the French Revolutionary War. It premiered on 2 July 1794 at the Drury Lane theatre, and was based on...

    (first acted 2 July 1794)
  • Pizarro (first acted 24 May 1799; with incidental music
    Incidental music
    Incidental music is music in a play, television program, radio program, video game, film or some other form not primarily musical. The term is less frequently applied to film music, with such music being referred to instead as the "film score" or "soundtrack"....

     by Jan Ladislav Dussek
    Jan Ladislav Dussek
    Jan Ladislav Dussek was a Czech composer and pianist. He was an important representative of Czech music abroad in the second half of 18th century and the beginning of 19th century...

    )


He also wrote a selection of poems, and political speeches for his time in parliament.

Adaptations and Cultural References

  • In The Duchess
    The Duchess (film)
    The Duchess is a 2008 British drama film based on Amanda Foreman's biography of the 18th-century English aristocrat Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. It was released in September 2008 in the UK...

    (2008) film, a biography of Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, Sheridan is played by Aidan McArdle
    Aidan McArdle
    Aidan McArdle is an Irish actor.McArdle was born in Dublin. He studied for an Arts degree at University College Dublin before going on to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England....

     and The School for Scandal is performed in the movie. Sheridan is played by Barry Stanton
    Barry Stanton
    Barry Stanton is an Australian rock'n'roll musician. Discovered by fellow recording artist Johnny O'Keefe in 1958, Barry regularly performed on many Australian music programs such as Bandstand, The Johnny O'Keefe Show, Six O'Clock Rock, Sing Sing Sing and The Good Old Days of Rock'n'Roll.He...

     in the Madness of King George (1994)
  • In the Yes, Prime Minister episode 'The Patron of the Arts', two of Sheridan's plays are named as ones the prime minister could not see: 'The Rivals', "there were too many cabinet ministers after his job", and 'The School for Scandal', "well, not after the education secretary had been found in bed with a married primary school headmistress". Later, the same prime minister being asked to name a famous English playwright other than Shakespeare says "Sheridan, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw" and is told, "they were all Irish"
  • In the Blackadder III episode 'Amy and Amiability', Blackadder, dressed in a black mask and cape, is asked if he intends to become a highwayman and replies sarcastically "No, I'm auditioning for the part of Arnold the Bat in Sheridan's new comedy."
  • The very first sentence of Jules Verne
    Jules Verne
    Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the science fiction genre. He is best known for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , A Journey to the Center of the Earth , and Around the World in Eighty Days...

    's "Around the World in Eighty Days
    Around the World in Eighty Days
    Around the World in Eighty Days is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, first published in 1873. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager set by his friends at the...

    " is "Mr. Phileas Fogg lived, in 1872, at No. 7, Saville Row, Burlington Gardens, the house in which Sheridan died in 1814" (s:Around the World in Eighty Days/I) - which includes two factual mistakes: Sheridan actually lived in No. 14 and died in 1816. Evidently, Verne assumed as a matter of course that a French readership more than half a century later would know who Sheridan was and would need no further explanation.
  • Chris Humphreys
    Chris Humphreys
    Chris Humphreys is a British actor, playwright and novelist. Born in Toronto, Canada, he was raised in Los Angeles until the age of seven and then grew up in the United Kingdom. For acting he is best known for his role in The Bill where he played PC Richard Turnham from 1989 to 1990...

     has used the character of Jack Absolute from The Rivals
    The Rivals
    The Rivals, a play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, is a comedy of manners in five acts. It was first performed on 17 January 1775.- Production :...

     as a basis for his books The Blooding of Jack Absolute, Absolute Honour and Jack Absolute. These are published under the name C. C. Humphreys.

External links

  • Information about Sheridan's life and works, with a comprehensive bibliography, at rbsheridan.co.uk.
  • Full text of Thomas Moore
    Thomas Moore
    Thomas Moore was an Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of The Minstrel Boy and The Last Rose of Summer. He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron's memoirs after his death...

    's Memoirs of the Life of the Right Honorable Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Vol. 1, Vol. 2

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK