Fun Facts Friday: W.S. Gilbert

November 18, 2016

W.S. Gilbert (18 November, 1836 – 29 May, 1911) was an English poet, illustrator and dramatist. Mr. Gilbert is known for his collaboration with computer Sir Arthur Sullivan in musical theater.

WSGilbert by Spy.jpg
By Leslie Ward – Published in Vanity Fair, 21 May 1881; adjusted from [1] using colour cubes provided., Public Domain, Link

  1. The W.S. stands for William Schwenck.
  2. Mr. Gilbert’s father, also named William, was a naval surgeon and wrote short stories. Some of his stories were illustrated by his son.
  3. The young William traveled with his parents to German and Italy. In Naples he was kidnapped by brigands and ransomed back.
  4. He was a captain in the English militia
  5. Mr. Gilbert wrote criticism and humor pieces for London periodicals under the name of “Bab”, his childhood nickname.
  6. The first collaboration with Sullivan was for Thespis, or The Gods Grown Old – a Christmas piece.
  7. The show was so successful its run was extended.
  8. The 1870s were the peak collaborative years for Gilbert and Sullivan.
  9. Gilbert and Sullivan collaborated for over 20 years, but their relationship was severed due to finance.
  10. In 1907, Mr. Gilbert was knighted and retired to the country. He drowned in 1911.

Zohar – Man of la Book

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