Sunday, August 22, 2010

Richard Brinsley Sheridan

I love witty quotes, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan was a noted wit during his lifetime.

Before Noel Coward, there was Sheridan, poet and playwright, who wrote the brilliant comedy of manners, The School for Scandal, which was performed at the Royal Theatre, Drury Lane, during Jane Austen’s lifetime. She most assuredly would have been acquainted with the play as we know that she had read The Critic.


Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) was born in Ireland and was the owner of Drury Lane. On February 24, 1809, the theatre burned down. He observed the conflagration while drinking a glass of wine, and Sheridan was famously reported to have said: “A man may surely be allowed to take a glass of wine by his own fireside.” This  man, who had once served as Treasurer of the Navy, was a notorious spendthrift and refused to satisfy his creditors on the grounds that “paying only encourages them.” For thirty-two years he was also a Whig member of the House of Commons and friend to Charles James Fox and the Duchess of Devonshire. He is buried in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey.

6 comments:

  1. You always find such interesting things! Thank you, Mary!

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  2. Hi Mary. I've been to Bath a couple of times during this summer. One of the houses in the crescent has a plaque on it about Sheridan.
    Apparently he eloped with the the young daughter of the household, was chased all over Europe by the father, caught, made to marry the girl but finally and ultimately and with the only conclusion for a cad, left her in the lurch.
    That's Sheridan for you.
    All the best,
    Tony
    PS I will be posting about Bath on Jane Austen Today, next Monday, that's if Vic still wants my posts.

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  3. Thanks, Jenny and Irena. I figure that if I find something interesting, then everyone else will. LOL

    Tony, sounds like Sheridan was a big of a cad, but then he hung around with the Prince of Wales and Charles James Fox. I'll watch for your post on Jane Austen Today and link to it. Your pictures are really excellent.

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  4. THE LIFE AND LOVES OF RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN

    Could make a great Hollywood blockbuster.

    They'd probably just call it "SHERIDAN!!" or maybe "SHERI GETS HIS WAY!"
    No, not the last one. That's more like a title from the Carry On Films from the sixties.

    Mary, have you ever seen a Carry On film? If you haven't YOU MUST.Any true anglophile must watch at least one, if you can bear it, to find out what British humour is all about.

    All the best,
    Tony
    PS If you do watch one I must warn you, it will make you cry. Either with laughter or in agonised pain.

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  5. Tony, I'll have to check it out. Never hear of "carry on" films. I usually love British humor, but I have to admit, there are times when I don't get the joke.

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