W. S. GILBERT: ANTIQUARIAN AUTHENTICITY AND
Andrew Vorder Bruegge
Department of Theatre and Dance
Delivered at the Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States
Boise, ID, October 2002
Theatre in mid-nineteenth century England had low credibility, but high popularity. A Blackwood's Magazine article in 1842 proclaimed that theatre was for Londoners of all classes their supreme delight . . . [The] upper, middle and lower classes . . . [attended] theatres from the east, and theatres from the west; theatres for this side of the river, and theatres for that; theatres for performances equestrian and aquatic; theatres legitimate and illegitimate. (Schoch 1-2). Though wildly popular, theatre possessed credibility in inverse proportion. In Gilberts day . . . works for the theatre were generally considered inferior, even trivial, compositions, and Gilbert himself acknowledged that creating plays hardly represented anything close to high art or serious intellectual activity (Stedman 211). Despite the lowbrow nature of the beast Gilbert felt himself drawn to the stage, and he participated significantly in shaping the modern British theatre into one controlled by the director.
The nature of Victorian theatre was profoundly affected by three forces: . . . the Lord Chamberlain, . . . popular audiences, and . . . Shakespeare. (Eden 121). Scholars have documented Gilberts clever evasions of the first force--censorship. Gilbert ultimately committed himself to a career entertaining the second force-popular audiences. He cut his teeth on the popular theatrical (and literary) forms like burlesque, extravaganza and pantomine. He carefully balanced his appeal to satisfy the wide array of audience tastes. Gilbert acknowledged that he used his libretti to serve up rump steak and onions . . . a palatable concoction of satisfying and seasoning ingredients which is good enough to please the man of refinement . . . and not too refined for the butcher boy. (Eden 122). This third profound force in the nineteenth-century London theatre-Shakespeare-provides the springboard for this study.
The adolescent Gilbert, like many of his fellow audience members,
appreciated Shakespearean productions. Inspired by one such performance, in
his last year at Great Ealing [1852?], . . . Gilbert went to ask [Charles] Kean
if he might join his company at the Princesss Theatre. (Stedman
4). (Fortunately, the great star had the perspicuity to decline the lads
request.) Gilberts enthusiasm about Kean's productions arose from the
newfangled trend for authentic staging, and he joined the London-wide embrace
of historical accuracy as the lastest aesthetic fashion. As he matured into
a seasoned theatre artist, Gilbert (and some of his compatriots in show biz)
shrewdly appreciated a shift in the backstage power structure that accompanied
the move towards authenticity, and he made it his business to exploit this opportunity.
This realignment of green-room power eventually toppled the star actors
primacy and elevated the director to the position of artistic and logistic autocrat.
As actor-managers made the commitment to producing Shakespeares
history plays with unmatched antiquarian precision we can also glimpse the shadowy
figure of the modern director. (Schoch 29). Theatricians such as Gilbert
shared with the modern director the recognition that a performance is
composed of signifying elements which are made to interact through the efforts
of a single individual. (Schoch 30). Gilberts directorial career
provides a superb case study of this historical development--the directors
ascendance to power, accomplished by wielding the club of authenticity.
Since the days of David Garrick, Shakespeare had great credibility
across all social classes (Booth 52). Nineteenth-century star actors such as
Charles Kean, attempting to raise the credibility of the theatre, moved Shakespeare
to the core of their repertories. Kean, in particular, hoped to reinforce that
ironclad credibility of Shakespeare with archaeological authenticity. Charles
Kean cleverly translated the growing public taste for visiting museums to learn
about the archaeological past into attending the theatre to fulfill that same
appetite. [T]he nineteenth centurys obsession with recreating the
past became a very effective hook to create box office boffo (Schoch 2).
By the end of his management at the Princesss Theatre in 1859 Kean had
earned universal acclaim for his historical accuracy. This achievement gave
credibility and social acceptance to an otherwise disreputable business-theatre
So, any theatre person would see the clear signal that authenticity
would be rewarded with social acceptance (and larger audiences). Indeed, Keans
work at the Princess Theatre did much to recapture a better class of audience
for the theatre (Booth 48). This better class of audience consisted of more
middle and upper class patrons who-because of their social values-enjoyed attending
theatre they viewed as divine emollient. Enter the Bancrofts, future theatrical
mentors to W. S. Gilbert. Ambitious and young actor-managers, Squire and Marie
(Wilton) Bancroft hoped to build their own success at the Prince of Waless
Theatre by emulating Keans authentic conventions (and by reconfiguring
the seating and pricing). The Bancrofts began the laborious process of attracting
fashionable audiences back to their theatre. Their efforts ultimately succeeded
partly because the rowdier elements were being siphoned off to the Music Hall-a
new form of theatre (Rowell 83-84).
They also succeeded because of their professional collaboration
with the dramatist, T. W. Robertson. Robertson was . . . untidy, sensitive,
sarcastic, the eldest of a large theatrical family, at one time Mme Vestriss
stage-manager, and soon to be the author of a series of innovative plays which
brought domestic realism to the English stage. (Stedman 16). The Bancrofts
shared Robertsons--and other theatre artists of the day such as John Hare
and Ellen Terry--aspiration to offer a more naturalistic staging in a rather
intimate space, and together they found audiences who responded positively to
it. The typical theatre of the day was large, encouraging spectacle and outsized
(Shatner-esque) acting (Savin 10). Robertson and the Bancrofts did not displace
the mainstream acting style, but they offered an alluring alternative (Rowell
82). Robertsons work ethic immediately impressed the equally hard-working
Bancrofts, who quickly learned to trust his thorough professionalism. Robertson
never flagged in his zeal to improve his craft. The Bancrofts reported that
he monitored audience response obsessively, even using a feedback technique
that we would label as focus groups today. He also planted naïve confederates
in the audience and got their opinions the next day (Savin 42).
Robertsons insistence on precise detail in performance
was possible because of the authority with which the Bancrofts invested him
in the presentation of his own plays. (Rowell 80). With the Bancrofts
eager connivance, Robertson made a fetish of realistic touches like snow blowing
through the door and leaves flying from trees (Bancroft 87). The entire theatre
world had witnessed the enormous success of Dion Boucicault, who had achieved
control over his spectacular melodramas, so that profitable precedent inclined
the Bancrofts to let Robertson supervise the staging of his more intimate "cup
and saucer" comedies (Stedman 87). Robertson succeeded beyond Boucicault
or any other contemporary, because he did NOT act in the shows. He was 100%
director (Rowell: 80).
The Robertson scholar, Maynard Savin, observed that this author-director
was able to create a new kind of play and performance for several reasons. First,
the Bancrofts supported his intentions by spending resources on attracting a
more upscale audience that would more likely find his kind of shows appealing.
They sought to turn their Dusthole (the wags nickname for
the Prince of Waless Theatre) into a bandbox of gentility.
They did this by: a) upscaling the auditorium with sumptuous appointments; b)
gradually eliminating the pit and replacing those benches with stalls; and c)
raising prices of stalls. This strategy succeeding in attracting better
audiences and more revenue. Second, the Bancrofts applied Robertsons attention
to detail to every aspect of their management. As he was fastidious about the
shows, they were equally so about the operations of the theatre and company
policies. As employees felt the positive results of Bancroft management, they
accepted Robertsons artistic methods as equally likely to benefit them.
Third, the Bancrofts disdained the star system, mainly because THEY were the
stars of their theatre. A company of young, ambitious actors free from
a mind-set conditioned by the star system could be directed in ensemble
techniques. Fourth, the Bancrofts liked to play comedy, and Robertson excelled
in writing that genre. Fifth, the Bancrofts committed their best talents, their
full financial backing and their splashiest promotional ballyhooing to attract
attention to Robertsons efforts (36-37).
Though Charles Kean had dashed his theatrical ambitions in the
early 1850s, W. S. Gilbert had the good fortune to cross paths with Robertson
and the Bancrofts over the next decade. In 1856 W. S. Gilbert saw the
first Bancroft-Robertson collaboration at the Prince of Wales's Theatre. The
production was Robertsons Society (Stedman 13-16). Gilbert admired
Robertsons work. Gilbert began writing for Fun in 1861, where he
befriended Tom Robertson. Gilbert's already passionate interest in the theatre
naturally enlarged as a result of the acquaintance he made with this author-director.
Gilbert worked intensively as a theatre critic from the late 1860s to
the early 1870s (Stedman 23). He had occasion to see plenty of theatre,
acquiring a complete knowledge of the trends, the terrain and audience expectations.
In the 1860s Gilbert participated in amateur theatricals with Marie Wilton
[Bancroft] and Tom Robertson (Stedman 42). Later, through his friendship with
Robertson and the Bancrofts, Gilbert attended rehearsals at the Prince of Waless
where he observed and absorbed Robertsons working methods as an author-director,
and where the foundations of Gilberts friendship with the Bancrofts
were laid. (Stedman 16). Gilbert also ranged beyond the walls of the Prince
of Waless Theatre to learn the theatre crafts. He wrote and participated
in rehearsals for Dulcamara in 1866 at the St. James Theatre, for example.
Gilbert directed his script, La Vivandière shortly thereafter
(Stedman 35-39). By 1870, Gilbert had earned his peers regard as a solid
director, and he always acknowledged Robertson as the person who gave him his
first opportunity to break into the theatrical world (Stedman 62). For Robertson,
it was a no-brainer. He recognized Gilberts talent, so he naturally urged
managers to consider the latters scripts (Pemberton 240).
Gilbert learned some fundamental principles from Robertson and
the Bancrofts. First, he always remained sensitive to audience appeal, learning
from Robertson how to craft a show that would not offend his upscale audiences
tastes-and so earn a tidy profit. (Incidentally, by working at the St James,
Gilbert befriended Henry Irving, actor and stage manager at that theatre. The
two of them avidly discussed the innovative possibilities of stagecraft (directing),
but Gilbert later abjured Irving for selling out artistic ideals for popular
acclaim and wealth (Stedman 38). That certainly must have been a pretty howdy-do
to Irving!) Moreover, Gilbert followed his mentors example in attempting
to create theatre that appealed as little as possible to the lowest elements
in the audience. The Victorian scholar, David W. Cole, observed that Gilbert
"frequently and strongly expressed his sentiments favoring the maintenance
of the strictest propriety in the theatre. (Helyar 29). Neither Robertsons
plays nor the Bancrofts productions had any vulgarity in them, so Gilbert,
equally sensitive to the pulse of activity at the box office, took his cue from
his mentors (Bancroft 122). He never presented his solidly middle-class audience
with satiric material that disturbed their sensibilities. Unquestionably, Gilbert
spent his entire literary and theatrical life mining the satiric lode, yet he
never cut deep into his audiences values for fear that they would stop
digging deep into their pocketbooks. Gilbertian satire is distinctive
enough to entertain an intelligent person, but not sharp enough to alienate
anybody, following Thackereys approach: satirizing those who attempt
and fail to attain respectability (Eden 146). The Duke and Duchess of Plaza
Toro--twin towers of bon ton--criticize Marco and Guiseppe about their
shoddy efforts at respectable kingship in The Gondoliers, for example.
Moreover, Gilberts satire . . . tend[ed] to be somewhat out of date.
(Eden 154). He directed his nimble wit and airy persiflage at the theatre and
fashions of the earlier Victorian era-not current society, hence taking even
greater pains to avoid any risk of offending his well-heeled customers (Helyar
4). Buying ancestors was old hat. So was Gothic revival. Mocking the past was-and
always is--risk-free. To soften further the sting of his wit, Gilbert also took
care to mix a strong dose of sentimentality into his operettas (Rowell 93-94).
Second, Gilbert acquired his fetish about authenticity from
his author-director mentor. The stories about Gilberts attention to authentic
detail in preparing the inanimate elements of HMS Pinafore, Iolanthe
and The Mikado, for example, are well known. Achieving eye-popping authenticity
in the scenery, the costumes, accessories, and properties, however, fundamentally
requires little more than deep pockets and ruthless determination. Charles Kean
had already shown this maxim to be true. Ellen Terry, for example, spent her
way across central Europe purchasing authentic costume fabrics for her latest
productions. As one would expect of a shrewd diva such as Terry, she turned
this spending spree into a public relations triumph. The Duke of Saxe-Meinigen
also threw his money around lavishly to ensure that his productions had completely
authentic visual details, because like Kean, the Duke wished to make authenticity
his artistic trademark. (Recent films such as The Lord of the Rings,
Titanic, or even Topsy-Turvy have affirmed the awesome power of
money in our own day when it comes to achieving a certain visual authenticity.)
In any case, ruthless and determined come to mind as two words that anyone can
attribute to W. S. Gilbert. His meticulous (and expensive) recreations of actual
locations and personages in Trial by Jury and Iolanthe anticpated by several
decades the often cited innovations in authenticity that theatre historians
attribute to the American author-director, David Belasco.
Gilbert was not so simple-minded to believe that every aspect
of a production should imitate social reality in a literal, one-to-one correspondence.
Yes, he made a fetish of his attention to physical details such as the armor
worn by the three sons of Gama Rex in Princess Ida and the military uniforms
in Patience. No, he did not adopt a radical, Antoine-esque commitment
to Naturalism with a capital N about character actions, visual composition
and staging. Gilbert distinguished between social probability (one-to-one
correspondence with social reality) and esthetic probability (consistent
with the conventions of the genre) (Sutton 53). In physical detail, Gilbert
remained true to a representation of real artifacts to a precise, authentic
extreme. In dramatic detail, he remained true to a representation of an internally
consistent set of conventions to the same precise, authentic extreme.
Gilbert did not pursue this ambition for authentic extreme for
its own sake, nor for arts sake, nor even necessarily for the box offices
sake. The Gilbert scholar, Jane Stedman, provides superb analysis of Gilberts
intentions by asserting, Gilbert used Tom Robertsons realistic stage
techniques to give his own plots and satire a basis in reality and a point of
reference to human beings. (Helyar 200). Gilberts authenticity agenda
would carry him far beyond Robertsons achievements, as Stedman observed.
Gilbert applied his mentors authenticity obsession to a far broader spectrum
of elements in his own shows. Gilbert understood that it all had to hang together.
The world of the show had to have an internal consistency. If the sets and costumes
conformed to a unified design concept (authenticity), then so must line readings,
gestures, characterizations, choral movement patterns, and the entire illusion
presented. By insisting on authenticity at all levels, Gilbert could concentrate
decision-making power in his own ruthless and determined hands. Authentic scenery,
costumes and décor provided the fulcrum point for him to use to gain
control over all aspects of production.
Gilbert carried his passion for authentic consistency into the realm of characterization. "Indeed, when Gilberts characters cry, he almost always gives them handkerchiefs to cry into, whether they are peers or pirates. (Helyar 204). In social reality, pirates would be unlikely to carry handkerchieves upon their persons. Gilbert, however, is applying an authentic response to weeping (using a handkerchief to dab away the tears) to the situation he has created in the story. Indeed, Gilbert believed that comic characters should behave with genuine earnestness however absurd their lines or situation (Stedman 219). This Gilbertian gravitas pervades the entire canon of operettas. The entire ensemble of HMS Pinafore woefully sings, no telephone connects to his dungeon cell, as Ralph Rackstraw descends to the brig. In Yeomen of the Guard Jack Point and Wilfred Shadbolt comes to blows quibbling about the details of the phony story they made up about Colonel Fairfaxs death. (He was creeping. He was crawling. STONE! LEAD!) Frederic and Mabel [in The Pirates of Penzance] . . . sincerely believ[e] what they say. (Sutton 101). Frederics genuinely earnest but pompous passion for duty, for example, becomes ludicrous, comparable to the laughably obsessive passion for honesty expressed by Alceste in Molieres The Misanthrope (Smith 74). The Gilbert scholar, David Eden, correctly observes, The idea of duty has become meaningless in the twentieth century, but in its derivation from Kants Categorical Imperative it was one of the central tenets of the Victorian age . . . and he concludes, The Pirates of Penzance is the most thoroughgoing of Gilberts essays in absurd logic. (127-130). The crucial word in Edens remarks is thoroughgoing. Gilbert locked onto an authentic, believeable character trait, for example, and then sustained it, reprised it, foregrounded it, and enthroned it in the world of the show-a world governed by his gravitas, his absolute commitment to genuine human response to all situations.
Gilbert also carried his passion for authentic consistency into
the realm of dramatic action and staging. His directing style tended toward
the habit of staging a continual enchainement of small motions, each one
carefully suited to the immediate line or word that it accompanied. (Helyar
203). For example, the women's chorus in The Pirates of Penzance sings
"How Beautifully Blue the Sky." The lyrics offer a series of phrases
that describe various aspects of the weather, and these phrases offer the opportunity
to link unique, distincitve and appropriate gestures to each one. Through this
precise, detailed, specific directing technique (that perhaps anticipated the
work of Max Reinhardt), Gilbert could choreograph a complete stage composition
that presented a consistently authentic picture--in terms of esthetic probability.
The solid reality of Gilberts stage picture [was] an anchor for
the impossibility of his denouements . . . (Helyar 200). When staging
the chorus, he carefully utilized its visual dynamics to accomplish the important
dramatic goal of character depiction--revealing who they were, what they believed,
their consciousness (Cox-Ife 11). The logical, believeable, seemingly obvious
choral response of shocked dismay to Captain Corcoran's "Damme!" in
HMS Pinafore offers an excellent example of this authentic presentation
of character depiction in the chorus. Indeed, Gilbert demonstrated sublime mastery
of choral staging, earning him praise from critics and gratitude from generations
of Savoyards (Eden 133-34).
Third and most importantly, Gilbert learned the importance of
concentrating power in the hands of the author-director in order to impose his
vision on any production. Gilbert said later in life that rehearsing was not
considered important in his day, but when he rehearsed something, the show was
successful. He came to believe that any dramatist incapable of directing
his own plays was at a great disadvantage. (Stedman 216). His experience
also taught him to avoid any situation where a theatre manager or performer
could alter his scripts (Stedman 217). This meant he would only work with artists
who had less artistic power than he possessed. His quarrel in the mid-1870s
with the actress-manager, Henrietta Hodson, affirmed for Gilbert his conviction
that the author should hold exectuive supremacy over any productions of his
scripts. Hodson wished to handle the staging of Gilbert's scripts at her New
Royalty Theatre and cast supporting actors who suited her. Gilbert naturally
said "I object" and prohibited her from appearing in any of his shows
for three years (Goodman 60-61). In an 1883 autobiographical essay in The
Theatre, Gilbert mentioned several actors he worked with early on who later
became Savoy mainstays (Jones 55). He chose to work with these actors over the
long haul because he knew he could dominate them. Why did author-directors such
as Robertson and Gilbert feel the need to have control? Up to that point in
time the dominant stars controlled the texts of the plays . . . and their
performances depended upon the making of points-picturesquely dramatic
moments by which the artists greatness is tested, much as an opera singers
is by certain display arias. (Helyar .195) The famous curse scene in Bulwer-Lyttons
Richelieu provides an excellent example of this practice of making points.
James ONeill employed this convention often when he performed in The
Count of Monte Cristo. Text . . . was thus subservient to isolated
display, and in comedy, the star would insert ad libs, gags, and
idiosyncratic routines. (Helyar 196). At the Prince of Waless Theatre
Gilbert observed a company of actors submitting themselves to the dictates of
an professional author-director, and he saw that this heirarchical system brought
all of them--manager, performer and author-director--financial success.
The Savoy Theatre prospered under the management of Richard
DOyly Carte, an entrepreneur and entertainment industry mogul surpassed
only by P. T. Barnum in business acumen. Recognizing that he was sitting on
top of a gold mine, DOyly Carte naturally indulged Gilberts muscular
pursuit of authenticity and directorial control. In the same way that the Bancrofts
allowed Robertson to make them artistically and financially successful, DOyly
Carte gave carte blanche to Gilbert (and Sullivan) at the Savoy. Unlike Gilbert,
DOyly Carte did, indeed, have ambitions driven by the box offices
sake. He gladly empowered Gilbert as author-director, because the kind of shows
Gilbert (and Sullivan) wanted to create would generate solid profits. Gilbert
and Sullivan appealed to the upscale market with original music instead of borrowed
popular tunes, rejection of parody (as in burlesque and pantomime) and careful
use of mild political satire-unseen in England for many years (Rowell 93). Not
only did DOyly Carte recognize that the Gilbert and Sullivan team had
the right stuff, he also knew that the respectable class would approve of the
good taste and morality projected by his in-house dramatist/composer team. Gilbert
and Sullivan were the first crusaders for a clean and wholesome stage, and the
standard which they set . . . made play-going a popular and respectable pastime.
(Godwin 99). (The Producers has momentarily made Broadway both popular
and respectable again at the dawn of the new millenium, despite Mel Brooks'
penchant for vulgarity.) To raise the reputation of his shows above that of
pantomime or burlesque, for example, girls in male attire were barred
from Gilberts mature works. (Eden 123). His rejection of this convention
represented a bold choice in an era when popular theatre exploited such hi-jinks
to the hilt. Red noses, huge wigs, comic or music hall songs, cellar flap
breakdowns, short skirts, transvestism, and low necklines were de rigeur. .
. . Both The Pirates of Penzance and Ruddigore are burlesques
in motive, though the method has been refined according to Gilberts own
canons of taste. (Eden 123-24). DOyly Carte also allowed Gilbert
to manage the personnel at the Savoy. Gilbert imposed strict policies about
behavior and public appearance in order to avoid any sort of scandal that would
adversely affect the companys reputation for wholesomeness (Helyar: 29).
(Perhaps, this overwrought moral rectitude and sharp concern for keeping up
appearances within Gilbert inspired George Gross-Smiths lampooning of
middle-class values in his Diary of a Nobody.) In any case, DOyly
Carte knew that Gilberts controlling tendencies made his job as theatre
manager easier and more profitable: easier because less of his energy would
be spent on company discipline, and more profitable because he could focus his
attention almost completely on front-of-house concerns (Goodman 27). In other
words, D'Oyly Carte could turn his considerable energies to the task of seducing
the respectable, upscale audiences into parking themselves in plush, cushy (and
pricey) stalls where they would be seen as proud consumers of clean and wholesome
The successes of their Savoy operas kept Gilbert and Sullivan cranking them out. Neither man could wean himself away, for [t]he only unambiguous element in [their collaboration] was the desire of both men for money. (Eden 192). So, Gilbert followed the trend of authenticity in performance style and harmlessness in substance that had brought financial and social success to his inspiring models-Kean, Robertson and the Bancrofts. Gilbert also became convinced during his journeyman years that he could produce successful shows if he could maintain control over the product. He saw this idea working well with the Bancrofts and Robertson, and he lived by that conviction through all his years as an author-director. Gilbert always acknowledged Robertsons innovative achievements and revered Robertson as the prototype of the ideal artistic director (Rowell 81). Gilbert, late in his life, informed William Archer of his indebtedness to Robertson. Gilbert said Stagecraft was an unknown art before his time. (43) Gilbert, unlike Robertson, did not have the immediate, willing cooperation of colleagues such as the Bancrofts. During his earliest years as an author-director, Gilbert had to wrangle for control of the production process, and he did this by investing in authenticity at all levels, directing every aspect of his productions and bullying anyone (Henrietta Hodson, for example) who challenged his authority. Fortunately, it did not take long for DOyle Carte to empower him, and Sullivan--never an egotist-- virtually always adapted himself to Gilbert (Eden 175). From Robertson through Gilbert and Pinero to Shaw emerged the British directors authority based on his pre-eminence in the eyes of the manager and/or expertise by way of his identity as a writer (Rowell 81). In late nineteenth century London the nascent authority of the incipient director had begun to replace the star performers control of the theatrical event. The free-standing director (Edward Gordon Craig, for example) would arise early in the next century as a direct product of this power shift. Another essay can investigate that phenomenon and perhaps determine whether the rise of the director and the fall of the star performer was a progression or a degeneration in the history of the British theatre.
Archer, William. Real Conversations. London: Heineman, 1904.
Bancroft, Marie. The Bancrofts. London: John Murray,
Booth, Michael. Victorian Spectacular Theatre: 1850-1910.
Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981,
Cox-Ife, William. Training the Gilbert and Sullivan Chorus.
London: Chapell, 1955.
Eden, David. Gilbert & Sullivan: The Creative Conflict.
Rutherford, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1986.
Godwin, A. H. Gilbert & Sullivan: A Critical Appreciation
of the Savoy Operas. n.p.: 1926; reprint ed, Port Washington, NY: Kennikat
Goodman, Andrew. Gilbert and Sullivan's London, ed. by
Robert Hardcastle. London: Faber and Faber, 2000.
Helyar, James. Gilbert and Sullivan: Papers Presented at
the International Conference on Gilbert and Sullivan. Lawrence: University
of Kansas Press, 1971.
Jones, John B., ed. W. S. Gilbert: A Century of Scholarship
and Commentary. New York: New York University Press, 1970.
Leigh, Mike. Topsy-Turvy. London: Faber and Faber, 1999.
Pemberton, T. Edgar. The Life and Writings of T. W. Robertson.
London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1893.
Rowell, George. The Victorian Theatre. Oxford: Clarendon
Savin, Maynard. Thomas William Robertson: His Plays and Stagecraft.
Providence, RI: Brown University, 1950.
Schoch, Richard. Shakespeares Victorian Stage.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Smith, Geoffrey. The Savoy Operas. New York: Universe
Stedman, Jane W. W. S. Gilbert: A Classic Victorian and His
Theatre. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Sutton, Max K. W. S. Gilbert. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1975.