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Thomas Holcroft (1745-1809), Dramatist and writer

Sitter in 9 portraits
Thomas Holcroft was a dramatist, novelist, journalist and actor. The son of a peddler, he worked as a stable boy, cobbler and teacher before he was able to make his living as a writer. Holcroft is remembered for his melodrama The Road to Ruin (first performed 1792), his translation of Beaumarchais's play Le Mariage de Figaro under the title The Follies of a Day(performed 1784), in which Holcroft played the part of Figaro, and his autobiography, edited in 1816 by his friend William Hazlitt. The latter work helped found the nineteenth-century genre of working-class autobiography and established Holcroft in literary and political culture as an 'author sprung from the people'.