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Sir William Schwenck Gilbert

(1836-1911), Poet, dramatist and librettist of the 'Savoy' operas

Sitter associated with 12 portraits
Gilbert's military ambitions were frustrated by the end of the Crimean War in 1856 and, having been called to the bar in 1863, he experienced little success as a lawyer and abandoned it for literature. His mastery of witty humour and satire was honed during the 1860s by his contributions to Fun magazine. He wrote numerous plays, sketches and stories. His name is irrevocably linked with Sir Arthur Sullivan, for whose music he wrote the libretti of the 'Savoy' operas, among them HMS Pinafore, 1878, Iolanthe, 1882, The Mikado, 1885, and The Yeoman of the Guard, 1888. He built the Garrick Theatre with the profits from his plays.

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