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Thomas Holcroft

(1745-1809), Dramatist and writer

Regency Portraits Catalogue Entry

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'.

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Thomas Holcroft; William Godwin, by Sir Thomas Lawrence - NPG 6880

Thomas Holcroft; William Godwin

by Sir Thomas Lawrence
pencil with black and red chalk, 1794
NPG 6880

Thomas Holcroft, by Jean Condé, published by  John Sewell - NPG D14991

Thomas Holcroft

by Jean Condé, published by John Sewell
stipple engraving, published 1792
NPG D14991

Thomas Holcroft, by William Daniell, after  George Dance - NPG D19052

Thomas Holcroft

by William Daniell, after George Dance
soft-ground etching, (9 May 1795)
NPG D19052

Thomas Holcroft, by Thomas Hodgetts, after  John Opie - NPG D3066

Thomas Holcroft

by Thomas Hodgetts, after John Opie
mezzotint, published 1816 (circa 1804)
NPG D3066

Web image not currently available

Thomas Holcroft

by Thomas Hodgetts, published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown, after John Opie
mezzotint, published 1816 (circa 1804)
NPG D19135

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