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SIR ARTHUR WING PINERO (1855– )

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 626 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR ARTHUR WING PINERO (1855– ), English dramatist, was born in London on the 24th of May 1855, the son of John Daniel Pinero, a Jewish solicitor, whose family was of Portuguese origin, long established in London. A. W. Pinero was engaged in 1874 as an actor at the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh, and came to London in 1876, to play at the Globe Theatre. Later in the year he joined the Lyceum company, of which he remained a member for five years. The first piece of his to see the footlights was 1200 a year, played in October 1877 at the Globe Theatre for the benefit of Mr F. H. Macklin. The first play to make a hit was The Money Spinner (Theatre Royal, Manchester, Nov. 1880); but in The Squire (St James's Theatre, Dec. 1881) he attempted serious drama, and gave promise of the qualities of his later work. In 1883 and 1884 Pinero produced seven pieces, but the most important of his works at this period were the successful farces produced at the Court Theatre: The Magistrate (March 1885), which ran for more than a year; The School-mistress (March 1886) ; Dandy Dick (Jan. 1887), revived in February 1900; The Cabinet Minister (April 1890), and The Amazons (March 1893). Two comedies of sentiment, Sweet Lavender (Terry's, March 1888) and The Weaker Sex (Theatre Royal, Manchester, Sept. 1888), met with success, and Sweet Lavender has enjoyed numerous revivals. With The Profligate (Garrick, April 1889) he returned to the serious drama which he had already touched on in The Squire. Out of deference to the wishes of John Hare the play was fitted with the conventional " happy ending," but the original denouement was restored, with great advantage to the unity of the play, in the printed version. The Second Mrs Tanqueray (St James's, May 27, 1893) dealt with the converse of the question propounded in The Profligate, but with more art and more courage. The piece aroused great discussion, and placed Pinero in the front rank of living dramatists (see DRAMA: Recent English). It was translated into French, German and Italian, and the part of Paula Tanqueray, created in the first place by Mrs Patrick Campbell, attracted many actresses, among others Eleonora Duse. His later plays were The Notorious Mrs Ebbsmith (Garrick, March 13, 1895), The Benefit of the Doubt (Comedy, Oct. 1895), The Princess and the Butterfly (St James's, April 7, 1897), Trelawney of the Wells (Court, Jan. 30, 1898), The Gay Lord Quex (Globe, April 8, 1899), Iris (Garrick, Sept. 21, 1901), Lefty (Duke of York's, Oct. 8, 1903), A Wife Without a Smile (Wyndham's, Oct. 9, 1904), His House in Order (St James's, Feb. 1, 1906), The Thunderbolt (St James's, May 9, 1908) and Mid-Channel (St James's, Sept. 2, 1909). Pinero was knighted in 1909. His Plays (It vols. 1891—1895) have prefaces by M. C. Salaman. See also H. Hamilton Fyfe, A. W. Pinero (1902).
End of Article: SIR ARTHUR WING PINERO (1855– )
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