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WILLIAM GORMAN WILLS (1828-1891)

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 690 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WILLIAM GORMAN WILLS (1828-1891)  , Irish dramatist, was born at Kilmurry, Ireland, on the 28th of
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January 1828, the son of James Wills (179o-1868), author of Lives of Ilh'strious and Distinguished Irishmen (1839-1847) . The son was educated at
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Waterford Grammar School and Trinity College,
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Dublin . After several years of journalistic and
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literary
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work in Dublin, he settled in
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London, where he wrote stories for the magazines . In 1868 he determined that he could make a better living at portrait-
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painting, for which, though his
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art
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education had been meagre, he had always had talent . He soon made a
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fair income, though in the long run his excessive Bohemianism, coupled with persistent absent-mindedness, lost him many sitters . Meanwhile he had begun to write for the stage . His first
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original work was the Man o'Airlie, produced at the Princess's theatre, London, in 1867 . Early in 1872 he was engaged by Colonel Bateman as " dramatist to the
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Lyceum " at an
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annual
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salary . Under the terms of his agreement he wrote Medea in Corinth, Charles I. and
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Eugene Aram, all of which were produced at the Lyceum in 1872-1873 . With Charles I., in which Mr (afterwards
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Sir Henry) Irving confirmed the reputation he had earned by his performance in The Bells, Wills made a popular success, which he repeated in Olivia (adapted from Goldsmith's Vicar of Wake-field) in 1873 . From this date onwards Wills wrote continuously, and till 1887 his name was practically never absent from the
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bill of some London theatre . His work never, however, quite came up to the expectations which were based on his genuine ability, A, Flowering shoot from male plant .

B, Flowering shoot from

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female plant . 1, Foliage . 2, Catkin of fruits . 3, Male flower . and much of it is of an inferior quality . In Claudian (Princess's Theatre, 1883) and Faust (Lyceum Theatre, 1885) he merely supplied the text to a variety of dramatic situations . In 1887 his
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mother, whom he had supported for many years, died, and after her
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death he seemed to have less incentive for work . Wills was a painter by choice, and never put his whole heart into his dramatic work . He had some skill in ballad-writing, shown in the well-known " I'll sing thee songs of Araby." He died on the 13th of December 1891 .

End of Article: WILLIAM GORMAN WILLS (1828-1891)
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Additional information and Comments

I have a painting by william Gorman dated 1821. Where can i find if this picture has any value? thanks
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