Born in 1855 and put to work in the family law business at the age of 10, Arthur Wing Pinero deserted middle-class respectability to become an actor. He learnt his trade in the old provincial stock system before he joined Henry Irving's company at the Lyceum, and began to write plays that were to change the face of British theatre.
In 1893 The Second Mrs Tanqueray
was acclaimed across Europe as the most remarkable English play of the second half of the nineteenth century. The Magistrate
is now recognized as the foundation stone of British comedy. George Bernard Shaw's envious personal campaign against him helped to undermine Pinero's pre-eminence, but today his work is emerging from neglect as fresh and interesting as ever it was - and a great deal more stage-worthy than much that was written by Shaw. These four plays represent a unique dramatic voice, stringent and incisive, whose insights are clothed in an exuberant, energetic, and many-sided theatricality.
Under the General Editorship of Michael Cordner of the University of York, the texts of the plays have been newly edited and are presented with a scholarly introduction and detailed annotation.
- The Magistrate.
- The Schoolmistress.
- The Second Mrs Tanqueray.
- Trelawny of the Wells.