W. S. Gilbert was an English dramatist, librettist and illustrator
best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration
with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan. Gilbert's most popular
collaborations with Sullivan, including H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates
of Penzance, and The Mikado (one of the most frequently performed
works in the history of musical theatre) and most of their other Savoy
operas continue to be performed regularly today throughout the
English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies, repertory
companies, schools and community theatre groups. Lines from these
works have permanently entered the English language, including "short,
sharp shock", "What never? Well, hardly ever!", and "let the
punishment fit the crime". Gilbert also wrote the Bab Ballads, an
extensive collection of light verse accompanied by his own comical
drawings. His creative output included over 75 plays and libretti,
numerous stories, poems, lyrics and various other comic and serious
pieces. His plays and realistic style of stage direction inspired
other dramatists, including Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
William Tell, a legendary marksman in Switzerland, is said to have
successfully shot an apple on the head of his son with a single bolt
from his crossbow.
St. Peter's Basilica was consecrated on the anniversary of that of the
previous church in 326.
Prince Carl of Denmark became Haakon VII, the first King of Norway
after the personal union between Sweden and Norway was dissolved.
An underground fire kills 31 people at London's busiest underground
station at King's Cross St Pancras.
The Croatian city of Vukovar is invaded by Serbians, ending an 87-day
Wikiquote of the day:
It's a feature of our age that if you write a work of fiction,
everyone assumes that the people and events in it are disguised
biography — but if you write your biography, it's equally assumed
you're lying your head off. -- Margaret Atwood