The Magistrate by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero
Born in 1855 and put to work in the family law business at the age of ten, 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 stageworthy 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 Dr Michael Cordner of the University of York, the texts of the plays have been newly edited and are presented with modernized spelling and punctuation. In addition, there is a scholarly introduction and detailed annotation. This book is intended for students from sixth-form upwards, studying Theatre Studies and Literature/Drama of the nineteenth century.