Trelawny of the “Wells” ranks with The Second Mrs. Tanqueray (1893) as the most enduring, oft-reproduced play of Arthur Wing Pinero, the most successful British dramatist of the period extending from roughly 1885 to the end of the First World War. Debuting in January 1898, three years before Queen Victoria’s death, but set in the theatrical world of the 1860s, the deliberately sentimental comedy is not only a love letter of sorts to the plays and players Pinero fell in love with as a boy, but also, arguably, the first self-consciously historicist drama set in the Victorian period or, more precisely, in what Pinero and his contemporaries dubbed the “early” and/or “middle-Victorian” age.
The play’s …
Mays, Kelly J.. "Trelawny of the 'Wells'". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 February 2012
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