George Lillo

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Lillo, George


Born Feb. 4, 1693, in London; died there Sept. 3, 1739. English playwright. Son of a Dutch jeweler.

Lillo’s major plays were The London Merchant, or The History of George Barnwell (1731; Russian translation 1764) and The Fatal Curiosity (1736). His works solidified the position on the English stage of the domestic tragedy, or tragedie bourgeoise, which combined realistic character portrayal with moral edification. His dramas influenced literature in both Great Britain (H. Fielding, E. Moore) and France, where D. Diderot and J.-J. Rousseau were among those who esteemed Lillo highly. In the 19th century, W. Thackeray parodied Lillo’s style in his play George de Barnwell.


Dramatic Works, 2nd ed., vols. 1–2. London, 1810.


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 1, issue 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1945. Pages 485–89.
Hoffmann, L. George Lillo. Marburg, 1888.
References in periodicals archive ?
One play in particular resonates with the catastrophe of Hiram's death and the vertical and horizontal sympathetic attachments this story inspired: The London Merchant by George Lillo.
In his 1738 adaptation, George Lillo made perfect dramatic sense of the Quarto:
Thus the dramas were not very distinct in tone from the pathetic tragedy of George Lillo, The London Merchant, or The History of George Barnwell, where the audience wallows in sympathy as the hero goes to his death.
1) Lillo's remarks on this scene are made in an advertisement included in the preliminary pages of Gray's fifth edition (cancel title: "Sixth Edition"), as cited in the introduction to The London Merchant in The Dramatic Works of George Lillo, ed.