Richard Brinsley Sheridan

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sheridan, Richard Brinsley


Born Oct. 30, 1751, in Dublin; died July 7, 1816, in London. Anglo-Irish dramatist, theatrical and public figure.

Sheridan was educated in the law. From 1780 to 1812 he was a member of Parliament and the leader of the radical wing of the Whigs. From 1776 to 1809 he was the manager of the Drury Lane Theatre. In his comedy The Rivals (1775), Sheridan followed the example of O. Goldsmith in opposing sentimentality and obvious edification. His The School for Scandal (staged 1777, published 1780) is a satirical comedy of manners in which Sheridan called in question the Enlightenment thesis of moral reason, which he saw as compromised by bourgeois reality. The traditions of English Restoration comedy, as seen in the plays of W. Congreve and G. Farquhar, were enriched in Sheridan’s works by the influence of the novels of H. Fielding and other representatives of the Enlightenment. Sheridan also wrote the comedies A Trip to Scarborough (1777) and The Critic (1779) and the tragedy Pizarro (1799, an adaptation of A. F. F. von Kotzebue’s drama Die Spanier in Peru).


The Plays and Poems, vols. 1–3. New York, 1962.
The Letters, vols. 1–3. Oxford, 1966.
The Speeches, vols. 1–3. New York, 1969.
In Russian translation:
Dramaticheskie proizvedeniia. Moscow, 1956.


Istoriia angtiiskoi literatury, vol. 1, fasc. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1945.
Marshova, N. R. B. Sheridan. Leningrad-Moscow, 1960.
Gibbs, L. Sheridan. London [1947].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.