Literary Connections: making the right connections with literature
The School for Scandal: York Notes Advanced
Context, commentary
and much more.

The School for Scandal: New Mermaid edition
New Mermaid edition

Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751 - 1816)

The life

Theatrical manager, orator, politician, duellist - the author of The School for Scandal and The Rivals led anything but a dull life. These two biographies, both published in 1997 and now in paperback, have each been rightly praised:

Sheridan the procrastinator
Two days before the first performance of The Critic the final scene of the play was not written. 'His father-in-law... hit upon a stratagem. A night rehearsal of The Critic was ordered... King [the stage manager]... begged he would step into the second green-room. Accordingly, Sheridan went, and there found a table, with pens, ink, and paper, a good fire, an armed chair, and two bottles of claret, with a dish of anchovy sandwiches. The moment he got into the room, King stepped out, and locked the door; immediately after which, Linley and Ford came up and told the author that, until he had written the scene, he would be kept where he was. Sheridan took this decided measure in good part; he ate the anchovies, finished the claret, wrote the scene and laughed heartily at the ingenuity of the contrivance.'

This is an extract from the York Notes Advanced volume on The School for Scandal by Tom Rank

The School for Scandal (1777)
  • School for Scandal edited by Ann Blake (New Mermaids).
  • School for Scandal on Bartleby: the complete text online, broken into scenes. Be aware that there are various versions of the play, which may not always agree with the authoritative New Mermaid text.
  • The School for Scandal (audio CD): newly released 2-CD set with a cast which includes Cecil Parker, Baliol Holloway, Harry Andrews, Alec Clunes, Claire Bloom and Dame Edith Evans. The fifty-year-old recording is clear if a little old-fashioned sounding - try the samples on the Amazon site to hear for yourself.
  • Now available! The School for Scandal by Tom Rank is in the York Notes Advanced series. You can buy this title from your local bookshop or from Amazon. For more York Notes Advanced titles see the Amazon site.
Royal Patent holders at Drury Lane
Sheridan in the list of Royal Patent holders
at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Rivals (1775)
Sheridan on the Web
  • Sheridan website: 'the first site solely dedicated to the life and works of Richard Brinsley Sheridan' from David Taylor of Cambridge University. It is a useful source of information and links.
  • a short biography of Sheridan taken from Encyclopedia Britannica of 1911. The site also has information on Garrick and other actors and playwrights.
  • Peter Davidson (editor): Sheridan: Comedies - Casebook Series. It includes useful contextual material, reviews (both early and more recent productions) and some Twentieth Century criticism of the four comedies, though nothing more recent than 1986.
  • John Loftis: Sheridan and the Drama of Georgian England - a readable account of the Sheridan's works in the context of eithteenth century drama, with concise essays on each play. Published by Blackewell in the UK and Harvard University Press in the USA, this book is currently out of print but you should be able to locate a second-hand copy, as I did, from Abe Books or Amazon