Tom Taylor

Definition

Theater

  • (1817 - 80) British playwright, who was the author of around100 dramatic works and often took part in the private amateur productionsorganized by Charles Dickens. He also edited Punch (1874 - 80).

    Taylor's first play, A Trip to Kissingen, was producedin 1844 at the Lyceum. Subsequent works included To Parents andGuardians (1846), Masks and Faces (1852; with Charles Reade),which was based on the life of Peg Woffington, Still WatersRun Deep (1855), which was considered sexually frank in its day,and the influential melodrama The Ticket-of-Leave Man (1863).

    Taylor's successful comedy Our American Cousin is nowmainly remembered as the play Abraham Lincoln was watching when hewas assassinated in 1865. It was first produced in 1858 by the actress-managerLaura Keene at her theater in New York; E. A. Sothern (seeSothern family) starred as the simpleton Lord Dundreary(see dundrearies). Keene's company was performingthe play in Ford's Theatre when the president was shot byJohn Wilkes booth (see Booth family).

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