1880–1881 Patience

Michael Ainger

in Gilbert and Sullivan

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195147698
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849437 | DOI:
1880–1881 Patience

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As a cult, aestheticism achieved notoriety through Oscar Wilde at Oxford in the late 1870s. In 1878, Wilde had attended a fancy dress ball wearing plum-red breeches and silk stockings, and at one time had filled his rooms at Oxford with lilies. He was the subject of a series of cartoons by George Du Maurier in Punch, and was the most notorious example of the new fad of aestheticism, which carried its own vocabulary. It was clear to William Gilbert that he could give his audience more to laugh at by satirizing Wilde and the aesthetes than ever he could from ridiculing two clergymen. Adapting the plot and the lyrics he had already written, changing the character of Patience from the village schoolmistress to the village milkmaid, Gilbert then embarked on the rest of the lyrics for his aesthetic theme, extending the aesthetic passion for flowers to the vegetable kingdom in general.

Keywords: aestheticism; Oscar Wilde; cartoons; George Du Maurier; Punch; William Gilbert; lyrics; Patience; flowers; vegetable

Chapter.  6034 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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