In the 1880s, George Grossmith was the dazzling comic star of Gilbert and Sullivan’s immensely popular Savoy operas. London theatregoers waited excitedly for the next production, knowing that George would be cast in the lead role of the ‘patter man’. He was also many other things in his life, including Bow Street court reporter, piano entertainer for high society, and in the 1890s, with his brother Weedon, the author of the humorous classic work of fiction, The Diary of a Nobody, which has never been out of print and continues to inspire other writers.
In this fascinating book, Stephen Wade tells the story of Grossmith’s life, from Penny Reading entertainer to self-styled ‘society clown.’ A Victorian Somebody places him firmly in context, recalls the many friends and colleagues who worked with George, and puts him once again centre stage, exactly where he should be.
Keywords: W S Gilbert, Arthur Sullivan, Savoy Operas, The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, operetta, Diary of a Nobody, Victorian society, patter-man, G G Grossmith, Weedon Grossmith, Victorian entertainer