W. S. Gilbert bibliography

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W. S. Gilbert bibliography
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This is a selected list of W. S. Gilbert's works, including all that have their own Wikipedia articles. For a complete list of Gilbert's dramatic works, see List of W. S. Gilbert dramatic works.


  • The Bab Ballads, a collection of comic verse published roughly between 1865 and 1871
  • Songs of a Savoyard, London: George Routledge and Sons, 1890, a collection of Gilbert's song lyricsCrowther, Andrew. "Gilbert's Non-Dramatic Works" {{webarchive |url= |date=April 29, 2011 }}, The W.S. Gilbert Society, accessed 13 September 2015

Selected short stories

Publications that include one or more of Gilbert's short stories that are not in Foggerty's Fairy and Other Tales:
  • BOOK, Gilbert, W. S., Peter Haining (author), Peter Haining, 1985, The Lost Stories of W.S. Gilbert, London(?), Robson Books, 9780860513377,
  • Belgravia, vol. 2 (1867). “From St. Paul’s to Piccadilly,” pp. 67–74
  • Fun, vol. 1 new series (1865-1866) (several contributions by Gilbert; near end of volume, Fun Christmas Number 1865, with Gilbert’s “The Astounding Adventure of Wheeler J. Calamity,” pp. 17–18)
  • London Society, vol. 13 (1868) (three “Thumbnail Sketches” by Gilbert, pp. 50–57, 132-136, 315-319)
  • On the Cards: Routledge’s Christmas Annual (1867) (“Diamonds,” pp. 25–37, and “The Converted Clown,” pp. 137–139)

Other books

  • The Pinafore Picture Book, London: George Bell & Sons, 1908, retelling the story of H.M.S. Pinafore for children, in prose narrative form
  • The Story of The Mikado, London: Daniel O'Connor, 1921, a similar retelling of The Mikado for children

Plays and musical stage works

Selected stage works that were important to Gilbert's career or were otherwise notable, in chronological order, excluding those listed under other headings below:

German Reed Entertainments

Gilbert wrote six one-act musical entertainments for the German Reeds between 1869 and 1875. They were successful in their own right and also helped form Gilbert's mature style as a dramatist.Woodbridge Wilson, Frederic. "Reed, Thomas German", Grove Music Online, Oxford University Press, accessed 31 January 2013 {{subscription}} These include:

Early comic operas

The Gilbert and Sullivan operas

All of these comic operas are full-length two-act works, except for Trial by Jury, which is in one act, and Princess Ida, which is three acts. All except for Trial by Jury contain spoken dialogue; the dialogue in Princess Ida is written in blank verse.Bradley, passim

Later operas without Sullivan

Though not as popular as the works with Arthur Sullivan, a few of Gilbert's later comic operas arguably have stronger plots than the last two Gilbert and Sullivan operas.See, e.g., Wolfson, pp. 64–65.

Parlour ballads

Gilbert is known to have written lyrics for twelve parlour ballads.Allen, p. 74 These are:
  • "The Yarn of the Nancy Bell", with music by Alfred Plumpton. One of the Bab Ballads. Published by Charles Jeffreys in 1869.
  • "Thady O'Flynn", with music by James L. Molloy. Published by Boosey & Co on 7 October 1868. From No Cards.Allen p. 25
  • "Would You Know that Maiden Fair", with music by Frederic Clay. From Ages Ago. Published by Boosey c. 1869.Allen p. 28
  • "Corisande", with music by James L. Molloy. Published by Boosey on 18 June 1870.
  • "Eily's Reason", with music by James L. Molloy. Published by Boosey on 27 February 1871.
  • Three songs from A Sensation Novel: "The Detective's Song", "The Tyrannical Bridegroom", and "The Jewel". Published by Hopwood & Co in 1871.Allen p. 32
  • "The Distant Shore", with music by Arthur Sullivan. Published by Chappell & Co on 18 December 1874.
  • "The Love that Loves me Not", with music by Arthur Sullivan. Published by Novello, Ewer & Co in 1875.
  • "Sweethearts", with music by Arthur Sullivan. Based on the play of the same name and used to promote it. Published by Chappell & Co in 1875.Allen, p. 41
  • "Let Me Stay", with music by Walter Maynard. Published by Boosey on 13 December 1875. The same lyric was set by Edward German for Broken Hearts.

See also




  • Allen, Reginald (1963), W. S. Gilbert: An Anniversary Survey and Exhibition Checklist with Thirty-five Illustrations, The Biographical Society of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • BOOK, Bradley, Ian, Ian Bradley, 1996, The Complete Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan, Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-816503-3, registration,weblink
  • BOOK, Crowther, Andrew, 2000, Contradiction Contradicted – The Plays of W. S. Gilbert, Associated University Presses, 0-8386-3839-2,
  • BOOK, Gilbert, W. S., 1890, Foggerty's Fairy and Other Tales, London, George Routledge and Sons,
  • BOOK, Gilbert, W. S., 1875, Original Plays: First Series, London, Chatto and Windus,
  • BOOK, Stedman, Jane W., 1996, W. S. Gilbert, A Classic Victorian & His Theatre, Oxford University Press, 0-19-816174-3,
  • BOOK, Wolfson, John, c. 1976, Final Curtain: The Last Gilbert and Sullivan Operas, London, Chappell & Company Ltd., 0-903443-12-0,
{{Gilbert and Sullivan}}

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