Last Sunday, we shared an infographic on social media detailing three obscure yet colorful facts about the life of British librettist William Schwenck Gilbert.
We have compiled those facts here, with additional notes for your convenience:
1. Gilbert was kidnapped by bandits when he two. His father liked taking his family on trips abroad, so when Gilbert was a toddler, his father took the family to Italy, where the young Gilbert was kidnapped by bandits. He would not be released until a handsome ransom had been paid.
2. Gilbert attended military school so he could serve in the Crimean War. During his teenage years, the Crimean War was in full swing in Europe. This was Britain’s chance to assert its position as a military power throughout the continent, and Gilbert—coming from a family whose patriarch was a naval surgeon—wished to fight for his Queen. By the time he finished military school, however, the war was over, so Gilbert decided to become a lawyer.
3. Before investing his talents in the arts, Gilbert became a lawyer and journalist. His talents were varied and plentiful. When he realized his services weren’t entirely needed by the military, Gilbert’s skill set easily qualified him to be of use for public service in other aspects. Of course, his greatest contributions to society wouldn’t come until one fateful Christmas when he collaborated with a certain composer named Arthur Sullivan on a play held at the Gaiety Theatre.
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