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10 AUGUST 2014

Patience, Satire, and Self-Righteousness

"Gilbert and Sullivan's fifth Savoy Opera, Patience (1881), is a shining example of the critical role of satire in popular culture, and a most important record of how many self–righteous upper middle class contemporaries viewed fringe schools of thought and pop culture during the dissipation of the Evangelical church. The operetta's premise is that Reginald Bunthorne and Archibald Grosvenor––characters reputedly based upon Oscar Wilde and Charles Swinburne respectively, although the actor who originally played Bunthorne drew on Whistler––are shams as bogus as the aesthetic movement that they embody."

(William R. Terpening, 1998, Victorian Web)

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TAGS

1881 • 19th centuryAesthetic Movementaestheticismaesthetics • Algernon Swinburne • Archibald Grosvenor • Arthur Sullivan • Charles Swinburne • chauvinismcolour • comic opera • critical commentarycultural critiqueDante Rossettidecadence • decadentismo • dissipation • electric lighting • Evangelical church • fringe • Gilbert and Sullivan • Harold Bloom • James McNeill Whistler • male vanity • musical theatreopera • Opera Comique • operetta • Oscar WildePatience (1881)pop culturepopular cultureProtestantism • Reginald Bunthorne • satire • Savoy Opera • Savoy Theatre • Savoyards • schools of thought • self-righteous • self-righteousness • theatrical production • upper middle class • vanityVictorian literature • William Gilbert

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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