||Mrs. Malaprop & Mrs. Slipslop
On this day in 1775 Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals premiered. Sheridan was just twenty-three years old, this was his first play, and his Mrs. Malaprop may have borrowed from Henry Fielding's Mrs. Slipslop, but the stage and the language got one of its most enjoyable and enduring creations -- not to mention "a nice derangement of epitaphs."
||Drury Lane, Sheridan Go Out
On this day in 1809 London's Drury Lane Theatre burned down; when those watching the spectacle from a nearby pub with theater owner-parliamentarian Richard Brinsley Sheridan remarked on his composure, he famously responded, "A man may surely take a glass of wine by his own fireside." One-liners aside, Sheridan was most famous in his later years for a five-hour parliamentary speech which brought both sides of the House down.
||Richard Sheridan's School for Scandal
In The School for Scandal Sheridan aimed to lampoon the general hypocrisy of the time, and portray his Joseph Surface and Lady Sneerwell as types. That a contemporary politician saw himself specifically targeted, and demanded that the play be cancelled, is another way of saying that Sheridan's masterpiece has been popular for well over two centuries, and will likely remain so.