Talk:George Grossmith

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Good article George Grossmith has been listed as one of the Media and drama good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
March 11, 2008 Good article nominee Listed

George Grossmith albums

For Leon's albums, shouldn't we give the year that they were issued and some more identifying information about them, e.g., (CD24105) and CD24109 What about the SASS discs? Also, I have seen NUMEROUS one-man shows about Grossmith (Didn't Butteriss even do one?), so aren't there other recordings of Grossmith songs out there? Marc, do you know? Ssilvers 22:40, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

The CD catalog numbers should be added; I simply hadn't looked them up. I am not aware of any other notable recordings of Grossmith songs. Probably there are isolated examples. Marc Shepherd 22:48, 6 July 2006 (UTC)


Just be careful when sorting out the more obscure info on the different George Grossmith's. The confusing aspect of all of this is that George Grossmith "Sr" was in fact a Junior. Yet his son is never referred to as George Grossmith III, and is instead himself a Junior later in life. --Anivron 23:15, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Joinerj 23:56, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

A Song to Sing O

In 1987, Australian actor Anthony Warlow portrayed George Grossmith in a one-man show called "A Song to Sing O." I do not have the information on the author of this show, but I will hope some other contributor will be able to supply it. In short, the show involves Grossmith responding to a journalist who is interviewing him prior to Grossmith's final performance at the Savoy. The action of the show (a play with music) takes place between the matinee and evening performances of "Yeomen of the Guard." Grossmith discusses his earlier career with the (invisible) journalist, his meeting with Gilbert and Sullivan and his nine year association with Gilbert, Sullivan, and D'Oyly Carte. During the course of the show, Grossmith performs part or all of several songs, not just Gilbert and Sullivan, but several of his own works as well. The show is delightful, and I only hope an American tour will be mounted one day. Joinerj 23:55, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I added something to the article about it. Warlow's wikipedia article did not mention it, although his official website did. So, I added something about it to Warlow's article too. -- Ssilvers 04:28, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Best remembered?

(in the opening paragraph). Not convinced that GG is 'best' remembered - or indeed remembered at all - for performing his own sketches. The G&S patter roles and Diary of a Nobody certainly, but who now remembers him as a solo performer? I'd be inclined to say best remembered for the G&S and the Diary, then also famous in his day for performing his own sketches, or something to that effect. Tim riley 13:34, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Good idea. See if you like the change. -- Ssilvers 14:17, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Spot on, I'd say. Tim riley 15:03, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Working on article

A few comments. The article says that GG was "back in St. Pancras" by age 13. There is no previous reference to St. Pancras.** I also changed a reference to "teenage party" to "children's party" because the concept of a teenager really wasn't extant then in the same way it would be in the 20th century. "Party for older children" or "party for young adults" or "Met her as a teenager at a party" would be better. I also cleared up a bit about the role as reporter at Bow Street. Can't say for GG in particular, and I didn't in editing, but usually people like that are free lances, who are paid by the article printed, they would sit there and wait for well known defendants (Bow Street was where people picked up for drunkenness or minor offenses would be brought the next morning and generally be dealt with summarily by a fine) or interesting incidents to happen, scrawl a paragraph, and shop them to various newspapers.** I'm not sure what the comment on Mrs. Paul keeping her name after leaving Mr. Paul meant, whether the objection was to her keeping the "Mrs." (the theatre being wicked, actresses often took "Mrs." though not married, see, for example Dorothy Jordan) or "Paul". Might not hurt to mention how serious Grossmith's illness was after Ruddygore opened, at least according to the NY Times articles refed in that article, his life was in serious danger.** --Wehwalt (talk) 16:34, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

    • Yes there is, in the previous paragraph.
    • The father and then son were not free-lancers at Bow Street - it was a permanent assignment, but I agree with your excellent changes.
    • I agree that the illness might be worth noting. Can you see a good way to get it in? Henry Lytton took over for him for 2 weeks, jumpstarting his own career. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:10, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. The two NY Times references are these, the Feb 13 article noting that he has been dangerously ill[1] but had been proounced convalescent by his physicians, and D'Oyly Carte's cable to the Times five days later noting that takings were running level despite the "great drawback" of Grossmith's "continual absence."[2] (of course, what it means is that the theatre was sold out in each case, and prices had not been lowered!). I would phrase it as a new paragraph, following the fourth paragraph of the D'Oyly Carte section:
In additon to his usual first night jitters, the opening of Ruddygore (as it was at first called) was a difficult time for Grossmith, who fell (according to The New York Times), "dangerously ill." However, by February 13, the paper reported that Grossmith had been pronounced convalescent by his physicians, and Grossmith soon resumed the role of Robin after a two-week's absence, to find the opera renamed and considerable alterations to the text. During Grossmith's absence, Henry Lytton, who would follow Grossmith as the most noteworthy portrayer of the Gilbert and Sullivan baritone parts of his time, and then Grossmith's understudy, performed in Grossmith's place. In spite of a favorable reception for Lytton, D'Oyly Carte noted the "great drawback" of Grossmith's "continual absence."--Wehwalt (talk) 19:03, 17 February 2008 (UTC).

I would modify this slightly: I wouldn't want to make too big a deal of it or to introduce extranneous ideas (e.g. the name change to Ruddigore, which is discussed at the Ruddigore article). It is POV whether Lytton was the "most" noteworthy, and this is not the place to have that discussion. See the DOC article - Lytton, Green, Pratt and Reid each have their rabid fans. How about: "A few days after the opening night of Ruddygore on 22 January 1887, Grossmith fell dangerously ill. However, by February 13, his physicians pronounced him convalescent,[3] and he soon resumed the role of Robin after a two-week's absence. During Grossmith's absence, his understudy Henry Lytton, who would later become the principal comedian of company, had the opportunity to perform the role in Grossmith's place."[4] -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:17, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

I was just doing a quick draft, that is why I put it in Talk page rather than in the article. Your changes look good.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:05, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, your draft was extremely helpful. I'll put the new draft in, but feel free to continuing editing/commenting, etc. Best regards, -- Ssilvers (talk) 05:50, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

GA review and pass

Like with Barrington, this article is comprehensive, wonderfully illustrated, well referenced and neutral as well as stable. It definitely passes for GA, and although I have some suggestions and comments, I won't put it on hold; I trust the various issues will be attended to accordingly. :)

  • Very picky MOS concern, but it was grilled into me in preparation for the sharks at FAC: date ranges ("1879-80" and "1885-87") require an en dash per WP:DASH.
    • Done
  • and for writing the comic 1892 novel (with his brother Weedon), Diary of a Nobody. Should the genre go before the year? I'm partial to it the other way around, but I wasn't sure if it was a British thing.
    • Done. I don't think it's a British style. Let's try it your way.
  • "See Me Dance the Polka." period goes outside of quotation marks.
    • I don't think that's right. If a quotation is more than one word, the punctuation goes inside the quotation marks. Do you see something different in MOS?
  • Is there a reason why the first two images outside of the lead do not have captions? The second one is self explanatory, but it would be nice to have a timeframe for the first one -- at what age is he?
    • I don't know, and the source doesn't say. He looks about 15 to me, but we shouldn't just guess.
  • Hampstead is linked in the second paragraph of "Life and career" but not the first. Switcheroo?
    • Done. Yup!
  • He was an avid amateur photographer and painter as a teenager (but it was his brother Weedon who went to art school): I don't think the parentheses are needed; the little factoid is great, but the brackets seem unnecessary, so I'd just remove those and keep the text.
    • Done.
  • George (1874-1935), Sylvia (1875-1932), Lawrence (1877-1944), and Cordelia Rosa (1879-1943): en dahses.
    • Done.
  • "penny readings." Period outside of quotation marks.
    • See comment above.
  • Grossmith toured in the summer of 1871 with Mr. and Mrs. Howard Paul: are we using the British spelling ("Mr and Mrs")?
    • Done, for consistency rather than to coddle the Brits. :)~
  • including what would be one of his most popular songs, "I am so Volatile," with words by his father: comma not part of title
    • See comment above.
  • "The Muddle Puddle Junction Porter." Period.
    • See comment above.
  • There is a great abundance of parenthetical asides in this article; the truth is that most of them can be integrated or removed all together. Just a suggestion for future copy-editing. For example, the first paragraph in "D'Oyly Carte years" has three of them, two of which are in back-to-back sentences. The text would read smoother with the text integrated with the rest of the sentence.
    • Good observation. I went through and took out some of them.
  • his understudy Henry Lytton, who would later become the principal comedian of company: "of the company"?
    • Done. Oops!
  • It's odd that W. S. Gilbert's full name is given and is linked randomly in the third paragraph of "D'Oyly Carte years" when he had been mentioned previously in the first two paragraphs and linked at the end of the last section. Could we just cut it down to "Gilbert"?
    • Done. Oops! Good catch.
  • Why was he addicted to morphine? It's only mentioned once and it could be better explained so it doesn't come as quite a shock -- nervousness, open night jitters... morphine?!
    • I added a cite and softened the language. The evidence for his addiction is not rock solid, but morphine use in the Victorian era was very common. Sullivan writes in his diary of using it on several occasions for pain. Mike Leigh, in creating his film portrayed Grossmith's use as an addiction. Grossmith does not mention it in his own book, but he might have been ashamed of it. Let me know if you still think more needs to be said, and what you would say.
      • I think that will do for now. It took me off guard when I first read it!
  • During his time with the company, also, Grossmith's father died in 1880, and his mother died in 1882: "also" is unnecessary, but it's also a weird spot chronologically and seems to stick out like a sore thumb. Does it need to be mentioned? Is there anything else to say about it?
    • I moved it to the top of the previous paragraph and rephrased it. See what you think.
      • Much better.
  • "See me Dance the Polka," "The Happy Fatherland," "The Polka and the Choir-boy," "Thou of My Thou," "The French Verbs," "Go on Talking-Don’t Mind Me," "I Don’t Mind Flies," and "Baby on the Shore." Punctuation.
    • See comment above.
  • In 1892-93 he toured North America: en dash
    • Done.
  • Grossmith wrote numerous humorous pieces for the magazine Punch: "numerous humorous" made me giggle. :) Also, Punch needs to be italicized.
    • I'm a poet, but I didn't know it. Fixed the ital. What should we do about numerous humorous - leave in the giggle or change it? Go ahead if you have an idea.
      • "many humorous"? "numerous witty"? I kind of like the rhyme, but then again I'm a nerd.

And that would be it. Great job! I've learned quite a bit that I didn't expect to learn. The lead could use perhaps a little plumping, perhaps with some biographical bits; that he followed in his father's footsteps, etc. You may also want to consider combining the last two sections "Writings and compositions; legacy" and "Recordings" because they're so much smaller than the rest of the article, unless there is more to include in there. Just a suggestion, though. María (habla conmigo) 13:18, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for all your great comments. Let me know after you take another look at the punctuation/quotes issue. -- Ssilvers (talk) 15:12, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
No prob! I'll respond about the punc issue here so it doesn't get lost up there: Wikipedia follows "logical quotation" rules, which is summed up at WP:PUNC: "Punctuation marks are placed inside the quotation marks only if the sense of the punctuation is part of the quotation". So unless the punctuation is part of the song title or quote, it should go outside the quotation marks. It took a long time for me to get used to this, and it looks horrible, I know, but dem's the rules. María (habla conmigo) 15:46, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, I've changed it per the guideline. I have an English degree from an Ivy League university, and none of my professors subscribed to this system, AFAIK. Sigh. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:56, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
I know, I'm not a big fan of it, either. Somewhere my senior adviser is pulling out what little hair he has left. Still, people get very picky about the MOS, especially in regards to FAC; so if you wanted to take this article that route, it's best you know now. :) María (habla conmigo) 19:42, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
That's crazy (and I have a minor in English from an Ivy League university). What's next, do we goe throo logical spelling next hear?--Wehwalt (talk) 20:08, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Morphine Addiction?

Just saw that the source quoted for this rumour is a dead link. I suggest replacing it by (talk) 09:11, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. I removed the dead link and cited Pearson directly. Morton's website doesn't add much, and it probably wouldn't pass our WP:RS guideline. All the best! -- Ssilvers (talk) 17:56, 8 August 2015 (UTC)


Please do not add an infobox to this article. The use of infoboxes in WP articles is optional. The Manual of Style says: "Whether to include an infobox ... and which parts of the infobox to use, is determined through discussion and consensus among the editors at each individual article." See also WP:DISINFOBOX. While sports and politician bios can benefit from infoboxes, most articles, as here, do not. Here are some reasons why I disagree with including an infobox in this article: (1) The box emphasizes unimportant factoids, and all the facts it presents are stripped of context and lacking nuance, whereas the WP:LEAD section emphasizes and contextualizes the most important facts. (2) The most important points about the article are discussed in the Lead, so the box is redundant. (3) It takes up valuable space at the top of the article and hampers the layout and impact of the Lead. (4) Frequent errors creep into infoboxes, as updates are made to the articles but not reflected in the redundant info in the box, and they tend to draw more vandalism and fancruft than other parts of articles. (5) The infobox template creates a lot of code near the top of the edit screen that discourages new editors from editing the article. (6) It discourages readers from reading the article. (7) It distracts editors from focusing on the content of the article. Instead of improving the article, they spend time working on this repetitive feature and its coding and formatting. (8) I am particularly familiar with the Gilbert and Sullivan-related articles on Wikipedia, and throughout the articles within the scope of WikiProject G&S, the consensus has been not to have infoboxes, so adding an infobox would degrade the consistency of design throughout these articles. -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:58, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

I second the above explanation. I-Bs are useful to the reader for many articles where life statistics can be summarised (sportspeople etc), but here they add nothing useful and are mere clutter, making Wikipedia look amateurish and clumsy to the visitor. Tim riley talk 20:30, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
I mean, well, does this (removed) Born George Grossmith 12 September 1847 Islington, United Kingdom Died 1 March 1912 (aged 64) Occupation Writer Nationality British Period 19th century add anything whatever to what is immediately obvious from the lead? It's like explaining Very Carefully to small children. Tim riley talk 21:26, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • As I have said on previous occasions, I cannot see that infoboxes serve any useful purpose, especially when all the relevant information is already included in the lead, as in this article. In addition, we have a policy on the G&S Project not to include optional infoboxes in the articles. Jack1956 (talk) 20:33, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

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