Gilbert's Letter to The Times of 6 March 1882
issue 30447, pg. 6 col F


Dramatic Thefts


Sir,--It is a pity that "Ouida," who seems to have a substantial grievance against some dramatic pilferer, should weaken the force of her appeal by indiscriminate abuse. She should learn to distinguish between those who follow their profession reputably and those whose work would never find its way on to the stage but for the imperfect condition of our copyright laws. I have heard men with equal unfairness condemn all novels written by ladies because the works of certain lady novelists are deficient in the qualities of delicacy and good taste.

I pass over "Ouida's" comments upon "the false taste, the ludicrous ignorance, the dull blunders, and the duller jokes that characterize the English playwright," as it must be admitted that they apply with peculiar force to those adapters who see in "Ouida's" novels dramatic material of any appreciable value.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

London, March 3.

W.S. GILBERT

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