Gilbert's Letter to The Times of 26 January 1892
Issue 33544, pg. 11 col E


The Mountebanks


Sir,--A Mr. Edward M'Nulty has published a letter in several London and provincial journals, in which he suggests that I misappropriated certain important elements of The Mountebanks from a libretto of his own composition, which he sent to the late Mr. Cellier "early in the summer of last year."

My reply to this charge is that the libretto of The Mountebanks was completed, in every essential detail, in January, 1891, and that I read the piece, in what is practically its present condition, to Mr. Goring Thomas on the 4th of last February.

I may add that the plot (subject to certain modifications of detail which do not touch Mr. M'Nulty's "coincidences") was composed seven years ago for the Savoy Theatre.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

London, Jan. 24.
W.S. GILBERT

P.S.--As Mr. Cellier never told me of the existence of Mr. M'Nulty's coincidental manuscript, I think it highly probable that Mr. Cellier never read it.

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