Gilbert and Sullivan Archive



SARAH MANKOWSKI: The only allusion to The Grand Duke that I can find is in The West End Horror, by Nicholas Meyer.

ANDREW CROWTHER: There's an early short story by P.G. Wodehouse, "The Tom Brown Question", published in Tales of St. Austins (1903). One character says, "I am young, says one of Gilbert's characters, the Grand Duke, I think, but, he adds, I am not so young as that."

ARTHUR ROBINSON: Wodehouse's second reference to The Grand Duke comes in an essay reprinted in the 1976 anthology The Uncollected Wodehouse (in a section of essays headed "1914-1919"), apparently an article from Vanity Fair entitled "On the Writing of Lyrics." I quote from p. 35, where PGW laments that modern lyricists must keep their vocabulary simple so that modern [pre-1920!] audiences can understand their lyrics:

"That is one of the thousand reasons why new Gilberts do not arise. Gilbert had the advantage of being a genius, but he had the additional advantage of writing for a public which permitted him to use his full vocabulary, and even to drop into foreign languages, even Latin and a little Greek when he felt like it. (I allude to that song in The Grand Duke.)"

Page created 23 March 1998