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Purchase one of 1st World Library's Classic Books and help support our free internet library of downloadable eBooks. Visit us online at www 1stWorldLibrary.ORG - - James Sheridan Knowles was born at Cork in 1784, and died at Torquay in December, 1862, at the age of 78. His father was a teacher of elocution, who compiled a dictionary, and who was related to the Sheridans. He moved to London when his son was eight years old, and there became acquainted with William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb. The son, after his school education, obtained a commission in the army, but gave up everything for the stage, and made his first appearance at the Crow Street Theatre, in Dublin. He did not become a great actor, and when he took to writing plays he did not prove himself a great poet, but his skill in contriving situations through which a good actor can make his powers tell upon the public, won the heart of the great actor of his day, and as Macready's own poet he rose to fame. Before Macready had discovered him, Sheridan Knowles lived partly by teaching elocution at Belfast and Glasgow, partly by practice of elocution as an actor.
In 1815 he produced at the Belfast Theatre his first play, Caius Gracchus.