1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Guthrie, Thomas Anstey

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GUTHRIE, THOMAS ANSTEY (1856– ), known by the pseudonym of F. Anstey, English novelist, was born in Kensington, London, on the 8th of August 1856. He was educated at King’s College, London, and at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and was called to the bar in 1880. But the popular success of his story Vice-Versa (1882) with its topsy-turvy substitution of a father for his schoolboy son, at once made his reputation as a humorist of an original type. He published in 1883 a serious novel, The Giant’s Robe; but, in spite of its excellence, he discovered (and again in 1889 with The Pariah) that it was not as a serious novelist but as a humorist that the public insisted on regarding him. As such his reputation was further confirmed by The Black Poodle (1884), The Tinted Venus (1885), A Fallen Idol (1886), and other works. He became an important member of the staff of Punch, in which his “Voces populi” and his humorous parodies of a reciter’s stock-piece (“Burglar Bill,” &c.) represent his best work. In 1901 his successful farce The Man from Blankley’s, based on a story which originally appeared in Punch, was first produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, in London.