A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Foote, Samuel

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Foote, Samuel (1720-1777). -- Actor and dramatist, b. at Truro of a good family, and ed. at Oxf., succeeded by his extravagance and folly in running through two fortunes. To repair his finances he turned to the stage, and began with tragedy, in which he failed. He then took to comedy, and the mimetic representation of living characters, for which his extraordinary comic powers highly qualified him. He also became a prolific author of dramatic pieces. He wrote 20 plays, and claimed to have added 16 original characters to the stage. Several of his pieces, owing to the offence they gave to persons of importance, were suppressed, but were usually revived in a slightly modified form. His conversation was agreeable and entertaining in the highest degree. Among his best works are An Auction of Pictures, The Liar, and The Mayor of Garratt (1763), The Lame Lover (1770), The Knights (1749), Author (suppressed) 1757, Devil upon Two Sticks (1768), The Nabob (1779), The Capuchin (1776).