The Times/1890/Obituary/John Westland Marston

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Obituary: Mr. Westland Marston  (1890) 

John Westland Marston (1819–1890)
Source: Obituary. The Times, Wednesday, Jan 08, 1890; Issue 32903; pg. 10; col C


Mr. Westland Marston, LL.D., the well-known dramatic poet, died on Monday at his residence, 91, Euston-road. He was a native of Boston, in Lincolnshire, and was born in 1819. He was intended for the law and was articled to his uncle, a London solicitor; but on the completion of his legal education he betook himself to literature. He was only 22 years of age when he published his five-act drama of The Patrician's Daughter, which remained to the last the best of his dramatic works. This was succeeded in 1847 by The Heart and the World. Strathmore appeared in 1849, and Ann Blake in 1852. He then wrote a more sombre work, Philip of France. a tragedy containing passages of strong interest. Other plays subsequently published were A Life's Reason; Borough Politics, a comic drama in two acts; A Hard Struggle, a dramatic sketch in one act. Dr. Marston also assisted in the composition of Trevanion, or the False Position, a play in three acts. During the later stages of his career he wrote Pure Gold, a play in four acts; The Wife's Portrait, a drama in two acts; Donna Diana, a comedy in three acts partly drawn from German sources; The Favourite of Fortune, a comedy played at the Haymarket Theatre in 1866; A Hero of Romance, from the French, with some original scenes, produced at the Lyceum Theatre in 1868, entitled Life for Life. His last dramatic production was a comedy in four acts, entitled Under Fire, played at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1886. Conjointly with Mr. John Saunders, Dr. Marston edited many years ago the National Magazine. He also wrote several popular lyrics, including the stirring poem, "The Death Ride to Balaclava." In 1842 he published "Gerald, a dramatic poem, and other Poems," and a novel entitled "A Lady in her own Right" in 1860. A collection of stories contributed to the periodicals was published in 1861 under the title of "Family Credit, and other Tales." His "Dramatic and Poetic Works" were issued in a collected form, in two volumes, in 1876. He was in receipt of a small pension under the Civil List. Dr. Marston was a most accomplished critic, and at one time a frequent contributor to literary journals. His dramatic taste and long experience made him the advisor of successive generations of authors, actors, and managers, who freely sought the counsel which he was always ready to impart. His latter years were saddened by the death of both his daughters and of his gifted son, Philip Bourke Marston, "the blind poet," who died in 1886. In 1887 Byron's Werner was revived for Dr. Marston's benefit at the Lyceum, under the direction of Mr. Irving, who sustained the principle character. The performance was both successful and productive.

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