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Home, John

Home, John (1722–1808). Scottish dramatist and man of letters. Home was the author of Douglas: A Tragedy (1756), one of the most popular plays of the age with one of Sarah Siddons's favourite parts. It also encouraged a Scottish fan to yell, ‘Whaur's yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?’ at the first London performance. Born in Leith, educated for the kirk, Home fought for the government during the '45. A member of the moderate wing of the kirk, he was greatly distrusted by the orthodox. One of Bute's Scottish coterie of advisers and a royal pensioner, he was an active campaigner for a Scottish militia and a reasonably prolific playwright, who never managed to repeat the success of Douglas. His last work, a History of the Rebellion of 1745, lacks the panache and historical acumen one might have expected of a leading member of the Edinburgh literati. Home was a gregarious man who lived well and failed to live up to expectations.

Nicholas Phillipson

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