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Sutro, Alfred

SUTRO, ALFRED

SUTRO, ALFRED (1863–1933), English playwright. The son of a German physician and grandson of a rabbi, Sutro was educated at the City of London School and in Brussels, and became a successful wholesale merchant. After his marriage – his wife was a sister of the first Marquess of *Reading – he devoted himself exclusively to writing. He made his reputation in 1904 with a social comedy, The Walls of Jericho, which was followed during the next quarter century by many other West End stage successes, generally on stock themes but always written with wit and polish.

His plays include The Fascinating Mr. Vanderveldt (1906), The Perplexed Husband (1913), The Desperate Lovers (1927), and Living Together (1929). Sutro showed a deeper vein in his essays and sketches – About Women (1931) – where satire is sometimes edged with bitterness. He was also a talented translator, mainly of the works of his lifelong friend, the Belgian dramatist Maurice Maeterlinck. Sutro was a friend of many noted writers of his day, including George Bernard Shaw and D.H. Lawrence. He wrote an autobiography, Celebrities and Simple Souls (1933).

add. bibliography:

odnb online; L. Sawin, Alfred Sutro: A Man With a Heart (1989).

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