W. S. Gilbert bibliography  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

This is a selected list of W. S. Gilbert's works, including all that have their own Wikipedia articles. For a complete list of Gilbert's dramatic works, see List of W. S. Gilbert dramatic works.



  • The Bab Ballads, a collection of comic verse published roughly between 1865 and 1871.

Selected short stories

Publications that include one or more of Gilbert's short stories that are not in Foggerty's Fairy and Other Tales
  • Belgravia, vol. 2 (1867). “From St. Paul’s to Piccadilly,” pp. 67-74
  • Fun, vol. 1 new series (1865-1866) (several contributions by Gilbert; near end of volume, Fun Christmas Number 1865, with Gilbert’s “The Astounding Adventure of Wheeler J. Calamity,” pp. 17-18)
  • London Society, vol. 13 (1868) (three “Thumbnail Sketches” by Gilbert, pp. 50-57, 132-136, 315-319)
  • On the Cards: Routledge’s Christmas Annual (1867) (“Diamonds,” pp. 25-37, and “The Converted Clown,” pp. 137-139)


Selected stage works that were important to Gilbert's career or were otherwise notable, in chronological order, excluding those listed under other headings below:

German Reed Entertainments

Gilbert wrote six one-act musical entertainments for the German Reeds between 1869 and 1875. They were successful in their own right and also helped form Gilbert's mature style as a dramatist. These include:

Early comic operas

The Gilbert and Sullivan operas

All of these operas are full-length two-act works, except for Trial by Jury, which is in one act, and Princess Ida, which is three acts.

Later operas without Sullivan

Though not as popular as the works with Arthur Sullivan, a few of Gilbert's later works arguably have stronger plots than the last two Gilbert and Sullivan operas.<ref>See, e.g., Wolfson, pgs 64-65.</ref>

Parlour ballads

Gilbert is known to have written lyrics for twelve parlour ballads.<ref name=Allen74>Allen, p. 74</ref> These are:

  • "The Yarn of the Nancy Bell", with music by Alfred Plumpton. One of the Bab Ballads. Published by Charles Jeffreys in 1869.<ref name=Allen74 />
  • "Thady O'Flynn", with music by James L. Molloy. Published by Boosey & Co on 7 October 1868. From No Cards.<ref>Allen p. 25</ref>
  • "Would You Know that Maiden Fair", with music by Frederic Clay. From Ages Ago. Published by Boosey c. 1869.<ref> Allen p. 28</ref>
  • "Corisande", with music by James L. Molloy. Published by Boosey on 18 June, 1870.<ref name=Allen74 />
  • "Eily's Reason", with music by James L. Molloy. Published by Boosey on 27 February 1871.<ref name=Allen74 />
  • Three songs from A Sensation Novel: "The Detective's Song", "The Tyrannical Bridegroom", and "The Jewel". Published by Hopwood & Co in 1871.<ref>Allen p. 32</ref>
  • "The Distant Shore", with music by Arthur Sullivan. Published by Chappell & Co on 18 December 1874.<ref name=Allen74 />
  • "The Love that Loves me Not", with music by Arthur Sullivan. Published by Novello, Ewer & Co in 1875.<ref name=Allen74 />
  • "Sweethearts", with music by Arthur Sullivan. Based on the play of the same name and used to promote it. Published by Chappell & Co in 1875.<ref>Allen, p. 41</ref>
  • "Let Me Stay", with music by Walter Maynard. Published by Boosey on 13 December 1875. The same lyric was set by Edward German for Broken Hearts.<ref name=Allen74 />

See also



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "W. S. Gilbert bibliography" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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