A traveling salesman’s early career on the road proved to be an interesting path to the creation of a prodigious body of work documenting nearly three centuries of British and Irish theatrical productions. Born in Belfast in 1862, William J. Lawrence was educated at Methodist College, and at the end of his formal schooling became a commercial agent for a wine and liquor wholesaler. Seeking to enliven an existence for which he quickly found himself ill-suited, Lawrence began to delve into old periodicals in Dublin libraries, jotting down the anecdotes and accounts he found of the city’s stage heritage. By 1892, he had published his first book, The Life of Gustavas Vaughn Brooke, Tragedian, and shortly thereafter, resigned his position to conduct research and contribute reviews to a variety of publications.


Lawrence’s Obituary

lawrence obituary