Image of Arthur Wing Pinero


Lifetime: 1855 - 1934 Passed: ≈ 88 years ago


Playwright, Actor



Arthur Wing Pinero

Sir Arthur Wing Pinero was an English playwright and, early in his career, actor.

Pinero was drawn to the theatre from an early age, and became a professional actor at the age of 19. He gained experience as a supporting actor in British provincial theatres, and from 1876 to 1881 was a member of Henry Irving's company, based at the Lyceum Theatre, London.

Pinero was born in London, the only son, and second of three children, of John Daniel Pinero (1798–1871), and his wife Lucy, née Daines (1836–1905). Pinero's father and grandfather were London solicitors. They were descended from the Pinheiro family, described by Pinero's biographer John Dawick as "a distinguished family of Sephardic Jews who rose to prominence in medieval Portugal before suffering the persecutions of the Inquisition". Pinero's branch of the family fled to England. His grandfather abandoned the Jewish faith, became a member of the Church of England, married a Christian Englishwoman, Margaret Wing, and became a highly successful lawyer. His younger son, Pinero's father, also took up the legal profession, but was much less successful; Pinero was brought up in circumstances that were not poor but were not affluent. He attended Spa Fields Chapel charity school in Exmouth Street, Clerkenwell, London, until the age of ten, when he went to work in his father's office.

John Daniel Pinero died in May 1871, leaving very little money. To contribute to the family income, Pinero continued to work as a solicitor's clerk, earning £1 a week. In the evenings he studied elocution at the Birkbeck Literary and Scientific Institution. He and his fellow students staged several productions of plays, and Pinero became irresistibly drawn to the theatre. In May 1874 he abandoned the legal profession and joined R. H. Wyndham at the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh, as a "general utility" actor. He made his professional debut in the small role of a groom in an adaptation of Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White.

Books by Arthur Wing Pinero

The Princess and the Butterfly Cover image

The Princess and the Butterfly

Love Fear Comics Romance Castle Fun

The English-born Princess Pannonia had spent the twenty years of her marriage isolated in the Prince's remote Hungarian castle. Now widowed, she returns to London to re-engage with former friends, all fearfully facing middle-age. Can romance be rekin...

The Freaks: An Idyll of Suburbia Cover image

The Freaks: An Idyll of Suburbia

Money Comics Culture Trust Mortality

When Mrs. Herrick's brother Charlie dies, he leaves his money in trust for members of the circus he used to own under the name of "Segantini's World Renowned Mammoth International Hippodrome and Museum of Living Marvels". When five of the Extraordina...

Iris Cover image


Marriage Play Love Young Society Classics Relationships Women

"Iris" is a dramatic comedy that explores themes of love, family, and society through its portrayal of a young woman named Iris and her relationships with the people in her life. The play is notable for its witty dialogue and its sharp commentary on...

A Wife Without A Smile Cover image

A Wife Without A Smile

Marriage Play Nature Comics Relationships

It is a classic play that explores the complexities of marriage and relationships in Victorian society. The play revolves around the character of Lady Carbury, a woman who appears to have everything but is deeply unhappy and unfulfilled in her marria...

Trelawny of the Wells Cover image

Trelawny of the Wells

Play Struggle Journey Life Desire Music Relationships

This is the story of a young actress named Rose Trelawny, who struggles to adapt to the changing times of the theatre world in the late 19th century. First performed in 1898, "Trelawny of the Wells" is a comedy-drama that explores the clash between...

Letty Cover image


Love Challenges Victorian Society Journey Life Desire Emotion Relationships Secret

This compelling story follows the life of Letty, a young woman who finds herself entangled in a web of romance, scandal, and personal transformation. Set in the backdrop of Victorian society, "Letty" explores the struggles and challenges faced by it...

The Profligate Cover image

The Profligate

Drama Novel
Play Morality Self-Discovery Conflicts Relationships Literary Fiction Live Performances

"The Profligate" by Arthur Wing Pinero is a captivating novel that explores the consequences of a young man's reckless behavior and the path to redemption. Written by Arthur Wing Pinero, a prominent British playwright and novelist, this compelling st...

The Cabinet Minister Cover image

The Cabinet Minister

Satire Drama
Play Love Politics Act Corruption Experiences Ambition Hypocrisy

"A Cabinet Minister is forced to choose between his career and his wife in this gripping political drama by Arthur Wing Pinero." The Cabinet Minister is a play by Arthur Wing Pinero that was first performed in 1890. The play tells the story of Sir R...