Winter, William


Winter, William
(1836-1917)
   Born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the influential critic was educated at Harvard University to become a lawyer, but gave it up when he was inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to become a writer. Winter wrote poetry and became literary editor of The Saturday Press in 1859 before joining the staff of the Albion as its drama critic in 1861. He was appointed the New York Tribune's drama critic in 1865 and remained there until he retired in 1909. His penchant for writing florid memorial tributes to deceased actors and his affection for 19th-century romanticism earned him the nickname "Weeping Willie."
   Winter was well respected in his early years. However, with the appearance of Henrik Ibsen's social problem plays, Winter became a vocal opponent of the movement toward realism, believing that a clear moral outcome to a play was all-important. He found modernist drama inherently pessimistic and vigorously upheld old standards. Along with regular criticism in the Tribune, Winter wrote for numerous other publications and authored several books, including Other Days (1908), Old Friends (1909), and The Wallet of Time (1913), along with biographies of notable theatre artists, including Edwin Booth (1893), Ada Rehan (1898), Richard Mansfield (1910), Joseph Jefferson III (1913), Tyrone Power (1913), and David Be-lasco (1918, two volumes).

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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