Sir Arthur Wing Pinero was born in London, and while he originally studied law, found his way to the stage. He joined R. H. Wyndham at the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh and made his professional debut in an adaptation of Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White. Pinero achieved minor success in the provinces, graduating to Henry Irving's company at the Lyceum Theatre, London.
In the latter part of the 1870s, while still a member of Irving's company, he began writing plays. His first was £200 a Year, a one-act comedy. He went on to earn critical acclaim for his comedies, including The Magistrate (1885) and The Amazons (1893). Pinero also turned his attention to serious than to farcical topics. He wrote one of his best known serious plays, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray in 1893. In total, Pinero authored 59 plays, including comedies, farces, and dramas.
In 1887, Pinero joined the Garrick Club, a London gentlemen's club based in arts and culture. In the first decade of the twentieth century Pinero continued to be regarded as among the forefront of British playwrights. He was knighted in 1909 - the second playwright (after W.S. Gilbert) to receive this honor for only his theatrical work.
The final years of Pinero's life were underpinne by tragedy. His stepson killed himself in 1913 and the onset of the First World War affected his desire and ability to write. In 1919, his wife died following a lengthy illness. Pinero retreated with grief and was rarely seen in London's theatres. He died in 1934, following a hernia operation.
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