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George Farquhar

George Farquhar (1678-1707): Irish dramatist. Born in Londonderry, he attended Trinity College, but left to join a roving troupe of actors. His career was blossoming, when an accident on stage in which he wounded a fellow actor in a sword fight, caused him to quit the stage.

Farquhar wrote his first play, The Constant Couple, when he was only twenty. The unexpected success of the production convinced him to try his hand at writing again with Sir Henry Wildair and The Inconstant, or the Way to Win Him. Farquhar was rapidly gaining a following, and even married someone he believed would be a wealthy patroness. When it turned out, however, that she was poor too, he set himself to work to support his new family.

It was in this period that he produced The Stage Coach, The Twin Rivals, The Recruiting Officer, and The Beaux Stratagem. The last work, completed as he was dying, is considered by many to be Farquhar's best. It was in "The Twin Rivals", however, that his most frequently quoted line, "Necessity, the mother of invention," appears.

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