Knowles, James Sheridan (nōlz) [key], 1784–1862, Anglo-Irish dramatist; cousin of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Although he was one of the leading playwrights of his time, his works are seldom produced today. His chief plays, which are noted for their professional, workmanlike construction, include the tragedies Virginius (1820) and William Tell (1825) and the comedies The Hunchback (1832) and The Beggar of Bethnal Green (1834). In 1845, Knowles became a Baptist minister.
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