Lillo, George, 1693–1739, English dramatist. The son of a prosperous jeweller, he was for many years his father's partner in the trade. He is chiefly remembered as the author of The London Merchant; or, The History of George Barnwell (1731), the first prose domestic tragedy in English. Though the play was popular in England throughout the 18th cent., its influence was more strongly felt on the Continent, particularly in the domestic drama of Diderot and Lessing. The only other notable play by Lillo was The Fatal Curiosity (1736).
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