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Hook Theodore Edward

Hook, Theodore Edward (1788-1841), wit and novelist, was the son of James Hook, a musical composer. He was born in London, and educated at Harrow and Oxford. His Soldier's Return, a comic opera, acted when he was only sixteen, was followed by numerous melodramas and farces, which appeared in quick succession. At the same time he became a general favourite in London society owing to his wit and gaiety and his power of repartee and of improvisation in verse and music. In 1813 he he was appointed accountant-general and treasurer of the Mauritius, but in consequence of the discovery of a deficiency of 62,000 dollars he was summoned home in 1818. As he was unable to give any account of the money, he was held responsible for its loss, and was imprisoned in the King's Bench from 1823 to 1825. In 1820 he became editor of John Bull, a Tory journal, which he conducted with much skill, though not always with very good taste. His novels - Sayings and Doings (a series of nine published in 1826-29), Maxwell (1830), Gilbert Gurney (1836), etc. - were all of them realistic representations of actual characters and events. He also wrote a Life of Sir David Baird (1832), and recast the Memoirs of Michael Kelly.