Thomas Purnell (critic)
Thomas Purnell (1834–1889) was a British author, best known as a dramatic critic writing as "Q".
In 1862 Purnell was recommended by Sir Thomas Duffus Hardy as assistant-secretary and librarian of the Archæological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, and he retained the post until 1866. In 1870–1 he contributed to the Athenæum, under the signature "Q.", a series of dramatic criticisms which attracted notice by their style and slashing censures. Charles Reade and Tom Taylor published replies.
Purnell founded a small literary club, the "Decemviri", which included A. C. Swinburne, Whistler, Robert Edward Francillon, and Joseph Knight. He came to know Giuseppe Mazzini, to whom he introduced Swinburne and others. He died at Lloyd Square, Pentonville, London, where his sister kept house for him, on 17 December 1889, after a long illness.
- Literature and its Professors, London, 1867.
- Dramatists of the Present Day (reprinted from the Athenæum), by Q., London, 1871.
- To London and elsewhere, London, 1881.
- The Lady Drusilla: a Psychological Romance, London, 1886.
- Dust and Diamonds: Essays, London, 1888.