On the centenary of WS Gilbert’s death, Tom Ford sheds light on the life without Sullivan.

T hey were a musical and lyric juggernaut brought to its knees by a series of artistic and personal misunderstandings. This disharmony – like John Lenon and Paul McCartney’s – was left unresolved following a premature and unforeseen death.

The mighty partnership between wordsmith William Schwenck Gilbert and musical prodigy Arthur Seymour Sullivan, which produced 14 comic...