Gilbert wrote Broken Hearts for his friend, John Hare of the Court Theatre. He worked on the play for much of 1875 and said that he had "invested a great part of himself" in the work. Hare generally directed the plays that he starred in, and Gilbert preferred to direct the plays that he wrote. Therefore, the two men, both quick-tempered, clashed at rehearsals of Broken Hearts. Gilbert sent an advance copy of the script to his old friend, the critic Clement Scott, who was then the editor of The Theatre. Scott indicated that he was pleased with the play. Gilbert wrote to Scott, "I am delighted to think that you like the piece so much. I have been so often told that I am devoid of a mysterious quality called 'sympathy' that I determined in this piece to do my best to show that I could pump it up if necessary. " Later, however, Scott quoted a joke by F. C. Burnand about going to see "Broken Parts". Gilbert was hurt and called Scott's remark "Most offensive, and likely to cause a great deal of injury to my play. "