George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw

by Olivia Coolidge
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
©1968, Item: 91161
Hardcover, 227 pages
Not in stock

The books in this section are usually hardcover and in decent condition, though we'll sometimes offer hard-to-find books in lesser condition at a reduced price. Though we often put images of the book with their original dust jackets, the copies here won't always (or even often) have them. If that is important to you, please call ahead or say so in the order comments! 

A biography of the Irish playwright and leader of the Fabian Society, examining his contribution to changing social values in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and to the history of drama.

"What is an Irishman?", the author begins and with these words she draws us irrevocably into the life of one of the liveliest, wittiest, and most flamboyant Irishmen of them all.

The talents of George Bernard Shaw were wide-spread and his interests even more so. His contributions to the fields of drama, politics, religion, and London society kept minds churning and tongues wagging throughout his long life.

This life began, inauspiciously enough, in a bleak household in Dublin. Born into a dying tradition of gentility, the son of down-at-heel parents, he was early taught the difference between a wealthy shopkeeper and a penniless gentleman.

Shaw did not stay in Dublin long. Realizing that his ambitions for greatness were not likely to be achieved there, at the age of twenty he packed his bags and went off London. There he paced the museums and libraries, joined all manner of radical organizations, held various jobs from time to time, but most importantly, he wrote and he talked. When his first play, "Widowers' Houses," was produced, the critics were hostile. Shaw was not concerned. He was convinced that he was a born dramatist—and time was to prove him, not the critics, right. In short succession followed "Mrs. Warren's Profession," "Arms and the Man," and "Candida," one of his most famous works; and Shaw was launched in his illustrious career. Through his plays and his work in the socialist Fabian Society, he became an important influence in late nineteenth-century politics. For though he wrote comedy, it was with intense seriousness that
Shaw recognized the need to expose human folly.

Writing with great skill and perception, Olivia Coolidge describes the life of this most persistent world-betterer," as only she could. With a subtlety of humor that goes hand in hand with the Shavian wit she takes a fresh look at the man who himself turned a novel eye to society and its values..

Did you find this review helpful?