George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
250px-George_Bernard_Shaw_notebook.jpg
Table of Contents

George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He was also an essayist, novelist and short story writer. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. Issues which engaged Shaw's attention included education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.

He was most angered by what he perceived as the exploitation of the working class. An ardent socialist, Shaw wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He became an accomplished orator in the furtherance of its causes, which included gaining equal rights for men and women, alleviating abuses of the working class, rescinding private ownership of productive land, and promoting healthy lifestyles. For a short time he was active in local politics, serving on the London County Council.

In 1898, Shaw married Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a fellow Fabian, whom he survived. They settled in Ayot St Lawrence in a house now called Shaw's Corner. Shaw died there, aged 94, from chronic problems exacerbated by injuries he incurred by falling from a ladder.

He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion (adaptation of his play of the same name), respectively. Shaw wanted to refuse his Nobel Prize outright because he had no desire for public honours, but accepted it at his wife's behest: she considered it a tribute to Ireland. He did reject the monetary award, requesting it be used to finance translation of Swedish books into English.

Plays

Year Title Premiere Venue Premiere City
1949 Shakes versus Shav Foley House Malvern
1947 Buoyant Billions
1939 In Good King Charles's Golden Days Malvern Festival Theatre Malvern
1938 Geneva Malvern Festival Theatre Malvern
1936 The Millionairess Malvern Festival Theatre Malvern
1934 The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles
1934 The Six of Calais
1933 On the Rocks
1931 Too True To Be Good
1929 The Apple Cart Malvern Festival Theatre Malvern
1923 Saint Joan Garrick Theatre New York
1921 In the Beginning Garrick Theatre New York
1921 The Gospel of the Brothers Barnabas Garrick Theatre New York
1921 The Thing Happens Garrick Theatre New York
1921 Tragedy of an Elderly Gentleman Garrick Theatre New York
1921 As Far as Thought Can Reach Garrick Theatre New York
1919 Heartbreak House
1917 Annajanska, the Bolshevik Empress
1916 Augustus Does His Bit
1915 O'Flaherty VC
1915 The Inca of Perusalem
1913 The Great Catherine
1912 Pygmalion Hofburg Theatre Vienna
1912 Androcles and the Lion
1912 Overruled
1911 Fanny's First Play Adelphi Theatre London
1910 The Dark Lady of the Sonnets
1910 Misalliance
1909 Press Cuttings
1909 The Fascinating Foundling
1909 The Glimpse of Reality
1908 Getting Married
1909 The Shewing Up of Blanco Posnet
1906 The Doctor's Dilemma Royal Court Theatre London
1905 Major Barbara Royal Court Theatre London
1904 John Bull's Other Island Royal Court Theatre London
1904 How He Lied to Her Husband
1902 Man and Superman Royal Court Theatre London
1901 The Admirable Bashville
1898 The Philanderer
1898 Caesar and Cleopatra Theatre Royal Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1897 You Never Can Tell Royalty Theatre London
1897 The Devil's Disciple
1895 The Man of Destiny
1894 Arms and the Man Avenue Theatre London
1894 Candida Princess Theatre New York
1893 Mrs. Warren's Profession New Lyric Club London
1892 Widower's Houses Royalty Theatre London
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License