SHAW 16 contains twenty-nine unpublished pieces by Shaw written between 1877 and 1950. The most significant is a ten-page draft synopsis of Man and Superman (the original manuscript draft of the play has been lost) in a contemplated five-act version, providing scholars with a hitherto unavailable ur-text. Equally important for the biographical and artistic insights they offer are the early literary efforts found in Shaw's first opus notebook, including an extended narrative-verse fragment of 1877 set in Dublin; a polemic (his first) on oakum picking and prison conditions; a criticism of organists and orchestral conductors; and an attempted evaluation of contemporary arts and letters in 1878. We find Shaw, through the persona of a female narrator, creating in his own image a fictional memoir of the young Hector Berlioz; offering an ironic vindication of housebreakers (in anticipation of Heartbreak House); exploring the seamy side of the prizefight ring; examining "exhausted" genres of Victorian art in 1880; defining the "true signification of the term Gentleman"; lecturing on Socialism and the family and on realism as the goal of fiction; and penetratingly considering the future of marriage in a rejected book review, one of four included in the volume. The dimensions of Shaw's political views may be examined through nearly a dozen commentaries on politics and on war and peace, ranging from the Boer War (an 1899 draft letter to the press, "Why Not Abolish the Soldier?") and 1903 municipal elections to U.S. Liberty Loans, the Italo-Abyssinian War, "how to talk intelligently" about the Second World War, and the implications of the hydrogen bomb in the nuclear age. For good measure, the volume concludes with two brief playlets, previously unrecorded. The editors have arranged these pieces individually or grouped by theme and genre as near to chronological order as possible, and the reader is brought closer to the original manuscripts by the retention of Shaw's stylistic and spelling inconsistencies, and by transliteration of the shorthand notations he frequently inserted between lines or in the margins. Each text is supplemented by an editorial note providing its provenance and a detailed physical description of the manuscript.
This special issue of Shaw offers ten articles that focus on the theme of "Shaw and History." That focus illuminates Shaw's concept of history as art and its uses for dramatic purposes. It is a focus that is broadly applied to the historical perspective. Views range from Shaw's uses of historical sources in the Shavianizing of history, his uses of historical, geographical, and political places and events in his work, to views that place selected Shavian works within a historical context. Stanley Weintraub discusses Shaw's references to Cetewayo, Zulu chieftain, in Cashel Byron's Profession as the first incorporation of a contemporary historical figure into his work. John Allett explores the liberal, socialist, and radical feminist views of prostitution in nineteenth-century England and demonstrates how those political views are developed within the unfolding action ofMrs Warren's Profession. Sidney P. Albert studies the Utopian movement, "The Garden City," to determine the extent to which that movement influenced Shaw's conception of Perivale St. Andres inMajor Barbara. He also narrates his personal attempt to identify the Ballycorus smelting works and its surroundings as well as the campanile, or Folly, at Faringdon as sites that provided the scenic sources for Perivale St. Andres inMajor Barbara. Gale K. Larson has edited a partially unpublished Shavian manuscript that addresses Shaw's relationship with Frank Harris and, among other matters, sets the historical record right as to who deserves the credit for attributing the identity of the Dark Lady of the Sonnets to Mary Fitton. He also examines the historical sources that influenced Shaw's views on Charles II, the "Merry Monarch," in"In Good King Charles's Golden Days" and demonstrates Shaw's reclamation of yet another historical figure from the traditional historians. David Gunby examines the first-night performance of O'Flaherty, V.C. for purposes of setting the historical record straight as to the facts of that production. Wendi Chen presents the stage history of the production of Mrs Warren's Professionin China during the early 1920s and argues its central role in shaping modern Chinese drama. Rodelle Weintraub assesses Too True to Be Good as a dream play within the context of the nightmarish times of World War I. Michael M. O'Hara surveys the Federal Theatre's productions of Androcles and the Lionin the 1930s to reveal the political and religious repressions that those productions underscore. Shaw 19 also includes three reviews of recent additions to Shavian scholarship as well as John R. Pfeiffer's "Continuing Checklist of Shaviana."
Demonstrating the influence of scholar-teacher Stanley Weintraub on his students, Shaw and Other Matters reflects the scope of that influence in its concern with a variety of literary figures - from Shaw to Joe Orton - and of topics such as war memoirs and golem/robots. The variety is there, as well, in the approaches to the subjects: Rodelle Weintraub's dream analysis of Arms and the Man; Julie Sparks's comparison of Shaw with Bellamy, Morris, and Bulwer-Lytton as world "betterers"; Michael Pharand's evaluation of Shaw's changing views of Napoleon; Kinley Roby's tracing of Shaw's exchanges of views on playwriting with Arnold Bennett; and Kay Li's archetypal exploration of characters in Heartbreak House.
This book argues that Shaw was a masterful reader of Ibsen's plays both as texts and as the cornerstone of the modern theatre. Dismantling the notion that Shaw distorted Ibsen to promote his own view of the world, and establishing Shaw’s initial interest in Ibsen as the poet of Peer Gynt, it chronicles Shaw’s important role in the London Ibsen campaign and exposes the falsity of the tradition that Shaw branded Ibsen as a socialist. Further, this study shows that Shaw’s famous but maligned The Quintessence of Ibsenism reflects Ibsen’s own anti-idealist notion of his work and argues that Shaw’s readings of Ibsen’s plays are pioneering analyses that anticipate later criticism. It offers new readings of Shaw’s “Ibsenist” plays as well as a comprehensive account of Ibsen’s importance for Shaw’s dramatic criticism, from his early journalism to Our Theatres of the Nineties, both as a weapon against the inanities of the Victorian stage and as the standard bearer for modernism.
A collection of critical writings on music from the Nobel Prize–winning playwright behind Saint Joan and Man and Superman. The Critical Shaw: On Music is a comprehensive selection of renowned Irish playwright and Nobel Laureate Bernard Shaw’s extensive writings on a wide range of musical topics. Still recognized as one of Great Britain’s most important music critics, Shaw enriched London’s musical scene for some twenty years with his provocative, original, and penetrating reviews, before giving up music criticism to concentrate his talents on playwriting. His vast critical output encompassed opera, operetta, vocal and orchestral performance, musical theater, and oratorios, and took in major composers and performers as well as many long since forgotten names. Frequently embellished by his controversial political and social opinions, and delving as well into the nature of music criticism itself, Shaw’s reviews continue to stimulate and surprise, their depth and range setting standards that are rarely, if ever, matched today. Included in this edition is a previously unpublished draft on voice training prepared by Shaw for Vandeleur Lee, his mother’s singing teacher. The Critical Shaw series brings together, in five volumes and from a wide range of sources, selections from Bernard Shaw’s voluminous writings on topics that exercised him for the whole of his professional career: Literature, Music, Politics, Religion, and Theater. The volumes are edited by leading Shaw scholars, and all include an introduction, a chronology of Shaw’s life and works, annotated texts, and a bibliography. The series editor is L.W. Conolly, literary adviser to the Shaw Estate and former president of the International Shaw Society.
A collection of critical writings on theater from the Nobel Prize–winning playwright behind Man and Superman and Pygmalion. The Critical Shaw: On Theater is a comprehensive selection of essays and addresses about drama and theater by renowned Irish playwright and Nobel Laureate Bernard Shaw. An outspoken critic of the melodramas and formulaic farces that comprised most of the popular theater in the late nineteenth century, Shaw relentlessly campaigned for audiences, actors, theater managers, and even government officials to take theater more seriously, to use the stage as a forum for representing complex real issues such as poverty, marriage and divorce laws, sexual attraction, gender equality, and political power, so that through seeing them acted out, audiences could better understand and address them when they left the theater. Shaw’s commitment to social reform through theater was matched by his expertise in the artistic and practical aspects of drama: whether he was reviewing productions, lecturing about acting, or schooling agents on royalties and copyright law, Shaw set a standard for intelligent professionalism that our own theaters might still aspire to and be measured against. The Critical Shaw series brings together, in five volumes and from a wide range of sources, selections from Bernard Shaw’s voluminous writings on topics that exercised him for the whole of his professional career: Literature, Music, Politics, Religion, and Theater. The volumes are edited by leading Shaw scholars, and all include an introduction, a chronology of Shaw’s life and works, annotated texts, and a bibliography. The series editor is L.W. Conolly, literary adviser to the Shaw Estate and former president of the International Shaw Society.
The Cambridge Companion to George Bernard Shaw is an indispensable guide to one of the most influential and important dramatists of the theatre. The volume offers a broad-ranging study of Shaw with essays by a team of leading scholars. The Companion covers all aspects of Shaw's drama, focusing on both the political and theatrical context, while the extensive illustrations showcase productions from the Shaw Festival in Canada. In addition to situating Shaw's work in its own time, the Companion demonstrates its continuing relevance, and applies some of the newest critical approaches. Topics include Shaw and the publishing trade, Shaw and feminism, and Shaw and the Empire, as well as analyses of the early plays, discussion plays and history plays.
This play concerns the fascinating personal life of one of the most famous playwrights in British literature. His relationship with actresses were many, including the beautiful Ellen Terry, the brilliant Mrs. Patrick Campbell, the volatile Florence Farr, as well as women politicians, suffragettes, and young students. His marriage to Charlotte Payne Townsend was revealing in that she was his muse, nurse, secretary, as well as being his wife.
George Bernard Shaw's frequently stormy but always creative relationship with the British Broadcasting Corporation was in large part responsible for making him a household name on both sides of the Atlantic. From the founding of the BBC in 1922 to his death in 1950, Shaw supported the BBC by participating in debates, giving talks, permitting radio and television broadcasts of many of his plays - even advising on pronunciation questions. Here, for the first time, Leonard Conolly illuminates the often grudging, though usually mutually beneficial, relationship between two of the twentieth century's cultural giants. Drawing on extensive archival materials held in England, the United States, and Canada, Bernard Shaw and the BBC presents a vivid portrait of many contentious issues negotiated between Shaw and the public broadcaster. This is a fascinating study of how controversial works were first performed in both radio and television's infancies. It details debates about freedom of speech, the editing of plays for broadcast, and the protection of authors' rights to control and profit from works performed for radio and television broadcasts. Conolly also scrutinizes Second World War-era censorship, when the British government banned Shaw from making any broadcasts that questioned British policies or strategies. Rich in detail and brimming with Shaw's irrepressible wit, this book also provides links to online appendices of Shaw's broadcasts for the BBC, texts of Shaw's major BBC talks, extracts from German wartime propaganda broadcasts about Shaw, and the BBC's obituaries for Shaw.
Bernard Shaw on the American Stage is the first comprehensive study of the production of Bernard Shaw’s plays in America. During his lifetime (1856-1950), Shaw was America’s most popular living playwright; productions of his plays were outnumbered only by Shakespeare. Forty-four of Shaw’s plays were staged in America before his death, eight more posthumously. Eleven of the productions were world premieres. Bernard Shaw on the American Stage tells the story of the fifty-two premieres, which, apart from a few fragments, is his total dramatic oeuvre. The book also includes, again for the first time, production data and concise overviews of dozens of the most notable American revivals of the plays, from the 1890s to the beginning of the 2020 pandemic. Illustrations—production photographs, programmes, theatre buildings, playbills, actors’ studio portraits— inform the study throughout.