George Bernard Shaw

(26/07/1856 - 02/11/1950)
George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin and emigrated to London in 1876. He largely educated himself using the resources at the British Museum and became keenly interested in music, art and theatre of which his many articles and collections of essays in these fields bear proof. Addressing issues such as war, poverty and women's rights, Shaw's plays expounded the problems created by capitalism. His status as a playwright continued to grow after the First World War with plays such as Saint Joan (1923) and in 1925 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. George Bernard Shaw died in 1950.

Books

Androcles and the Lion: A Fable Play

Constable & Co., 1913

In this comic re-telling of Aesop's fable, Shaw deals with false and true religious exaltation. Through a group of early Christians condemned to die in a Roman arena, the play introduces different approaches to faith and implicitly criticises the hypocrisy of the established churches. Written in 1912, the play opened at the St James's Theatre, London, on August 28, 1913.

Translated into

Ukrainian

Rights Contact
The Estate of George Bernard Shaw,
The Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
London SW10 9SB
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7373 6642
F: 0044 20 7373 5768
E: info@societyofauthors.org
W: www.societyofauthors.net

Caesar and Cleopatra

Grant Richards, 1901

First performed in November 1907 at the Savoy Theatre in London, Caesar and Cleopatra is closely based on Theodor Mommsen's History of Rome and an indictment of imperialism, be it Roman or British. Shaw depicts an ageing Ceasar who, as a master statesman and heroic figure, establishes the young Cleopatra on the throne of Egypt, teaching her to be both woman and ruler. The play appeared together with The Devil's Disciple and Captain Brassbound's Conversion in the 1901 collection, Three Plays for Puritans.

Translated into

Ukrainian

Rights Contact
The Estate of George Bernard Shaw,
The Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
London SW10 9SB
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7373 6642
F: 0044 20 7373 5768
E: info@societyofauthors.org
W: www.societyofauthors.net
© Zhupansky

Candida

,

First staged at The Court Theatre, London, in 1904, this comedy questions Victorian notions of love and marriage. Candida, the beautiful wife of the Reverend James Morell, tries to steer a moral course between her self-righteous husband and her impressionable young suitor, Eugene Machbanks, an aspiring poet of 18.  

Translated into

Ukrainian

Rights Contact
The Estate of George Bernard Shaw,
The Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
London SW10 9SB
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7373 6642
F: 0044 20 7373 5768
E: info@societyofauthors.org
W: www.societyofauthors.net

Captain Brassbound's Conversion

Constable, 1900

Originally one of the Three Plays for Puritans, Captain Brassbound's Conversion was first produced in London in 1906. In it, Lady Cicely, an explorer, saves an expedition in Morocco from disaster by manipulating the truth cunningly to ensure that fairness, rather than merely justice, prevails.

Translated into

Ukrainian

Rights Contact
The Estate of George Bernard Shaw,
The Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
London SW10 9SB
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7373 6642
F: 0044 20 7373 5768
E: info@societyofauthors.org
W: www.societyofauthors.net
© Pagano Editore

How to Become a Musical Critic

Rupert Hart Davis, 1960

This collection of Shaw's music criticism from the 1870s to 1950 presents a fascinating glimpse into musical and performance culture over many decades. Shaw's mastery of the technical aspects of music is manifestly apparent throughout the book, as are his trademark wit and contrarianism.

Translated into

Italian

Rights Contact
The Estate of George Bernard Shaw,
The Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
London SW10 9SB
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7373 6642
F: 0044 20 7373 5768
E: info@societyofauthors.org
W: www.societyofauthors.net
© Zhupansky

Major Barbara

, 1907

The titular Major Barbara Undershaft is an Officer of The Salvation Army. Her commitment to her work and to the poor receives a blow when the organisation accepts donations from her father, an armaments manufacturer, and from a whiskey distiller.  She eventually decides that bringing a message of salvation to people who have plenty will be more fulfilling and genuine than converting the starving in return for bread. The play was first performed in 1905 at the Royal Court Theatre, London. 

Translated into

Ukrainian

Rights Contact
The Estate of George Bernard Shaw,
The Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
London SW10 9SB
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7373 6642
F: 0044 20 7373 5768
E: info@societyofauthors.org
W: www.societyofauthors.net

Man and Superman: A Comedy and a Philosophy

Archibald Constable, 1903

First produced at the Court Theatre in 1905, Man and Superman is an exploration of Nietzsche's concept of the 'Übermensch. John Tanner, author of The Revolutionist's Handbook, is a young man of high principles and 'advanced ideas' upon which he is endeavouring to shape his life. As the play evolves, however, he discovers how utterly futile his modern ideas are when brought into practice amid the social conditions of his society. In the end, he finds himself trapped by convention and circumstance which force him to marry the simple, but cunning Ann Whitefield.

Translated into

Ukrainian

Rights Contact
The Estate of George Bernard Shaw,
The Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
London SW10 9SB
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7373 6642
F: 0044 20 7373 5768
E: info@societyofauthors.org
W: www.societyofauthors.net

Plays: Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant: The First Volume, Containing the Three Unpleasant Plays

Constable & Co., 1898

Written and set in 1892, Widowers' Houses is a hilarious yet scathing look at the ethics of making money. When a young doctor learns that his future father-in-law has earned his wealth by renting slum housing to the poor, the doctor refuses the dirty dowry that awaits him. But he must reconsider his righteous stance when he discovers alarming news about the source of his own income. Widowers' Houses was the first play by Nobel laureate G. B. Shaw and appeared alongside The Philanderer and Mrs Warren's Profession in the collection Plays Unpleasant in 1898. Leonard Chateris is involved with two women at the same time, the jealous Julia Craven and Grace Tranfield, a young widow. He doesn't like this situation as 'he's a man who likes to tell the truth, but doesn't want to hear it'. He resolves to end the affair with Julia, by any means, including marriage for him or her. Written in 1893, The Philanderer is a surprisingly contemporary take on the complications and contradictions that arise in love among self-styled modern-thinking people who regard themselves free of the gender prejudices of the past. Written in 1893, Mrs Warren's Profession was censored for eight years and was finally produced in London in 1902. As the other two plays in Plays Unpleasant, it offers an astute view of the corruption at the heart of Victorian society. The play centers on Mrs. Warren, who, forced by the economic realities of nineteenth-century London, becomes a prostitute and later runs several successful brothels. Through her characterization, Shaw exposes the hypocrisy of the genteel class and explores the personal consequences of such a profession as Mrs. Warren struggles to gain the respect and love of her Cambridge-educated daughter Vivie, who is horrified to discover the truth about her mother.

Translated into

Ukrainian

Rights Contact
The Estate of George Bernard Shaw,
The Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
London SW10 9SB
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7373 6642
F: 0044 20 7373 5768
E: info@societyofauthors.org
W: www.societyofauthors.net

Pygmalion

Constable & Co., 1914

Phonetics Professor Henry Higgins wagers that he can pass off the Cockney flower seller, Eliza Doolittle, as a sophisticated London society lady by teaching her how to speak with an upper class accent and training her in etiquette. First performed in English at His Majesty's Theatre, London, in 1914, the play inspired a series of adaptation, among them the musical My Fair Lady.

Translated into

Ukrainian

Rights Contact
The Estate of George Bernard Shaw,
The Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
London SW10 9SB
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7373 6642
F: 0044 20 7373 5768
E: info@societyofauthors.org
W: www.societyofauthors.net

The Devil's Disciple

Constable, 1900

Published in the collection Three Plays for Puritans, together with Captain Brassbound's Conversion and Caesar and Cleopatra, the melodrama The Devil's Disciple was first produced in America in 1897 and represents Shaw's first financial success. In it, Shaw describes how England lost her American colonies through so much bungling. At the War Office, someone forgets to tell Lord North to join up with General Johnny Burgoyne and deal with the rebels.

Translated into

Ukrainian

Rights Contact
The Estate of George Bernard Shaw,
The Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
London SW10 9SB
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7373 6642
F: 0044 20 7373 5768
E: info@societyofauthors.org
W: www.societyofauthors.net
Zhupansky

The Doctor's Dilemma

Constable & Company, 1911

First staged in 1906, this is a medical satire concerning a group of doctors torn between acting professionally and feathering their own nests with unnecessary procedures. Sir Ridgeon has the most difficult quandary in deciding which of two lung patients to save with his new, but limited, cure for tuberculosis: a nice, old doctor or a slimy young artist whose wife Sir Ridgeon desires for himself?

Translated into

Ukrainian

Rights Contact
The Estate of George Bernard Shaw,
The Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
London SW10 9SB
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7373 6642
F: 0044 20 7373 5768
E: info@societyofauthors.org
W: www.societyofauthors.net