Bernard Shaw

Overview

When Michael Holroyd's multivolume life of Bernard Shaw was published, it was hailed as a masterpiece. Now the biography is available for the first time in a lively and accessible abridgment by the author. Playwright, wit, socialist, polemicist, vegetarian, and irresistible charmer, Bernard Shaw was the most controversial literary figure of his age, the scourge of Victorian values and middle-class pretensions. At the turn of the century, Shaw was in his prime, a theatrical impresario and author of those great ...
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Overview

When Michael Holroyd's multivolume life of Bernard Shaw was published, it was hailed as a masterpiece. Now the biography is available for the first time in a lively and accessible abridgment by the author. Playwright, wit, socialist, polemicist, vegetarian, and irresistible charmer, Bernard Shaw was the most controversial literary figure of his age, the scourge of Victorian values and middle-class pretensions. At the turn of the century, Shaw was in his prime, a theatrical impresario and author of those great campaigning plays - Man and Superman, Major Barbara, The Doctor's Dilemma, and John Bull's Other Island - that used laughter as an anesthetic for the operation he performed on British society. By 1914 the author of Pygmalion was the most popular writer in England, and increasingly recognized throughout Europe and America. The reluctant recipient of a Nobel Prize for literature and an Academy Award for his screenplay for Pygmalion, Shaw became an international icon between the two world wars, feted from China and Soviet Russia to India and New Zealand, though still contriving to provoke the establishment in the United States, South Africa, and Ireland. He revealed himself increasingly as conjurer, fabulist, and seer through his powerful late works, including Saint Joan, the Chekhovian Heartbreak House, the modernist fantasy Back to Methuselah, and the imaginative dream plays and political extravaganzas.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This massive biography, arranged thematically rather than chronologically, discusses Shaw's mariage blanc ; his love affairs via correspondence; the composition and popularity of his plays, including The Doctor's Dilemma and Pygmalion ; and his battles with censorship. ``Contrasted to Shaw's sparkling, energetic style, Holroyd's own contribution seems disappointingly pedestrian,'' said PW. Photos. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780701162795
  • Publisher: Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/20/1997
  • Pages: 700
  • Product dimensions: 6.57 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 2.17 (d)

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