John Bull's Other Island / Edition 1

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Overview

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) is revered as one of the great British dramatists, credited not only with memorable works, but the revival of the then-suffering English theatre. Shaw was born in Dublin, Ireland, left mostly to his own devices after his mother ran off to London to pursue a musical career. He educated himself for the most part, and eventually worked for a real estate agent. This experience founded in him a concern for social injustices, seeing poverty and general unfairness afoot, and would go on to address this in many of his works. In 1876, Shaw joined his mother in London where he would finally attain literary success. Though written in his typical comedic fashion, John Bull's Other Island was the only play Shaw wrote that took place in Ireland, his birthplace. The play illustrates interest in both Irish and English cultures, and was received very well by critics. It is the story of two civil engineers: Larry Doyle, an Irishman who has turned his back on his heritage to fit in with English society and his business partner, Englishman Tom Broadbent.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595402448
  • Publisher: 1st World Library
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) is one of the world's greatest literary figures. Born in Dublin, Ireland, he left school at fourteen and in 1876 went to London, where he began his literary career with a series of unsuccessful novels. In 1884 he became a founder of the Fabian Society, the famous British socialist organization. After becoming a reviewer and drama critic, he published a study of the Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen in 1891 and became determined to create plays as he felt Ibsen did: to shake audiences out of their moral complacency and to attack social problems. However, Shaw was an irrepressible wit, and his plays are as entertaining as they are socially provocative. Basically shy, Shaw created a public persona for himself: G.B.S., a bearded eccentric, crusading social critic, antivivisectionist, language reformer, strict vegetarian, and renowned public speaker. The author of fifty-three plays, hundreds of essays, reviews, and letters, and several books, Shaw is best known for Widowers' Houses (1892), Mrs. Warren's Profession (1893), Arms and the Man (1894), Caesar and Cleopatra (1898), Man and Superman (1903), Major Barbara (1905), Pygmalion (1913), Heartbreak House (1919), and Saint Joan (1923). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Explores stereotypes in British plays

    This play explores stereotypes of the Irishman and the Englishman. Typically the Irishman was thought of as the wishy-washy, comical, romantic, emotional character but this play makes the Englishman that character. Broadbent, the Englishman, who goes to Ireland for business ends up falling in love with the women who is Doyle's, the Irishman, childhood sweetheart. Broadbent ends up making a fool of himself and being quite ridiculous. This play was a political statement against the stereotypes of the Irishman found in many British plays. This is the only play that Shaw wrote set in his homeland of Ireland. It was written for the opening of Dublin's Abbey Theatre but was rejected as being too contentious. This play is rather interesting to read and explores the stereotypes well. The characters are extremely entertaining and somewhat frustrating at times but it all makes for an interesting read.

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