A more incongruous friendship than the one reflected in this correspondence is hard to imagine. Shaw is now remembered as the leading playwright of his time, and one of era's most memorable wits; Harris has become notorious for his near-pornographic My Life and Loves, and for a humorless (and disintegrating) sense of self-importance. At one time, Harris had been one of the later nineteenth century's most visible literary figures, a friend of such dissimilar people as Lord Randolph Churchill and Oscar Wilde, an editor of the London Evening News at 29, then editor of the Fortnightly Review and the Saturday Review, whose theater critic Shaw became. Never quite respectable, Harris had been tolerated—even courted—as an amiable vulgarian when he was a rising star. However, his booming voice and four-letter language, his inability to look like anything other than an Albanian highwayman even when dressed in tails, his gluttonous gormandizing and insatiable womanizing, quickly made him a pariah in Edwardian circles as his career began to slip and he began to snatch at shady quick-money opportunities.
Through these pages emerge the literary and political life of Edwardian and Georgian England, and wartime American, via Shaw's wit and ebullience and Harris's pomposity and paranoia.
|Publisher:||Penn State University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.06(d)|
About the Author
Stanley Weintraub is Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities at Penn State University and the author of notable histories and biographies including 11 Days in December, Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce, MacArthur's War, Long Day's Journey into War, and A Stillness Heard Round the World: The End of the Great War. He lives in Newark, Delaware.