George Bernard Shaw

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George Bernard Shaw - Authors PortraitsGeorge Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist.

His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1912) and Saint Joan (1923).

With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin, son of an unsuccessful merchant. On leaving school at fifteen, he worked for a time in a land agent’s office, before emigrating to London, where he began a career as a reviewer and writer. Shaw’s famous treatise on imprisonment prepared on behalf of the British Labour Research Office and originally published as preface to Lord Oliver’s report on English & American prison conditions.
“When I was a boy in my teens in Dublin I was asked by an acquaintance of mine who was clerk to a Crown Solicitor, and had business in prisons, whether I would like to go to Mountjoy Prison, much as he might have asked me whether I would like to go through the Mint, or the cellars of the docks … My main impression of the others [prisoners], and the one that has stuck longest and hardest, was that as it was evidently impossible to reform such men, it was useless to torture them, and dangerous to release them.”

Shaw moved to London in 1876 and found it very difficult struggled to establish himself as a writer but embarked on a process of self-education. He became a music and theathre critic. He joined the Fabian Society and became its most prominent member. Shaw’s first successful play was Arms and the Man in 1894 and later Major Barbara, The Doctor’s Dilemma and Caesar and Cleopatra.

In 1938 He wrote the screenplay for My Fair Lady, a movie version of Pygmalion for which he won an Academy Award. He showed admiration for Mussolini and Stalin.

In the year of Shaw’s 90th birthday (1946) he was honoured with the freedom of Dublin and St Pancras in London. Shaw continued to write into his 90’s writing Buoyant Billions, Farfetched Fables and Shakes versus Shav and Why She Would Not, written just before his ninety-fourth birthday and died shortly afterwards.

Shaw was cremated on 6 November 1950 at Golders Green Crematorium . His ashes were mixed with his late wife Charlotte and scattered in their garden beside their statue of Saint Joan.

Shaw was a recipient of the Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin in 1946. It is the highest honour the City Council may bestow and it is conferred very rarely. The recipient becomes an Honorary Citizen of Dublin and although no financial or other benefits are attached to the award, the prestige which it carries is immense. The Honorary Freedom of Dublin was instituted under the Municipal Privileges Act, 1876 and is currently conferred under the provisions of the Local Government Act

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George Bernard Shaw at De Burca Rare Books
SHAW, Bernard. & WINSTEN, Clare. Buoyant Billions: A Comedy of No Manners

SHAW, Bernard. & WINSTEN, Clare. Buoyant Billions: A Comedy of No Manners. In Prose by Bernard Shaw and in Pictures by Clare Winsten. London: Constable, 1949. Royal quarto. pp. 54, [3]. Quarter vellum over pictorial cloth. Of this edition one thousand and twenty five copies only have been printed. A thousand are numbered 1-1000, and […]

125.00
SHAW, George Bernard: Four Plays (The Devil's Disciple, Man and Superman, Pygmalion and Saint Joan).
SHAW, George Bernard: Four Plays (The Devil’s Disciple, Man and Superman, Pygmalion and Saint Joan).

Bernard Shaw: Four Plays (The Devil’s Disciple, Man and Superman, Pygmalion and Saint Joan) Franklin Library Greatest Books of the Twentieth Century series The Franklin Library, Franklin Center, Pennsylvania, 1978. Hardcover. Condition: Near Fine. Four of the noted playwright’s most-admired works in a single deluxe leatherbound Franklin Library edition. With sepia-toned illustrations by Stan Hunter. […]

125.00
Shaw, George Bernard: TWO PLAYS FOR PURITANS
SHAW, George Bernard: TWO PLAYS FOR PURITANS

Easton Press, Norwalk, Connecticut, 1979. Hardcover. First Edition; First Printing. Fine. Accented in 22kt gold, printed on archival paper with gilded edges, smyth sewing & concealed muslin joints. Bound In full leather with hubbed spines. A Limited Edition. ; The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written. ; 4to 11″ – 13″ tall; Original binding.

275.00
SHAW, George Bernard. Prefaces: Sociological, Political, Religious, Autobiographical.
SHAW, George Bernard. Prefaces: Sociological, Political, Religious, Autobiographical.

SHAW, George Bernard. Prefaces: Sociological, Political, Religious, Autobiographical etc. London: Constable and Company, 1934. Royal octavo. First edition. pp. viii, 802. Bound by Leighton-Straker in black, green and brown morocco with gilt decorations and ‘S’ in gilt on both covers, flat spine titled and dated in gilt, doublures ruled in gilt, brown sprinkled endpapers; red […]

575.00
SHAW, George Bernard. Saint Joan - Inscribed Limited Edition.
SHAW, George Bernard. Saint Joan – Inscribed Limited Edition.

SHAW, Bernard. Saint Joan. London: Constable, 1924. Folio. pp. vi, 183. Quarter beige cloth over blue and white patterned boards, with paper title labels. Edition limited to 750 copies only. 16 tipped-in plates by Charles Ricketts (13 in colour). Inscribed on half-title: “Inscribed for / Aislinn Dulanty / G. Shaw / Ayot Saint Lawrence / […]

950.00
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SHAW, George Bernard. The Crime of Imprisonment [Signed Edition]

SHAW, George Bernard. The Crime of Imprisonment. Frontispiece caricature of Shaw and fifteen illustrations by William Gropper. New York: Published by Philosophical Library, 1946. Large post octavo. First edition. pp. 125. Quarter red buckram on black papered boards. Signed by the author on front endpaper. In frayed pictorial dust jacket. A very good to fine […]

750.00
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SMITH, Charles T. APSA. A System of Education and Faith (WITH AUTOGRAPHED POSTCARD BY GEORGE BERNARD SHAW)

WITH AUTOGRAPHED POSTCARD BY GEORGE BERNARD SHAW   SMITH, Charles T. APSA. A System of Education and Faith. London: Watts, 1937. First edition. Demy octavo. pp. xxix, [3], 581. Blue cloth, titled in gilt. Loosely inserted is an autographed stamped addressed postcard from George Bernard Shaw to the author, Charles T. Smith, dated 6.11.37. Shaw enquires “What is Apsa ? It missed […]

375.00

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