Tuesday, December 10, 2013

George Bernard Shaw was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature - 1925


On December 10, 1925, playwright George Bernard Shaw is awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.
Shaw was born on July 26, 1856 in Dublin, Ireland, and left school at the age of fourteen to work in a land agent's office. In 1876, he quit and moved to London, where his mother, a music teacher, had settled. He worked various jobs while trying to write plays. He began publishing book reviews and art and music criticism in 1885. Meanwhile, he became a committed reformer and an active force in the newly established Fabian Society, a group of middle-class socialists.

His first play, Widowers' House, was produced in 1892. His second play, Mrs. Warren's Profession, was banned in Britain because of its frank dealing with prostitution. In 1905, when the play was performed in the U.S., police shut it down after one performance and jailed the actors and producers. The courts soon ruled that the show could re-open. Although some private productions were held, the show wasn't legally performed in Britain until 1926. In 1895, Shaw became the theater critic for the Saturday Review, and his reviews during the next several years helped shape the development of drama. In 1898, he published Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant, which contained Arms and the Man, The Man of Destiny, and other dramas. In 1904, Man and Superman was produced. In his works, Shaw supported socialism and decried the abuses of capitalism, the degradation of women, and the evil effects of poverty, violence, and war. His writing was filled with humor, wit, and sparkle, as well as reformist messages, and his play Pygmalion, produced in 1912, later became the hit musical and movie My Fair Lady. He produced more than forty plays before his death at age 90 on November 2, 1950.
 
 
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Literary Legends of the British Isles. The book can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes and Noble and other fine book seller such as the following: 

Redroom - http://redroom.com/member/michael-thomas-barry/books/literary-legends-of-the-british-isles-the-lives-burial-places-of-50-great-writers
 

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