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George Bernard Shaw

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George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish writer and occasional politician. He was best known for his plays, particularly Pygmalion, which was later adapted into the film My Fair Lady, which won him an Oscar for Best Screenplay. He was considered the finest dramatist of his era, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925. He is also the only person to have ever won both the Nobel Prize and an Oscar.









Full Name George Bernard Shaw
Who writer
Birth Date July 26, 1856
Death Date November 2, 1950
Country Ireland
Born Dublin, Ireland
Died Ayot St. Lawrence, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Cause of Death old age
Education self-taught
Father George Carr Shaw
Mother Lucinda Elizabeth "Bessie" Gurly Shaw
Spouse Charlotte Payne Townshend
Siblings

Lucinda "Lucy" Frances Shaw

Elinor Agnes Shaw

Children none


Connections

Shaw was a close friend of Sidney Webb, who he met in 1880 at an intellectual society. At the time, Shaw was still in the early stages of his writing career. Both Webb and Shaw believed in self-educating themselves, and found that although they had different perspectives and ideas, that they had much to learn from each other. They would remain close friends for the rest of Shaw's life.

Shaw was a friend of Hilaire Belloc.

Shaw attended a lecture by Henry George in 1882, and became an admirer of the man. He promptly read George's book, Progress and Poverty, and this sparked an interest in economics. 

Shaw attended the economical Social Democratic Federation meetings beginning in 1882. Though he found much value in the gatherings, particularly an interest in the beliefs and writings of Karl Marx, he did not join the group because he despised its leader and founder, Henry Hyndman. He found Hyndman irrational, a weak leader, and ill-tempered. He even gave his reason for never joining the federation as that he preferred to work with intellectual equals.

William Archer was an early supporter of Shaw's work, and suggested a collaborative play to Shaw in 1884 - Archer would come up with the plotline, and Shaw would write the dialogue. The project stalled, but Archer and Shaw worked well together, and this became the basis of a working friendship that they would share for many years. Archer was later immensely influential in Shaw's career, and acted as his benefactor more than once.

Other friends of Shaw included Annie Besant, Augusta Lady Gregory, Nancy Astor, Alfred Douglas, Gene Tunney, Laurentia McLachlan, and others.

Shaw had a love affair with theatrical actress Florence Farr from 1890 - 1894. 

Shaw was a close friend of William Butler Yeats. 

Shaw met Charlotte Payne Townshend around 1896, through Sidney Webb. She was a wealthy Anglo-Irish woman, and Shaw was by now a revered and successful writer. In 1897, Townshend herself proposed marriage to Shaw, but he declined. The following year, Shaw became ill due to his heavy workload, and Townshend insisted on nursing him back to health. As a result, she stayed with him in a secluded country house, essentially living with him. Shaw feared a scandal, and as Townshend refused to leave, he agreed to marry her. They had an un-glamorous wedding at a register office in London, both aged 41. However, their marriage was never romantic, and they were friends, but never lovers. They never consummated their marriage.

Shaw was an acquaintance of Harley Granville Barker, John Millington Synge, Joseph Conrad, Robert Loraine, Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Edith Evans, Barry Jackson, Gabriel Pascal, John Scott-Ellis, and others.

Shaw was a close friend of Edward Elgar.

Shaw was a friend of J.M. Barrie, who was his next-door neighbor in London for three years. They also once worked together on a script for a Western that Barrie filmed.

Edward VII of the United Kingdom was an admirer of Shaw's plays. While attending John Bull's Other Island in 1904, he famously laughed so hard that he broke his chair. 

Sean O'Casey was a close friend of Shaw. O'Casey was, in fact, inspired to become a playwright after reading Shaw's John Bull's Other Island

Shaw had an affair with Beatrice Patrick Campbell from around 1912 - 1913, much to the jealousy of his wife. After their relationship ended, Campbell nevertheless played the starring role as Eliza in Shaw's play Pygmalion, which debuted in 1914.

Shaw met Michael Collins in 1922, and was greatly impressed by him. He was saddened when, only three days later, Collins was assassinated.

Shaw visited the Soviet Union, following a long fascination with the land and its leaders, in 1931 - joining a party traveling there led by Nancy Astor. At the end of the trip, Shaw had a long meeting with Joseph Stalin, and the two men got along very well together. Shaw praised Stalin highly after that, calling him a "Georgian gentleman" with "no malice in him." He was also, after that, vocal in the press and political circles about the misrepresentation of the Soviet Union.

Shaw had a reported "obsession" and fascination with Benito Mussolini, and admired and praised Vladimir Lenin. When the Nazi Party first rose to power in 1933, Shaw approved of and praised Hitler, calling him "remarkable."


How Added - Through his friend G.K. Chesterton, who was added via his friend Hilaire Belloc, who was added via his acquaintance John Scott-Ellis.

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