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Major Barbara
About the book
  • Published: 2 January 2001
  • ISBN: 9780141929422
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176

Major Barbara


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Andrew Undershaft, a millionaire armaments manufacturer, loves money and despises poverty. His estranged daughter Barbara, on the other hand, shows her love for the poor by throwing her energies into her work as a Major in the Salvation Army, and sees her father as another soul to be saved. But when the Army needs funds to keep going, it is Undershaft who saves the day with a large cheque - forcing Barbara to examine her moral assumptions. Are they right to accept money that has been obtained by 'Death and Destruction'? Full of lively comedy and sparkling debate, Major Barbara is one of Shaw's most forward-looking plays, brilliantly testing the tensions between religion, wealth and power, benevolence and equality, and metaphors and realities of war.

  • Pub date: 2 January 2001
  • ISBN: 9780141929422
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176

About the Author

George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin in 1856. Although essentially shy, he created the persona of G. B. S., the showman, satirist, controversialist, critic, pundit, wit, intellectual buffoon and dramatist. Commentators brought a new adjective into English: Shavian, a term used to embody all his brilliant qualities.

After his arrival in London in 1876 he became an active Socialist and a brilliant platform speaker. He wrote on many social aspects of the day: on Common Sense about the War (1914), How to Settle the Irish Question (1917) and The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism (1928). He undertook his own education at the British Museum and consequently became keenly interested in cultural subjects. Thus his prolific output included music, art and theatre reviews, which were collected into several volumes such as Music in London 1890–1894 (3 vols, 1931); Pen Portraits and Reviews (1931); and Our Theatres in the Nineties (3 vols, 1931). He also wrote five novels and some shorter fiction, including The Black Girl in Search of God and Some Lesser Tales and Cashel Byron's Profession, both published in Penguin's Bernard Shaw Library.

He conducted a strong attack on the London theatre and was closely associated with the intellectual revival of British theatre. His plays fall into several categories: 'Plays Pleasant'; 'Plays Unpleasant'; comedies; chronicle-plays; 'metabiological Pentateuch' (Back to Methuselah, a series of plays); and 'political extravaganzas'. Bernard Shaw died in 1950.


Nobel Prize for Literature

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