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Plays Unpleasant
About the book
  • Published: 1 October 2000
  • ISBN: 9780141914794
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

Plays Unpleasant


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With Plays Unpleasant, Shaw issued a radical challenge to his audiences' complacency and exposed social evils through his dramatization of the moral conflicts between youthful idealism and economic reality, promiscuity and marriage, and the duties of women to others and to themselves. His first play, Widowers' Houses, depicts Harry Trench's dilemma on learning that the inheritance of his fiancée comes from her father's income as a slum landlord. In The Philanderer, charismatic Leonard Charteris proposes marriage to Grace, while he is still involved with the beautiful Julia Craven - who is not inclined to give him up so easily. And in Mrs Warren's Profession, Vivie Warren is forced to reconsider her own future when she discovers that her mother's immoral earnings funded her genteel upbringing.

  • Pub date: 1 October 2000
  • ISBN: 9780141914794
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

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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