George Brenard Shaw

On the night of July 26th, 1856 one of the greatest playwrights in history, George Bernard Shaw, was born. George?s mother, Lucinda Elizabeth Gurly, was an aristocrat, while his father, George Gurly, was a poor alcoholic. Shaw had two sisters, Elinour Agness, who died of tuberculosis at age 20, and Lucinda Frances who died of starvation at age 40. Both were spinsters and had no children. In Dublin the theatre was the only thing that actually interested, and had something to offer to Shaw. George also went to many schools while living in Dublin, including the Wesleyan Connexional School, but said he learned little from schools and was self-educated. In 1876, mother, daughters, & son left their father behind and moved to London to seek a more cultured way of life. They lived at 13 Victoria Grove, a middle class area in London. Shaw found work at Edison?s Telephone Company at a wage of two shillings and a sixpence, and in his spare time taught himself to write. After a while he was promoted to head of his department with a wage of 80 pounds. Soon enough Shaw admitted that he was not a working man, and he wanted to be a writer. December 23rd 1880, the family moved to Fitzroy Street. This enabled Shaw to visit the museum library, where he learned the most for his education. Unemployed, he could not afford to eat at the local restaurants and ate instead at the vegetarian eatery where he could buy a good and nourishing meal. He became a vegetarian in 1881 and kept his vow never to eat flesh again. He believed that all living things were equal and deserved to be treated with the same respect. Shaw's visits to museum library brought him into contact with the great people alive during that time such as, William Morris, Ruskin, and the Bloomsburry gang. These people were just as smart as he was, thus allowing Shaw to associate with them and become socially active. A keen on boxer; in 1883 Shaw joined the Queensburry Amateur Boxing Championships, and took part in the Middle & Heavyweight matches. This was a great way of keeping healthy, while he exercised his brain at the library. With his good looks and refined personality, women fell at his feet. Jenny Patterson, Alice Locket, May Morris, Edith Bland, Eleanor Marx and Annie Besant, each fell in love with him. But Shaw was not interested in marriage, being too busy writing plays. In 1888 The Star Newspaper employed him as a music critic, and he used the pen name "Corno de Bassetto". By this time Shaw was beginning to be noticed throughout London for his writing, providing him with many job opportunities. However between 1873 and 1883 he wrote five novels, all of which were rejected by every publisher in London. Instead he decided to write plays, the first performance of Widower's House appeared in London in 1892 and Arm's and The Man performed in London & New York, in 1894. While he was not writing, Shaw discovered Karl Marx and read his book Das Kapital, during which, grew his interest in history & civilization. After reading Why are the Many Poor?, he joined the Fabian Society on 16th May 1884, later becoming one of it?s leaders. By joining the Fabian Society he met his life long friends, Sydney and Beatrice Webb. Next Shaw was hired by The Pall Mall Gazette hired him between 1885-88, to review books. Then Edwin Palmer, founder of the "Magazine of Music", employed Shaw as his music critic. Soon after that Shaw began to write the plays that made him a very, very wealthy man. These plays included Arms and the Man, Candida, Don Juan in Hell, Getting Married, Heartbreak House, The Apple Cart, and his last play Why She Would Not. Shaw continued to live his life writing plays until the day he died. On November 2nd 1950, while pruning an apple tree, George fell of a ladder and died of complications at the age of 94.

During his lifetime George Bernard Shaw had many great achievements. In 1892 Shaw?s first play, Widower?s Houses, performed in London. Shaw continued to right plays such as Overruled, Man of Destiny , and Great Catherine. In 1926 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Even though he was awarded a large sum