One of George Bernard Shaw's best-known plays, Pygmalion was a rousing success on the London and New York stages, an entertaining motion picture and a great hit with its musical version, My Fair Lady. An updated and considerably revised version of the ancient Greek legend of Pygmalion and Galatea, the 20th-century story pokes fun at the antiquated British class system.
In Shaw's clever adaptation, Professor Henry Higgins, a linguistic expert, takes on a bet that he can transform an awkward cockney flower seller into a refined young lady simply by polishing her manners and changing the way she speaks. In the process of convincing society that his creation is a mysterious royal figure, the Professor also falls in love with his elegant handiwork.
The irresistible theme of the emerging butterfly, together with Shaw's brilliant dialogue and splendid skills as a playwright, have made Pygmalion one of the most popular comedies in the English language. A staple of college drama courses, it is still widely performed.
Charlotte Bronte lived from 1816 to 1855. In 1824 she was sent away to school with her four sisters and they were treated so badly that their father brought them home to Haworth in Yorkshire. The elder two sisters died within a few days and Charlotte and her sisters Emily and Anne were brought up in the isolated village. They were often lonely and loved to walk on the moors. They were all great readers and soon began to write small pieces of verse and stories.
Once Charlotte’s informal education was over she began to work as a governess and teacher in Yorkshire and Belgium so that she could add to the low family income and help to pay for her brother Branwell’s art education. Charlotte was a rather nervous young woman and didn’t like to be away from home for too long. The sisters began to write more seriously and published poetry in 1846 under male pen names – there was a lot of prejudice against women writers. The book was not a success and the sisters all moved on to write novels. Charlotte’s best-known book, Jane Eyre, appeared in 1847 and was soon seen as a work of genius. Charlotte really knew how to make characters and situations come alive.
Charlotte’s life was full of tragedy, never more so than when her brother Branwell and sisters Emily and Anne died within a few months in 1848/49. She married her father’s curate in 1854 but died in 1855, before her fortieth birthday.
I loved the story, the characters, the blend of romance, mystery, and gothic elements--in short, I loved everything about it!
I highly recommend Pygmalion because it is a classic that is enjoyable to read and better crafted than its more famous movie adaptation.
There is comedy and romance, above all, but there is also a very clear social critic -- and even a Marxist idea of class struggle.
I wish I'd have known the print so impossibly small. The perils of buying online.Published 4 days ago by Kenneth I. Hart
The cover is fantastic!
I had no idea what this book was about. For years I had wanted to read it, but thought that it might be too hard for me to read, that I wouldn't... Read more
Why on Earth didn't anyone ever tell me how much this book rules? Stepping back a bit I can see it's a bit of a romantic cliché (by today's standards), but OH, that book is... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Swank Ivy
This is the classic romance of all time, probably. The characters (and author) have such high ideals and deeply romantic language, without being excessively flowery or insipid. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Jean7P
I bought a set for a high school humanities type class. My students enjoyed reading it aloud together. We paired it with the Leslie Howard version of the film. Read morePublished 2 months ago by DLAllen