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Plays: Man and Superman; Candida; Arms and the Man; Mrs Warren's Profession (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1960
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About the Author
George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) was born in Dublin, Ireland. He attended four different schools, but his real education came from a thorough grounding in music and painting, which he obtained at home. In 1871, he was apprenticed to a Dublin estate agent, and later he worked as a cashier. In 1876, Shaw joined his mother and sister in London, where he spent the next nine years in genteel poverty. From 1885 to 1898, he wrote for newspapers and magazines as a critic of art, literature, music, and drama. But his main interest at that time was political propaganda, and in 1884 he joined the Fabian Society. From 1893 to 1939, the most active period of his career, Shaw wrote forty-seven plays. By 1915, his international fame was firmly established and productions of Candida, Man and Superman, Arms and the Man, and The Devil’s Disciple were being played in many countries around the world, from Britain to Japan. He went on to write such dramas as Heartbreak House, Back to Methuselah, Androcles and the Lion, and St. Joan, and in 1925, the playwright was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. During his lifetime, he was besieged by offers to film his plays, but he accepted only a few, the most notable being Pygmalion. After his death, it was further adapted as the basis for the musical My Fair Lady.
Eric Bentley is an eminent playwright, translator, and dramatic critic whose numerous books include The Playwright as Thinker: A Study of Drama in Modern Times, Bernard Shaw 1856–1950, In Search of Theater, and the widely acclaimed The Life of Drama.
Norman Lloyd is perhaps most well-known for his role as the wise and avuncular Dr. Auschlander on the popular television drama St. Elsewhere, but he has appeared in many other television series as well as feature films such as Hitchcock’s Saboteur, The Age of Innocence, and Dead Poet’s Society. He began his career as an apprentice at Eva LeGallienne’s Civic Repertory Theatre and later joined with Orson Welles and John Houseman in the formation of the Mercury Theatre. An acclaimed director and producer, he has been a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and universities and has served on the teaching staff of the American Film Institute. He is the author of Stages: Of Life in Theatre, Film, and Television. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
I was unfamiliar with the play, and was interested in reading it. I found it amazing that for the era in which it was written, it proselytized that a woman could be happier in a career she liked than being married!
The play is well worth reading, giving an insight into how people lived and behaved at that time.
There are four plays in the book: Arms and the Man, Candida, Man and Superman, and Mrs Warren's Profession. The plays are different, all are interesting.
I recommend it. It's a paperback and easy to carry around.
Some thought provoking social statements are made in all four plays, though some of the prefaces might be more informative about the author than the plays themselves. Great witticisms and depsite the sometimes heavy philosophy, the reading is light and quick. The last play, Man And Superman, perhaps his most significant play in terms of philosophy, pure and simple, would be fun reading but the socialist's handbook given at the end would definitely not be everyone's cup of tea, unless they're philosophy students. This can be skipped without spoiling the play though, which contains some of the most excellent dialogue I've come across in a play with philosophical overtones.
All Oscar Wilde and Chesterton lovers would appreciate the epigrams and the witty one-liners. If for nothing else, Shaw is worth reading for his lovely style of execution, the flowing conversations and some uncanny insight.
One of my science teachers recited this famous speech in the lab one day, just to show off, and I started appreciating Shaw. Funny thing is that of all the playwrights, GBS is the best just to read. Except for Pygmalion and maybe Arms and the Man, most of Shaw's plays are too "talky" to stage well, but read like short stories. If you haven't read them, you are in for a treat.
Well worth the purchase and just what I needed.