WRITER

George Bernard Shaw

1856 - 1950

Photo of George Bernard Shaw

Icon of person George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950), known at his insistence as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1913) and Saint Joan (1923). Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of George Bernard Shaw has received more than 8,713,390 page views. His biography is available in 117 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 114 in 2019). George Bernard Shaw is the 113th most popular writer (down from 94th in 2019), the 5th most popular biography from Ireland and the 4th most popular Irish Writer.

George Bernard Shaw is most famous for his plays, which include "Pygmalion" and "Saint Joan."

Memorability Metrics

  • 8.7M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 76.45

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 117

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 8.02

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 5.75

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

Major Barbara
Drama
When a Salvation Army officer learns that her father, a wealthy armaments manufacturer, has donated lots of money to her organization, she resigns in disgust but ultimately realizes that through wealth, people can help each other.
Androcles and the lion
The devil's disciple
Cashel Byron's profession
Back to Methuselah
Death
John Bull's Other Island
Drama
Purchase one of 1st World Library's Classic Books and help support our free internet library of downloadable eBooks. 1st World Library-Literary Society is a non-profit educational organization. Visit us online at www.1stWorldLibrary.ORG - - Great George Street, Westminster, is the address of Doyle and Broadbent, civil engineers. On the threshold one reads that the firm consists of Mr Lawrence Doyle and Mr Thomas Broadbent, and that their rooms are on the first floor. Most of their rooms are private; for the partners, being bachelors and bosom friends, live there; and the door marked Private, next the clerks' office, is their domestic sitting room as well as their reception room for clients. Let me describe it briefly from the point of view of a sparrow on the window sill. The outer door is in the opposite wall, close to the right hand corner. Between this door and the left hand corner is a hatstand and a table consisting of large drawing boards on trestles, with plans, rolls of tracing paper, mathematical instruments and other draughts-man's accessories on it. In the left hand wall is the fireplace, and the door of an inner room between the fireplace and our observant sparrow. Against the right hand wall is a filing cabinet, with a cupboard on it, and, nearer, a tall office desk and stool for one person. In the middle of the room a large double writing table is set across, with a chair at each end for the two partners. It is a room which no woman would tolerate, smelling of tobacco, and much in need of repapering, repainting, and recarpeting; but this it the effect of bachelor untidiness and indifference, not want of means; for nothing that Doyle and Broadbent themselves have purchased is cheap; nor is anything they want lacking. On the walls hang a large map of South America, a pictorial advertisement of a steam-ship company, an impressive portrait of Gladstone, and several caricatures of Mr Balfour as a rabbit and Mr Chamberlain as a fox by Francis Carruthers Gould.
Saint Joan
Drama, English drama, British and irish drama (dramatic works by one author)
Arms and the Man
Drama, Manuscripts, Serbo-Bulgarian War, 1885
Arms and the Man was George Bernard Shaw's first commercially successful play. It is a comedy about idealized love versus true love. A young Serbian woman idealizes her war-hero fiance and thinks the Swiss soldier who begs her to hide him a terrible coward. After the war she reverses her opinions, though the tangle of relationships must be resolved before her ex-soldier can conclude the last of everyone's problems with Swiss exactitude.The play premiered to an enthusiastic reception. Only one man booed Shaw at the end, to which Shaw replied: "My dear fellow, I quite agree with you, but what are we two against so many?"
Caesar and Cleopatra
Drama, History, Rome Civil War, 49-45 B.C.
Caesar and Cleopatra satirizes Shakespeare's use of history and comments wryly on the politics of Shaw's own time, but the undertone of melancholy makes it one of his most affecting plays.
Pygmalion
Drama, Flower vending, Linguistics teachers
Pygmalion is a play by George Bernard Shaw, named after a Greek mythological figure. It was first presented on stage to the public in 1913. ---------- Also contained in: - [Collected Plays with their Prefaces: Volume IV](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL24714049W) - [Complete Plays with Prefaces: Volume I](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL15835450W) - [Four Plays by Bernard Shaw][1] - [Plays](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL15241070W/The_Complete_Plays_of_Bernard_Shaw) - [Portable Bernard Shaw](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL1066402W/The_Portable_Bernard_Shaw) - [Pygmalion and Major Barbara][2] - [Pygmalion and My Fair Lady][3] - [Pygmalion and Related Readings][4] - [Pygmalion and Three Other Plays](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL15013904W) - [Pygmalion with Connections](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL1066164W/Pygmalion_with_Connections) - [Selected Plays](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL15241059W) - [Selected Plays with Prefaces](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL20644026W) - [Six Plays](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL17986328W) [1]: https://openlibrary.org/works/OL1066032W/Four_Plays_by_Bernard_Shaw [2]: https://openlibrary.org/works/OL1066354W/Pygmalion_Major_Barbara [3]: https://openlibrary.org/works/OL15013928W/Pygmalion_My_Fair_Lady [4]: https://openlibrary.org/works/OL8049503W/Pygmalion_and_Related_Readings
Back to Methuselah
English drama, British and irish drama (dramatic works by one author), Longevity
Five linked plays that expound Shaw's philosophy of creative evolution in an extended dramatic parable that progresses through time from the Garden of Edesn to AD 31,920. Cf Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Man and Superman
English Dramatists, English drama, Translations into Italian
From the book:My dear Walkley: You once asked me why I did not write a Don Juan play. The levity with which you assumed this frightful responsibility has probably by this time enabled you to forget it; but the day of reckoning has arrived: here is your play! I say your play, because qui facit per alium facit per se. Its profits, like its labor, belong to me: its morals, its manners, its philosophy, its influence on the young, are for you to justify. You were of mature age when you made the suggestion; and you knew your man. It is hardly fifteen years since, as twin pioneers of the New Journalism of that time, we two, cradled in the same new sheets, made an epoch in the criticism of the theatre and the opera house by making it a pretext for a propaganda of our own views of life. So you cannot plead ignorance of the character of the force you set in motion. Yon meant me to epater le bourgeois; and if he protests, I hereby refer him to you as the accountable party. I warn you that if you attempt to repudiate your responsibility, I shall suspect you of finding the play too decorous for your taste. The fifteen years have made me older and graver. In you I can detect no such becoming change. Your levities and audacities are like the loves and comforts prayed for by Desdemona: they increase, even as your days do grow. No mere pioneering journal dares meddle with them now: the stately Times itself is alone sufficiently above suspicion to act as your chaperone; and even the Times must sometimes thank its stars that new plays are not produced every day, since after each such event its gravity is compromised, its platitude turned to epigram, its portentousness to wit, its propriety to elegance, and even its decorum into naughtiness by criticisms which the traditions of the paper do not allow you to sign at the end, but which you take care to sign with the most extravagant flourishes between the lines. I am not sure that this is not a portent of Revolution. In eighteenth century France the end was at hand when men bought the Encyclopedia and found Diderot there. When I buy the Times and find you there, my prophetic ear catches a rattle of twentieth century tumbrils.
Back to Methuselah
English drama, British and irish drama (dramatic works by one author), Longevity
Five linked plays that expound Shaw's philosophy of creative evolution in an extended dramatic parable that progresses through time from the Garden of Edesn to AD 31,920. Cf Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Pygmalion
Drama, Flower vending, Linguistics teachers
Pygmalion is a play by George Bernard Shaw, named after a Greek mythological figure. It was first presented on stage to the public in 1913. ---------- Also contained in: - [Collected Plays with their Prefaces: Volume IV](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL24714049W) - [Complete Plays with Prefaces: Volume I](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL15835450W) - [Four Plays by Bernard Shaw][1] - [Plays](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL15241070W/The_Complete_Plays_of_Bernard_Shaw) - [Portable Bernard Shaw](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL1066402W/The_Portable_Bernard_Shaw) - [Pygmalion and Major Barbara][2] - [Pygmalion and My Fair Lady][3] - [Pygmalion and Related Readings][4] - [Pygmalion and Three Other Plays](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL15013904W) - [Pygmalion with Connections](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL1066164W/Pygmalion_with_Connections) - [Selected Plays](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL15241059W) - [Selected Plays with Prefaces](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL20644026W) - [Six Plays](https://openlibrary.org/works/OL17986328W) [1]: https://openlibrary.org/works/OL1066032W/Four_Plays_by_Bernard_Shaw [2]: https://openlibrary.org/works/OL1066354W/Pygmalion_Major_Barbara [3]: https://openlibrary.org/works/OL15013928W/Pygmalion_My_Fair_Lady [4]: https://openlibrary.org/works/OL8049503W/Pygmalion_and_Related_Readings
Saint Joan
Drama, English drama, British and irish drama (dramatic works by one author)
Arms and the Man
Drama, Manuscripts, Serbo-Bulgarian War, 1885
Arms and the Man was George Bernard Shaw's first commercially successful play. It is a comedy about idealized love versus true love. A young Serbian woman idealizes her war-hero fiance and thinks the Swiss soldier who begs her to hide him a terrible coward. After the war she reverses her opinions, though the tangle of relationships must be resolved before her ex-soldier can conclude the last of everyone's problems with Swiss exactitude.The play premiered to an enthusiastic reception. Only one man booed Shaw at the end, to which Shaw replied: "My dear fellow, I quite agree with you, but what are we two against so many?"
Caesar and Cleopatra
Drama, History, Rome Civil War, 49-45 B.C.
Caesar and Cleopatra satirizes Shakespeare's use of history and comments wryly on the politics of Shaw's own time, but the undertone of melancholy makes it one of his most affecting plays.
Man and Superman
English Dramatists, English drama, Translations into Italian
From the book:My dear Walkley: You once asked me why I did not write a Don Juan play. The levity with which you assumed this frightful responsibility has probably by this time enabled you to forget it; but the day of reckoning has arrived: here is your play! I say your play, because qui facit per alium facit per se. Its profits, like its labor, belong to me: its morals, its manners, its philosophy, its influence on the young, are for you to justify. You were of mature age when you made the suggestion; and you knew your man. It is hardly fifteen years since, as twin pioneers of the New Journalism of that time, we two, cradled in the same new sheets, made an epoch in the criticism of the theatre and the opera house by making it a pretext for a propaganda of our own views of life. So you cannot plead ignorance of the character of the force you set in motion. Yon meant me to epater le bourgeois; and if he protests, I hereby refer him to you as the accountable party. I warn you that if you attempt to repudiate your responsibility, I shall suspect you of finding the play too decorous for your taste. The fifteen years have made me older and graver. In you I can detect no such becoming change. Your levities and audacities are like the loves and comforts prayed for by Desdemona: they increase, even as your days do grow. No mere pioneering journal dares meddle with them now: the stately Times itself is alone sufficiently above suspicion to act as your chaperone; and even the Times must sometimes thank its stars that new plays are not produced every day, since after each such event its gravity is compromised, its platitude turned to epigram, its portentousness to wit, its propriety to elegance, and even its decorum into naughtiness by criticisms which the traditions of the paper do not allow you to sign at the end, but which you take care to sign with the most extravagant flourishes between the lines. I am not sure that this is not a portent of Revolution. In eighteenth century France the end was at hand when men bought the Encyclopedia and found Diderot there. When I buy the Times and find you there, my prophetic ear catches a rattle of twentieth century tumbrils.

Among WRITERS

Among writers, George Bernard Shaw ranks 113 out of 7,302Before him are Stephen King, Maurice Maeterlinck, August Strindberg, Haruki Murakami, Apuleius, and Jean de La Fontaine. After him are E. T. A. Hoffmann, Sully Prudhomme, Federico García Lorca, Anatole France, Jean Cocteau, and Guy de Maupassant.

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Contemporaries

Among people born in 1856, George Bernard Shaw ranks 4Before him are Nikola Tesla, Sigmund Freud, and Philippe Pétain. After him are Woodrow Wilson, J. J. Thomson, Louis Sullivan, Archduchess Gisela of Austria, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Napoléon, Prince Imperial, Robert Peary, and Emil Kraepelin. Among people deceased in 1950, George Bernard Shaw ranks 2Before him is George Orwell. After him are Gustaf V of Sweden, Joseph Schumpeter, Johannes V. Jensen, Vaslav Nijinsky, Albert Lebrun, Heinrich Mann, Willis Carrier, Marcel Mauss, Norman Haworth, and Vallabhbhai Patel.

Others Born in 1856

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In Ireland

Among people born in Ireland, George Bernard Shaw ranks 5 out of 549Before him are Oscar Wilde (1854), Jonathan Swift (1667), James Joyce (1882), and Robert Boyle (1627). After him are George Berkeley (1685), Samuel Beckett (1906), Michael Gambon (1940), Francis Bacon (1909), Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769), Bram Stoker (1847), and Edmund Burke (1729).

Among WRITERS In Ireland

Among writers born in Ireland, George Bernard Shaw ranks 4Before him are Oscar Wilde (1854), Jonathan Swift (1667), and James Joyce (1882). After him are Samuel Beckett (1906), Bram Stoker (1847), W. B. Yeats (1865), Laurence Sterne (1713), Iris Murdoch (1919), Joseph Murphy (1898), Ethel Voynich (1864), and Saint Gall (550).