Bernard Shaw: a Brief Biography
G. Bernard Shaw (he hated the „George“ and never used it, either personally or professionally) was born in 1856 in Dublin, in a lower-middle class family of Scottish-Protestant ancestry. His father was a failed corn-merchant, with a drinking problem his mother was a professional singer.
When Shaw was just short of his sixteenth birthday, his mother left her husband and son and moved with Vandeleur Lee to London. Shaw remained in Dublin with his father, completing hhis schooling (which he hated passionately), and working as a clerk for an estate office (which he hated just as much as school).
In 1876, Shaw left Dublin and his father and moved to London, moving in with his mother’s menage. There he lived off of his mother and sister while pursuing a career in journalism and writing. The first medium he tried as a creative writer was prose, completing five before any of them were published. In 1891, Shaw wwrote his first play, Widower’s Houses. For the next twelve years, he wrote close to a dozen plays, though he generally failed to persuade the managers of the London Theatres to produce them.
In 1898, after a serious illness, Shaw rresigned as theatre critic, and moved out of his mother’s house (where he was still living) to marry Charlotte Payne-Townsend, an Irish woman of independent means. Their marriage lasted until Charlotte’s death in 1943.
In 1904, set up Shaw in a experimental theatre specializing in new and progressive drama. Over the next three seasons, Barker produced ten plays by Shaw ,and Shaw began writing new plays with Barker’s management specifically in mind. Over the next ten years, all but one of Shaw’s plays (Pygmalion in 1914) was produced in the other experimental theater managements around England. With royalties from his plays, Shaw, who had become financially independent on marrying, now became quite wealthy. The outbreak of war in 1914 ...
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