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George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw

Playwright + Critic + Political Activist

George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He was also an essayist, novelist and short story writer. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable.… Read More

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1856 Birth George Bernard Shaw was born in Synge Street, Dublin, on 26 July 1856 to George Carr Shaw (1814–85), an unsuccessful grain merchant and sometime civil servant, and Lucinda Elizabeth Shaw, (née Gurly; 1830–1913), a professional singer. … Read More


1876 19 Years Old …  In 1876, Shaw joined his mother's London household. … Read More


1879 22 Years Old 1 More Event
Shaw wrote five unsuccessful novels at the start of his career between 1879 and 1883. … Read More
1881 24 Years Old Shaw joined in the public opposition to vaccination against smallpox, calling it "a peculiarly filthy piece of witchcraft", despite having nearly died from the disease in 1881. … Read More
1885 28 Years Old Shaw began working on his first play destined for production, Widowers' Houses, in 1885 in collaboration with critic William Archer, who supplied the structure. … Read More
1886 29 Years Old Oscar Wilde was the sole literary signator of Shaw's petition for a pardon of the anarchists arrested (and later executed) after the Haymarket massacre in Chicago in 1886.


1892 35 Years Old Years later, Shaw tried again and, in 1892, completed the play without collaboration. Widowers' Houses, a scathing attack on slum landlords, was first performed at London's Royalty Theatre on 9 December 1892. … Read More
1895 38 Years Old …  As a drama critic for the Saturday Review, a post he held from 1895 to 1898, Shaw championed Henrik Ibsen whose realistic plays scandalized the Victorian public. … Read More


1897 40 Years Old Shaw declined to stand as an MP, but in 1897 was elected as a local councillor to the St Pancras Vestry as a Progressive.
In 1898, Shaw married Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a fellow Fabian, whom he survived. … Read More
1900 43 Years Old With the creation of the Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras in 1900 Shaw was elected as a borough councillor but dismissed any party label, claiming "I have not yet discovered the party that is anxious to claim me as its representative."
1903 46 Years Old He resigned from the council at the next election in 1903 as "in his view, the only perfect Council should consist of millionaires and labourers" and he was neither. … Read More


1909 52 Years Old In a letter to Henry James dated 17 January 1909, Shaw said, … Read More
1910 53 Years Old …  When, in 1910, Shaw wrote that natural attraction rather than wealth or social class should govern selection of marriage partners, the concept of eugenics did not have the negative connotations it later acquired after having been adopted by the Nazis of Germany. … Read More
1916 59 Years Old 1 More Event
Shaw opposed the execution of Sir Roger Casement in 1916.


1922 65 Years Old …  After Collins's assassination in 1922, Shaw sent a personal message of condolence to one of Collins's sisters. … Read More
In a newsreel interview released on 5 March 1931, dealing with alternatives to the imprisonment of criminals, Shaw says … Read More
1933 76 Years Old In an open letter to the Manchester Guardian in 1933, he dismissed reports -later proved to be true- of the man-made Ukrainian Genocide as slanderous, and equated it the with the hardships then current in the West during the Great Depression: … Read More
1934 77 Years Old A collection of Shaw's short stories, The Black Girl in Search of God and Some Lesser Tales, was published in 1934. … Read More
1938 81 Years Old In 1938, Shaw was awarded an Oscar for his work on the film Pygmalion (adaptation of his play of the same name). … Read More
1946 89 Years Old It was not until 1946 that the government of the day arranged for an informal offer of the Order of Merit to be made: Shaw declined, replying that "merit" in authorship could only be determined by the posthumous verdict of history.
1950 94 Years Old Died on November 2, 1950.
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Bernard_Shaw.
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.