Vintage 1919 Hardcover in good condition for its age.
Published by Brentano's, New York
Dramatic Plays written by:
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950) 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. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. Shaw examined education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.
Heartbreak House is a play written by George Bernard Shaw, first published in 1919 and first played at the Garrick Theatre (New York) in 1920. According to A. C. Ward, the work argues that "cultured, leisured Europe" was drifting toward destruction, and that "Those in a position to guide Europe to safety failed to learn their proper business of political navigation".
On the eve of World War I, Ellie Dunn, her father, and her fiancé are invited to one of Hesione Hushabye’s infamous dinner parties. Unfortunately, her fiancé is a scoundrel, her father’s a bumbling prig, and she’s actually in love with Hector, Hesione’s husband. This bold mix of farce and tragedy lampoons British society as it blithely sinks towards disaster.
The Great Catherine
George Bernard Shaw wrote GREAT CATHERINE (WHOM GLORY STILL ADORES) back in the teens, and it is occasionally revived. Not all of his plays get revived. In particular his "short" plays. GREAT CATHERINE is a one act play, and it runs about ninety minutes (short, in comparison to say PYGMALION or MAJOR BARBARA). As it is a historical play, one has to note that Shaw - while he tried to be accurate on his history in his plays - based his history on the current state of knowledge, which was usually not as correct as we now know.
Basically, GREAT CATHERINE is about how a young British officer is sent to the court of Catherine the Great of Russia, one of the most fascinating rulers in Europe in the 18th Century. He is involved not only with her, but with her crafty chief minister, Potemkin (whom the battleship in the classic Eisenstein silent film is named for). The officer attracts her attention because he is handsome, and the British Minister is fully willing to let him see the Empress, as he may hear something of use and he may "ease" Anglo-Russian relations. As it turns out, the young ninny is such a believer in middle class morality that he blows a great opportunity, loses a chance to witness a great figure in world history, and even - unwittingly - so misunderstands things that he accidentally insults her. Only her own sense of values keeps her from taking up an offer from a furious Potemkin to have the young man killed.
Playlets of the War
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