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George Bernard Shaw Papers


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Administrative Information

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George Bernard Shaw Papers, 1901-1950 | MS Manuscripts

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Collection Overview

Title: George Bernard Shaw Papers, 1901-1950Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1901-1950

ID: MS/MS/ms001

Primary Creator: Shaw, Bernard (1856-1950)

Extent: 3.0 Boxes

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts and memorabilia relating to George Bernard Shaw. Correspondence, 1901 - 1928, includes 30 letters and cards to John Drinkwater. Also, autograph manuscript of speech, portraits of Shaw, and various personal artifacts.

Collection Historical Note

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.

He was most angered by what he perceived as the exploitation of the working class. An ardent socialist, Shaw wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He became an accomplished orator in the furtherance of its causes, which included gaining equal rights for men and women, alleviating abuses of the working class, rescinding private ownership of productive land, and promoting healthy lifestyles. For a short time he was active in local politics, serving on the London County Council.

In 1898, Shaw married Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a fellow Fabian, whom he survived. They settled in Ayot St Lawrence in a house now called Shaw's Corner. Shaw died there, aged 94, from chronic problems exacerbated by injuries he incurred by falling from a ladder.

He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion (adaptation of his play of the same name), respectively.

Administrative Information

Repository: MS Manuscripts

Access Restrictions: Open

Use Restrictions:

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)

Acquisition Source: Gift

Acquisition Method:

Accessions 1554 and 1603: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harold C. Ackert

Accessions 1464: Gift of Professor and Mrs. Herbert Spiegelberg

Preferred Citation: Name of the Collection, Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections

Processing Information: Processed September 1982

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Manuscripts],
[Series 3: Miscellany],
[Series 4: Artwork],
[Series 5: Realia],

Series 1: CorrespondenceAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Shaw Correspondence With John Drinkwater, 1912-1926Add to your cart.
30 items. Shaw's letter and cards to Drinkwater (British playwright and director of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre) span from 1912: November 2 to 1926: December 31, and are concerned primarily with various pieces of theatre information: permission to produce plays, suggestions and comments on performers and performances, comments on manuscripts by Drinkwater. The correspondence consists of 11 letters, 18 cards and 1 enclosed letter.
Folder 2: Miscellaneous Shaw Correspondence, 1901-1949Add to your cart.
21 items
Item 1: DeCasseres, Benjamin, 1928: June 21Add to your cart.
upbraids Shaw
Item 2: Spiegelberg, Herbert, 1949: November 29Add to your cart.

Typed letter signed with envelope

Accession 1464.

Item 3: Shaw, George Bernard to Carrol, Kathleen Fawcus, 1909: May 18Add to your cart.
Card; advice on living.
Item 4: Shaw, George Bernard to Charrington, Charles, 1902: May 21Add to your cart.
Card; publishing, money.
Item 5: Shaw, George Bernard to Fry, Roger, 1912: February 11Add to your cart.
Card; refuses to undertake project requested of him.
Item 6: Shaw, George Bernard to ?, Hugo, 1909: March 15Add to your cart.
Autograph letter signed.
Item 7: Shaw, George Bernard to Jewett, Henry, 1919: November 5Add to your cart.
Censorship, changing of names in a play.
Item 8: Shaw, George Bernard to Jewett, Henry, 1921: June 27Add to your cart.
Permission to produce play.
Item 9: Shaw, George Bernard to Norman, C H., 1922: April 21Add to your cart.
Card regarding military insanity.
Item 10: Shaw, George Bernard to Renfron, H S., 1919: February 5Add to your cart.
Note added to Renfron letter] refuses permission to republish parts of Shaw work, but notes that much would be done if anthology was respectable.
Item 11: Shaw, George Bernard to Smith, A C., 1901: April 6Add to your cart.
Card; Shaw's whereabouts, travel.
Item 12: Shaw, George Bernard to Strang, William, 1906: July 14Add to your cart.
Card regarding drawing of Shaw.
Item 13: Shaw, George Bernard to Titterton, W R., 1923: March 28Add to your cart.
Card; refuses to write a piece for Titterton's paper.
Item 14: Shaw, George Bernard to Wise, William H. & Co., 1928: May 10Add to your cart.
Refuses to permit republication, plus newspaper clippings that Wise wished to reprint, with xerox of envelope. Original envelope tipped in Spec. HX 246 S 43
Item 15: Shaw, George Bernard to Wise, William H. & Co., June 4Add to your cart.
Advises Wise to pay Author's League for copyrighted Shaw material to be included in anthology (without Shaw authorization).
Item 16: Shaw, George Bernard to Croll, Robert H., 1941: October 25Add to your cart.
Card; response to Croll's earlier letter on McMahon's death and eulogy by Croll.
Item 17: ?, William of R. & R. Clark Limited, Publishers, 1948: May 28Add to your cart.
Advises Shaw on status of and autobiography and Odham's Complete Plays.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Manuscripts],
[Series 3: Miscellany],
[Series 4: Artwork],
[Series 5: Realia],

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