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Plays Unpleasant: Widowers' Houses/The Philanderer/Mrs. Warren's Profession
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Plays Unpleasant: Widowers' Houses/The Philanderer/Mrs. Warren's Profession Paperback - 2001

by George Bernard Shaw; Introduction by David Edgar


Summary

"I had no taste for what is called popular art, no respect for popular morality, no belief in popular religion, no admiration for popular heroics"

With Plays Unpleasant, therefore, Shaw broke all the rules governing how a playwright should entertain his audience. In Widower's Houses, Harry Trench is engaged to brisk Blanche Sartorius. When he realizes that her father is a slum landlord, Harry questions whether he and Blanche have a future together. Charismatic Leonard Charteris is the philanderer who proposes marriage to Grace, while still involved with the beautiful Julia Craven. But Julia is not inclined to surrender him so easily. In Mrs Warren's Profession, Vivie discovers that her mother's immoral earnings have paid for her genteel upbringing. Will she be able to accept her mother for herself?

These plays, as David Edgar says, deal with "the conflict between youthful ideals and economics realities, the drawbacks of promiscuity and the perils of matrimony, the duties of women to others and themselves, the necessity for and the costs of revolt. What could be more eternal than that?"

The definitive text under the editorial supervision by Dan H. Laurence

From the publisher

Exclusive to Penguin Classics: the definitive text of Shaw's volume of "unpleasant" plays, Widowers' Houses, The Philanderer, and Mrs. Warren's Profession--part of the official Bernard Shaw Library A Penguin Classic With Plays Unpleasant, Shaw issued a radical challenge to his audiences' complacency and exposed social evils through his dramatization of the moral conflicts between youthful idealism and economic reality, promiscuity and marriage, and the duties of women to others and to themselves. His first play, Widowers' Houses, depicts Harry Trench's dilemma on learning that the inheritance of his fiance comes from her father's income as a slum landlord. In The Philanderer, charismatic Leonard Charteris proposes marriage to Grace, while he is still involved with the beautiful Julia Craven--who is not inclined to give him up so easily. And in Mrs. Warren's Profession, Vivie Warren is forced to reconsider her own future when she discovers that her mother's immoral earnings funded her genteel upbringing. This is the definitive text under the editorial supervision of Dan H. Laurence. This volume includes Shaw's prefaces, cast lists from the first productions of the plays, and a list of his principal works.

Details

  • Title Plays Unpleasant: Widowers' Houses/The Philanderer/Mrs. Warren's Profession
  • Author George Bernard Shaw; Introduction by David Edgar
  • Binding Paperback
  • Edition International Ed
  • Pages 304
  • Volumes 1
  • Language ENG
  • Publisher Penguin Group, New York
  • Date 2001-01-01
  • Features Table of Contents
  • ISBN 9780140437935 / 0140437932
  • Weight 0.53 lbs (0.24 kg)
  • Dimensions 7.82 x 5.08 x 0.74 in (19.86 x 12.90 x 1.88 cm)
  • Ages 18 to UP years
  • Grade levels 13 - UP
  • Library of Congress subjects Social conflict, Social problems
  • Library of Congress Catalog Number 2001266519
  • Dewey Decimal Code 822.912

About the author

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) is one of the world's greatest literary figures. Born in Dublin, Ireland, he left school at fourteen and in 1876 went to London, where he began his literary career with a series of unsuccessful novels. In 1884 he became a founder of the Fabian Society, the famous British socialist organization. After becoming a reviewer and drama critic, he published a study of the Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen in 1891 and became determined to create plays as he felt Ibsen did: to shake audiences out of their moral complacency and to attack social problems. However, Shaw was an irrepressible wit, and his plays are as entertaining as they are socially provocative. Basically shy, Shaw created a public persona for himself: G.B.S., a bearded eccentric, crusading social critic, antivivisectionist, language reformer, strict vegetarian, and renowned public speaker. The author of fifty-three plays, hundreds of essays, reviews, and letters, and several books, Shaw is best known for Widowers' Houses, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Arms and the Man, Caesar and Cleopatra, Man and Superman, Major Barbara, Pygmalion, Heartbreak House, and Saint Joan. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925. David Edgar (introducer) has written widely on theater. His original plays include Destiny, Maydays, and Pentecost. Dan H. Laurence (series editor; 1920-2008) was series editor for the works of George Bernard Shaw in Penguin. Formerly a New York University faculty member, Mr. Laurence left his tenured position in 1970 to dedicated his life to the collection and curation of Shaw's life, work, and letters. He served as the official literary advisor to Shaw's estate and published four volumes of his correspondence.
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Plays Unpleasant (Bernard Shaw Library)
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Plays Unpleasant (Bernard Shaw Library)

by Shaw, George Bernard

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Paperback
ISBN 13
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ISBN 10
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