George Bernard Shaw, 1856 - 1950

portrait of George Bernard Shaw
New York Times photo (ca. 1905, published March 1915)
George Bernard Shaw signature

Born: 26 July 1856, Dublin, Ireland
Died: 2 November 1950, Ayot St. Lawrence, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom

Shaw's father, George Carr Shaw, was an unsuccessful grain merchant and habitual drunkard. His mother, Lucinda Elizabeth Shaw, was a professional singer. Shaw and his two sisters were largely raised by servants. Shaw attended Wesleyan Connexional School briefly, then a private school near Dalkey, transferred to Dublin's Central Model School, and ended his formal education at Dublin English Scientific and Commercial Day School when he was fifteen. He hated all of them. When his mother and sisters moved to London, Shaw clerked in an estate office for several years, then joined his mother and sister at London. He got a pound a week, some from an allowance but mostly by ghostwriting a music column for Vandeleur Lee, his mothers voice coach. He spent the bulk of his time in public libraries and the British Museum reading room, studying and writing novels that went unpublished until much later, but in 1885 he began writing music and drama criticism. He became a socialist and was a charter member of the Fabian Society in 1884. It was there that he met Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a wealthy widow. They wed in 1898 and moved to the home now called Shaw's Corner, where both lived the rest of their lives. His music criticism was extensive and enjoyable to read, although his admiration of Richard Wagner baffles the Quotemaster. He wrote more than fifty plays, several of which became motion pictures once sound was available, and he continued to write them until just a year before his death. His plays each included lengthy prefaces, which were excellent sources of quotes. He also wrote several essays and thousands of letters.

Biography from Wikipedia

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