George Bernard Shaw, 1856 - 1950
New York Times photo (ca. 1905, published March 1915)
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the bulk of his time in public libraries and the British Museum reading room, studying and writing novels that went unpublished until much later, but in 1885 he began writing music and drama criticism.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
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
George Bernard Shaw quotes:
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- A broken heart is a very pleasant complaint for a man in London if he has a comfortable income. permalink
- A day's work is a day's work, neither more nor less, and the man who does it needs a day's sustenance, a night's repose and due leisure, whether he be painter or ploughman. permalink
- A doctor's reputation is made by the number of eminent men who die under his care. permalink
- A drama critic is a man who leaves no turn unstoned. permalink
- A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education. permalink
- A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out. permalink
- A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. permalink
Everybody's Political What's What (1944)
- A happy family is but an earlier heaven. permalink
- A healthy nation is as unconscious of its nationality as a healthy man of his bones. But if you break a nation's nationality it will think of nothing else but getting it set again. permalink
- A learned man is an idler who kills time with study. Beware of his false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. permalink
- A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. permalink
- A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it: it would be hell on earth. permalink
- A little learning is a dangerous thing, but we must take that risk because a little is as much as our biggest heads can hold. permalink
- A man learns to skate by staggering about and making a fool of himself; indeed, he progresses in all things by making a fool of himself. permalink
- A man of great common sense and good taste; meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage. permalink
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