George Bernard Shaw

(2388 words)
  • Jean Chothia (University of Cambridge)

George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin on 26th July, 1856 into the disreputable branch of an otherwise respectable Irish Protestant family. His father, George Carr Shaw, was an unsuccessful mill-owner and an alcoholic. Emotionally deprived as a child, Shaw experienced a haphazard education which included a brief spell at the Wesleyan School in Dublin, but also an inspiring introduction to music from the maverick musician, Vandaleur Lee, who lived with the family for some time. In 1873, Shaw's mother, Lucinda Elizabeth Gurly, an amateur singer, broke up the family when she left for London with her daughter Lucy to follow Lee (who was the model for Svengali in George du Maurier's Trilby). At fifteen, Shaw became a minor clerk in a l…

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Chothia, Jean. "George Bernard Shaw". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 November 2001
[, accessed 30 November 2015.]

Articles on Shaw's works

  1. Arms and the Man
  2. Pygmalion
  3. Saint Joan
  4. The Devil's Disciple
  5. The Quintessence of Ibsenism

Related Groups

  1. Nobel Prize-winners