George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw was born July 26, 1856 in Dublin, Ireland, the son of a civil servant. He moved to London in 1876, where he established himself as a leading music and theatre critic and became a prominent member of the Fabian Society. He began his literary career as a novelist, but his main body of work was as a dramatist and he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his writings dealt with prevailing social problems of the time, but with a vein of comedy. Shaw examined education, marriage, religion, government, health care and class privilege. He felt very strongly about what he perceived as the exploitation of the working class, and most of his writings censure that abuse. 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. 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 in 1950, aged 94, from chronic problems exacerbated by injuries he incurred by falling. Some of Shaw’s most famous works include: Mrs. Warren’s Profession (1893), Arms and the Man (1894), Candida (1894), The Man of Destiny (1895), Man and Superman (1902-03), Major Barbara (1905), Misalliance (1910), Androcles and the Lion (1912), Pygmalion (1912-13), Heartbreak House (1919) and St. Joan (1923).