George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was a prolific dramatist,
critic, essayist, pamphleteer and social reformer. The shy, idealistic Irishman
separated himself from his opinionated public persona, 'G. B. S.', and his
eccentric alter ego and his work were the vehicles for his social and political
ideals. He was a member of the socialist Fabian Society from its founding and
edited Fabian Essays. Most of his early plays were banned because of their political
content. His outspokenness made him unpopular in England for a time but his
spreading worldwide fame made it easier for him to voice his views.
Plays, such as Mrs Warren's Profession, Arms and the Man, Man and Superman, Major Barbara, Pygmalion and St Joan, his essays and letters, his
outspoken opinions, great wit and charisma made him a celebrity and his name
has even passed into the English language in the word 'Shavian'. He received the Nobel Prize for
Literature in 1925.
Author David Ross has written a biography of Shaw that is exceptionally
readable and entertaining. The life, wit and prolific achievements of this
Irish icon are conveyed with insight and understanding.