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Irina Tsoma
01.05.2012, 20:36

George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) was the youngest child of what we would now call a dysfunctional family. Although he was born in Dublin and spoke with an Irish accent, he liked the city only cordially, and having left it for London in 1876, returned only fleetingly. Shaw was a critic before he was a playwright, novelist, and essayist, producing music reviews .His numerous plays include Pygmalion, Widows' Houses, etc.

In 1898, Shaw married Charlotte Payne-Townshend. They settled in Ayot St Lawrence in a house now called Shaw's Corner. He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion (adaptation of his play of the same name), respectively. Shaw wanted to refuse his Nobel Prize outright because he had no desire for public honours, but accepted it at his wife's behest: she considered it a tribute to Ireland.  Shaw died in Shaw's Corner, aged 94, from chronic problems after falling from a ladder.

In the classical myth Shaw's most famous play Pygmalion retells, an artist falls in love with his creation, a beautiful woman of marble, to which Venus grants life. In Shaw's version, the setting is London and the artist is a linguist who transforms his "creation" from a poor flower girl into a lady, or the semblance of one, by teaching her to speak standard English rather than an East End (of London) dialect. Henry Higgins does not fall in love with Eliza Doolittle, and Shaw stressed that this was not a romantic story.

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Category: British Literature | Added by: Itsoma
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