George Bernard Shaw was born in number 33, Upper Synge Street, Dublin on the 26th of July, 1856. His parents, George Carr Shaw (1814-1885) and Lucinda Elizabeth Gurly (1830-1913) were of English Protestant descent. An avid reader from a young age, Shaw was enamoured with literature as a child.
Shaw's mother left the family home in Dublin to pursue a career as a singer in London. In 1876, Shaw followed in her footsteps by making the journey to London to try and make it as a writer. There he firstly became known as a music and theatre critic. He joined the Fabian society, becoming both a socialist and a vegetarian in the process. His connections in this society helped him to secure a position as a book reviewer in The Pall Mall Gazette. He decided that he would write plays as a means of critiqueing English theatre at the time. His early plays were titles such as The Man of Destiny and Mrs. Warren's Profession. As he progressed as a writer, his plays became less critical and more literary. Perhaps his play which is best known and represented is Pygmalion, which was written in 1914 and would be adapted into the musical My Fair Lady. A complete list of Shaw's many works of literature can be found here.
Aside from his literary accolades, Shaw was a rather controversial figure in his personal views and his politics. He was openly against the use of vaccinations, and was known to speak admirably of Stalin and Mussolini. He also vocalised his critiques of British policy in Ireland, which, living in London, would have been an unpopular opinion.
In 1898 Shaw married Irish feminist and political activist Charlotte Payne Townshend (1857-1943). He remained a prolific writer all the way into his final years.
Shaw died on November 2nd 1950 at the age of 94.
|Date of Birth||26th Jul 1856|
|Date of Death||2nd Nov 1950|