A barbed attack on the British class system, Pygmalion both
delighted and scandalized its first audiences in 1914. Henry Higgins is
the Pygmalion figure who believes he can transform Eliza Doolittle, a
cockney flower girl, into a duchess at ease in polite society. The one
thing he overlooks is that his 'creation' has a mind of her own.
About The Author
George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin in 1856. Although
essentially shy, he created the persona of G. B. S., the showman,
satirist, controversialist, critic, pundit, wit, intellectual buffoon
and dramatist. Commentators brought a new adjective into English:
Shavian, a term used to embody all his brilliant qualities.
After his arrival in London in 1876 he became an active Socialist
and a brilliant platform speaker. He wrote on many social aspects of
the day: on Common Sense about the War (1914), How to Settle the Irish
Question (1917) and The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and
Capitalism (1928). He undertook his own education at the British Museum
and consequently became keenly interested in cultural subjects. Thus
his prolific output included music, art and theatre reviews, which were
collected into several volumes such as Music in London 1890–1894 (3
vols, 1931); Pen Portraits and Reviews (1931); and Our Theatres in the
Nineties (3 vols, 1931). He also wrote five novels and some shorter
fiction, including The Black Girl in Search of God and Some Lesser
Tales and Cashel Byron's Profession, both published in Penguin's
Bernard Shaw Library.
He conducted a strong attack on the London theatre and was closely
associated with the intellectual revival of British theatre. His plays
fall into several categories: 'Plays Pleasant'; 'Plays Unpleasant';
comedies; chronicle-plays; 'metabiological Pentateuch' (Back to
Methuselah, a series of plays); and 'political extravaganzas'. Bernard
Shaw died in 1950.