This newest volume of SHAW examines aspects of Bernard Shaw's life and work, his involvement with various contemporaries, and his wide-ranging interests throughout a long and multifaceted career.
An overview of novelist Elinor Huddart's 1878-1894 letters that Shaw preserved provides glimpses of Shaw from his early struggles as a novelist through his initial successes as a playwright. Other articles reveal Shaw's attempts during the Edwardian years to find a market for his plays in the variety palaces; the uproar that Arms and the Man provoked from Austrian, Bulgarian, and Serbian audiences; and the importance of Salvation Army 'General' William Booth in the creation of Major Barbara.
J. M. Barrie's Punch: A Toy Tragedy in One Act, never before published, lets us see Shaw from the perspective of a genially satiric contemporary. One essay follows Galsworthy and Shaw as they try to come to grips with the horrors of World War I, and another explores Harley Granville Barker's answers in The Secret Life to painful questions posed by Heartbreak House.
The music collection at Shaw's Corner at Ayot St. Lawrence reveals Shaw's "tireless enthusiasm, remarkably broadminded approach, and eclectic taste" in his lifelong appreciation of music. An examination of Shaw's ethics from his early writings through his late works shows several affinities with the thought of Erich Fromm and of Aristotle.
Also included in this volume are two unsigned notices by Shaw that appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette in 1885, reviews of three significant 1988 additions to Shavian scholarship, and the "Continuing Checklist of Shaviana."