Bernard Shaw Collection Four Novels Heron Books [1969]


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Bernard Shaw Four Novels

George Bernard Shaw known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works, with a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Permission to reprint the Four Novels by Bernard Shaw in this special edition, was granted by the Public Trustee and the Society of Authors.

The Irrational Knot – A critique of conventional marriage. Within a framework of leisure class preoccupations and frivolities Shaw disdains hereditary status and proclaims the nobility of workers. Marriage, as the knot in question, is exemplified by the union of Marian Lind, a lady of the upper class, to Edward Conolly, always a workman but now a magnate, thanks to his invention of an electric motor that makes steam engines obsolete. The marriage soon deteriorates, primarily because Marian fails to rise above the preconceptions and limitations of her social class and is, therefore, unable to share her husband’s interests.

Love Among the Artists – With his inimitable wit and sparkle, George Bernard Shaw brings us the character of Owen Jack, a salty non-conformist composer said to have been suggested by Beethoven. The relations between Jack and the other wayward bohemians of the story with the more conventional socialites around them offers shrewd insight into the nature of the artistic temperament, with its needs for a kind of commitment that overrides the everyday claims of the heart. A novel which anticipated Shaw’s first plays by more than ten years, Love Among The Artists shows him already mocking the respectable morality of the Victorian society around him.

Cashel Byron’s Profession – An indictment of society which anticipates Shaw’s first full-length play, Mrs Warren’s Profession. Alice went home from the castle expecting to find the household divided between joy at her good-fortune and grief at losing her; for her views of human nature and parental feeling were as yet pure superstitions. But Mrs. Goff at once became envious of the luxury her daughter was about to enjoy, and overwhelmed her with accusations of want of feeling, eagerness to desert her mother, and vain love of pleasure.

An Unsocial Socialist – The Unsocial Socialist is one of Shaw’s last satires and was the inspiration for the play, Smash. The book begins: In the dusk of an October evening, a sensible looking woman of forty came out through an oaken door to a broad landing on the first floor of an old English country-house. A braid of her hair had fallen forward as if she had been stooping over book or pen; and she stood for a moment to smooth it, and to gaze contemplatively-not in the least sentimentally-through the tall, narrow window. The sun was setting, but its glories were at the other side of the house; for this window looked eastward, where the landscape of sheepwalks and pasture land was sobering at the approach of darkness.


  • Publisher Heron Books, London; [1969]
  • Hardback, 259, 250, 339, 336 pp
  • Frontis portrait in each volume
  • Size 185 x 115mm, 1.6kg

Condition: Very Good – No Inscriptions, Very Good Copy

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Weight 1.6 kg


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