The New International Encyclopædia/Shaw, George Bernard
SHAW, George Bernard (1856—). A British critic, essayist, and dramatist. He was born in Dublin. In 1876 he settled in London and became known as a brilliant writer. Besides the criticism of the fine arts with which he began his journalistic career, he soon took an active part in politics, as a platform speaker and pamphleteer, from the Socialist point of view. He was an early member of the Fabian Society (q.v.). At different times he contributed weekly articles to the Star and the World, and on the drama to the Saturday Review. After moderate success with four novels — The Irrational Knot, Love Among the Artists, Cashel Byron's Profession, and An Unsocial Socialist — he began writing plays which aroused much discussion. They are included in Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant, numbering seven (2 vols., 1898); Three Plays for Puritans (1901); and The Admirable Bashville (1901). In 1889 he edited Fabian Essays, contributing two to the collection, and his writings include many socialistic pamphlets. Among his miscellaneous essays are The Quintessence of Ibsenism (1891) and The Perfect Wagnerite (1898). Shaw's invincible love of paradox has often prevented even those who most fully recognized the cleverness of his writings from taking him seriously.