Shaw's “Secretary for America” and General John Burgoyne

Stanley Weintraub

in Who's Afraid of Bernard Shaw?

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037264
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041544 | DOI:
Shaw's “Secretary for America” and General John Burgoyne

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Some of Shaw's most provocative stage characters disappeared, in cinema terms, on the cutting-room floor. Both George III, the last Founding Father, and his Secretary for America, the imperious Lord George Germain, were written into the never-produced early-1930s screen version Shaw prepared for The Devil's Disciple (1897)—a scene never filmed and never staged. However, in both stage and film versions, the general who lost the Battle of Saratoga, and possibly rebellious America, Sir John Burgoyne appears as a Shavian in wit and riposte, much as he was in real life. He becomes Shaw's foil for satirizing government bureaucracy and military rigidity, often Shaw's targets in his plays.

Keywords: George III; Lord George Germain; John Burgoyne; American Revolution; Devil's Disciple; bureaucratic; jobbery

Chapter.  4875 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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