Chapter

Shaw's Sculptress

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813037264.003.0009
Shaw's Sculptress

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When Shaw met Kathleen Scott in the early 1900s she was an uninhibited young sculptress who both attracted and awed men he knew. She would marry the Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott and was soon a widowed young mother – Robert died seeking the South Pole. In posthumous honor to her husband, Kathleen was created Lady Scott. Shaw was close to her and her young son Peter in her bereavement. He visited often, and Kathleen sculpted him twice. On wartime visits to her, Kathleen taught Shaw, at sixty, to dance, and he read his ongoing postwar Back to Methuselah to her, in which the character, Mrs. Lutestring, the futuristic Domestic Minister, seems indebted to Kathleen. When in her mid-forties she remarried Edward Hilton Young (later Lord Kennet), a war hero who had lost an arm. Apsley Cherry-Garrard, a survivor of Scott's last expedition, was writing a book about it that did not shield Scott from blame for the icebound catastrophe. Shaw encouraged his honesty, edited the book, found a title for it (The Worst Journey in the World), then subdued much of Kathleen's loyal wrath. Shaw's last, and minor, work, A Rhyming Picture Guide to Ayot St. Lawrence, published soon after his death (which followed her own), includes his photo of her and lines in her memory.

Keywords: Kathleen Scott; Lady Scott; Lady Kennet; Peter Scott; Apsley Cherry-Garrard

Chapter.  9123 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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