Who's Afraid of Bernard Shaw?

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:
Who's Afraid of Bernard Shaw?

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Few readers see any possible association of Shaw with Virginia Woolf, whose literary generation seems hostile to its predecessor giants, such as Shaw, Wells, Bennett, Maugham, Galsworthy, and their like. Even devotees of both authors see little connection other than that, in 1907, Virginia and her brother Adrian took over from Shaw the lease on 29 Fitzroy Square, where he had lived until his marriage in 1898. Once Virginia Stephen married Leonard Woolf, however, the pair grew into admiration and even association with Shaw, and a country weekend with the Shaws and Webbs during World War I would lead not only to Shaw's Heartbreak House but to his developing his snobbish Lady Ariadne Utterword around the personality of Virginia Woolf. Shaw would own up that characterization later in a letter to her, and Virginia would borrow from the play herself in her farce, Freshwater. Echoes of Shaw appear in many of her novels. She even rebound, colorfully, two of his books. Their increasingly affectionate friendship ended only with her suicide in 1941.

Keywords: Virginia Woolf; Leonard Woolf; George Bernard Shaw; Heartbreak House; Freshwater; Lady Ariadne Utterword

Chapter.  10282 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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