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Pygmalion

By George Bernard Shaw

ISBN: 9781847498595

144 pages

RRP: £5.59

Unique edition presented in its definitive 1941 version with footnotes indicating the textual variants from the first volume edition of 1916

When professor of phonetics Henry Higgins wagers with Colonel Pickering that he could teach even a gutter-mouthed flower seller how to speak like a duchess, little does he expect that his social experiment will be riddled with difficulties, and that behind her cockney parlance the girl in question, Eliza Doolittle, has a mind, ideas and aspirations of her own. Things come to a crux when the creature starts to rebel against her creator – and the scene is set for a play that questions the class system, social appearances and the role of women in society.

Universally regarded as Shaw’s most successful work, Pygmalion – here presented in its definitive 1941 version, with footnotes indicating the textual variants from the first volume edition of 1916 – has spawned a great number of adaptations, among them the famous 1956 Broadway musical My Fair Lady, and shows ancient myth’s undiminished ability to find new incarnations in modern life.

REVIEWS

  • His plays were superb exercises in high-level argument on every issue under the sun, from feminism and God, to war and eternity, but they were also hits–and still are.

    The Daily Mail

  • [Shaw] did his best in redressing the fateful unbalance between truth and reality, in lifting mankind to a higher rung of social maturity. He often pointed a scornful finger at human frailty, but his jests were never at the expense of humanity. 

    Thomas Mann

George Bernard Shaw

The author of over fifty works for the stage – among them Pygmalion and Man and Superman – the Irish playwright and political writer George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) was the leading dramatist of his generation and the recipient of the 1925 Nobel Prize in Literature.

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