Bernard Shaw and Nancy Astor

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George Bernard Shaw and Nancy Lady Astor enjoyed a close friendship for over twenty years, from the late 1920s until Shaw's death in 1950. Although opposites in many matters - particularly politics - Shaw and Astor were irresistibly attracted to each other, both being unconventional firebrands with ready wits. This collection of nearly 250 letters between Shaw and Astor - as well as between Astor and Shaw's wife, Charlotte, and Shaw's secretary, Blanche Patch - illustrates the rewarding friendship the two shared and the numerous issues they debated.

Perhaps the most fascinating letters occur after Charlotte's death in 1943. Astor became concerned for Shaw's well-being, but his letters at this point reveal his growing resentment with her suffocating attentions. However, the friendship endured and the correspondence continued.

More than half of the letters in this volume have never been published and many more appear in their entirety for the first time. Headnotes to the letters provide a contextual narrative and identify political, historical, literary, and theatrical references, allusions, and other relevant information. This is a crucial edition in the highly praised Selected Correspondence of Bernard Shaw series.


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About the author (2005)

J. P. Wearing is a professor emeritus in the Department of English at the University of Arizona.

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