Major Barbara: a facsimile of the holograph manuscript

Front Cover
Garland Pub., Apr 1, 1981 - Drama - 334 pages
'The greatest of our evils and the worst of our crimes is poverty ... our first duty, to which every other consideration should be sacrificed, is not to be poor'

Andrew Undershaft, a millionaire armaments dealer, loves money and despises poverty. His energetic daughter Barbara, on the other hand, shows her love for the poor by working as a Major in the Salvation Army. She sees her father as just another soul to be saved. But when the Salvation Army needs funds to keep going, it is Undershaft who saves the day. Is the Army right to accept money that has been obtained by 'Death and Destruction'? Barbara is forced to question her philanthropic motives, and what she discovers tells her something new about the world and its ways.

Full of lively comedy and sparkling debate, Major Barbara is also one of Shaw's most powerful and forward-looking plays. As Margery Morgan says, while Shaw was responding to 'a material and cultural situation that is now part of history', his work still has relevance 'in a period when new technologies drive the globalization of trade and the migration of populations ... and ancient forms of brutality and carnage have re-appeared.'

The definitive text, under the editorial supervision of Dan H. Laurence

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About the author (1981)

Renowned literary genius George Bernard Shaw was born on July 26, 1856 in Dublin, Ireland. He later moved to London and educated himself at the British Museum while several of his novels were published in small socialist magazines. Shaw later became a music critic for the Star and for the World. He was a drama critic for the Saturday Review and later began to have some of his early plays produced. Shaw wrote the plays Man and Superman, Major Barbara, and Pygmalion, which was later adapted as My Fair Lady in both the musical and film form. He also transformed his works into screenplays for Saint Joan, How He Lied to Her Husband, Arms and the Man, Pygmalion, and Major Barbara. Shaw won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925. George Bernard Shaw died on November 2, 1950 at Ayot St. Lawrence, Hertfordshire, England.

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