Irish Fiction Fridays: George Bernard Shaw: The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles

Happy Irish Fiction Friday! Today we feature one of Ireland’s best known playwrights – George Bernard Shaw. Born in Dublin on July 26, 1856, he moved to London in 1876 and died in Hertfordshire, UK in 1950 at age 94. Hating school, Shaw left formal education to become a clerk to a land agent in 1871. After moving to London, Shaw held a number of jobs, none for long as he continued to educate himself. By the 1880s, he was able to support himself as a writer. In addition to writing plays, Shaw was also a well-respected theatre and music critic. He won an academy award for the screenplay he wrote of his play Pygmalion. Shaw was known for his strong political, social, and religious ideas. Today we feature his play The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles: A Vision of Judgment, which was written in 1934. The play premiered in New York in 1935 and divided critics. We’ll leave it to you to decide whether the play is silly or a symbolic fable and whether Shaw takes his political views too far within the play.

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