George Brenard Shaw

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On the night of July 26th, 1856 one of the greatest playwrights in history, George Bernard Shaw, was born. George’s mother, Lucinda Elizabeth Gurly, was an aristocrat, while his father, George Gurly, was a poor alcoholic. Shaw had two sisters, Elinour Agness, who died of tuberculosis at age 20, and Lucinda Frances who died of starvation at age 40. Both were spinsters and had no children. In Dublin the theatre was the only thing that actually interested, and had something to offer to Shaw. George also went to many schools while living in Dublin, including the Wesleyan Connexional School, but said he learned little from schools and was self-educated. In 1876, mother, daughters, & son left their father behind and moved to London to seek a more cultured way of life. They lived at 13 Victoria Grove, a middle class area in London. Shaw found work at Edison’s Telephone Company at a wage of two shillings and a sixpence, and in his spare time taught himself to write. After a while he was promoted to head of his department with a wage of 80 pounds. Soon enough Shaw admitted that he was not a working man, and he wanted to be a writer. December 23rd 1880, the family moved to Fitzroy Street. This enabled Shaw to visit the museum library, where he learned the most for his education. Unemployed, he could not afford to eat at the local restaurants and ate instead at the vegetarian eatery where he could buy a good and nourishing meal. He became a vegetarian in 1881 and kept his vow never to eat flesh again. He believed that all living things were equal and deserved to be treated with the same respect. Shaw's visits to museum library brought him into contact with the great people alive during that time such as, William Morris, Ruskin, and the Bloomsburry gang. These people were just as smart as he was, thus allowing Shaw to associate with them and become socially active. A keen on boxer; in 1883 Shaw joined the Queensburry Amateur Boxing Championships, and took part in the Middle & Heavyweight matches. This was a great way of keeping healthy, while he exercised his brain at the library. With his good looks and refined personality, women fell at his feet. Jenny Patterson, Alice Locket, May Morris, Edith Bland, Eleanor Marx and Annie Besant, each fell in love with him.

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