Shaw, George Bernhard, Anglo-Irish writer (1856-1950). Autograph letter signed ("G. Bernard Shaw").

N. p., 27. XI. 1906.

Oblong 8vo. 2 pp. Framed and glazed together with a portrait of Shaw. Backing leaves with a window for the recto of the letter.


To the poet and dramatist Newman Howard (1861-1929) with brutal criticsm of Howard's blank verse tragedy "Constantine the Great". Shaw lauds Howard's workmanship but rejects the historical theme as irrelevant to the questions of their time, elevating William Morris as a counterexample and urging him to write about "the things we are all thinking about" even if the press will reject him for that: "This is all right: you can handle words like a master, but what the devil do I care about Constantine the Great? Constantine the Apostate as Anatole France calls him. Why should I wade through all this blank verse when it is not about anything that I care about, or want to know anything about, or that you could tell me anything about if I did? I began it with great pleasure; for it is pleasant to sample good workmanship. But that soon palls [...]. If you only knew how Literature bores a man who has taken to Life! Of course Morris loathed reading other mens' verses. How do you like it yourself? But he read Dickens and Dumas père. If you would write about the things we are all thinking about and the people we all know, the papers would revile you and we should read you [...]" . The now largely forgotten author Newman Howard wrote a series of blank verse tragedies called "The Christian Trilogy", of which "Constantine the Great" was the third instalment. Though Shaw did not like the works, they were well received by most critics.

With a vertical fold and some browning.

Stock Code: BN#54626 Tag: