When Ellie Dunn joins a house-party at the home of the eccentric Captain Shotover, she causes a stir with her decision to marry for money rather than love, and the Captain's forthright daughter Hesione protests vigorously against the pragmatic young woman's choice. Opinion on the matter quickly divides and a lively argument about money and morality, idealism and realism ensues as Hesione's rakish husband, snobbish sister and Ellie's fiance - a wealthy industrialist - enter the debate. Written between 1916 and 1917 as war raged across Europe, Heartbreak House is a telling indictment of the generation responsible for the First World War. With its bold combination of high farce and bitter tragedy, Shaw's play remains an uncannily prophetic depiction of a society on the threshold of an abrupt awakening.
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"[Shaw] did his best in redressing the fateful unbalance between truth and reality, in lifting mankind to a higher rung of social maturity. He often pointed a scornful finger at human frailty, but his jests were never at the expense of humanity." --Thomas Mann
"Shaw will not allow complacency; he hates second-hand opinions; he attacks fashion; he continually challenges and unsettles, questioning and provoking us even when he is making us laugh. And he is still at it. No clich or truism of contemporary life is safe from him."--Michael Holroyd
"In his works Shaw left us his mind. . . . Today we have no Shavian wizard to awaken us with clarity and paradox, and the loss to our national intelligence is immense." --The Sunday Times "He was a Tolstoy with jokes, a modern Dr. Johnson, a universal genius who on his own modest reckoning put even Shakespeare in the shade."--The Independent
"His plays were superb exercises in high-level argument on every issue under the sun, from feminism and God, to war and eternity, but they were also hits--and still are." --The Daily Mail
About George Bernard Shaw
Dublin-born George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was an active Socialist and a brilliant platform speaker. He was strongly critical of London theatre and closely associated with the intellectual revival of British drama.
Dan H. Laurence has edited Shaw's Collected Letters and Collected Plays with their Prefaces. He was Literary Advisor to the Shaw Estate until his retirement in 1990. David Hare is an internationally-renowned playwright. Works include Plenty, The Judas Kiss, and The Blue Room.
Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
Used - Very Good
Penguin Books Ltd
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