Pygmalion both delighted and scandalized its first audiences in 1914. A brilliantly witty reworking of the classical tale of the sculptor who falls in love with his perfect female statue, it is also a barbed attack on the British class system and a statement of Shaw's feminist views. In Shaw's hands, the phoneticist Henry Higgins is the Pygmalion figure who believes he can transform Eliza Doolittle, a cockney flower girl, into a duchess at ease in polite society. The one thing he overlooks is that his 'creation' has a mind of her own.
With an Introduction by NICHOLAS GRENE
- Paperback | 144 pages
- 129 x 198 x 8mm | 112g
- 04 Feb 2003
- Penguin Books Ltd
- Penguin Classics
- London, United Kingdom
Other books in this series
25 Nov 2008
"[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 cliche 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
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.
Nicholas Grene is Professor of English at the University of Dublin.