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Writer Anecdotes – George Bernard Shaw

george bernard shawThe famous playwright, George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), is known to have possessed great wit and a wonderful sense of humor. Here are some interesting anecdotes:


The celebrated dancer Isadora Duncan once wrote to George Bernard Shaw declaring that, given the principles of eugenics, they should have a child together.

“Think of it!” she enthused. “With my body and your brains, what a wonder it would be.”

“Yes,” Shaw replied. “But what if it had my body and your brains?”

 * * *

 MGM studio chief Samuel Goldwyn once attempted to purchase the film rights to several of George Bernard Shaw’s plays. After protracted bargaining over the terms, Shaw elected not to sell. “The trouble is, Mr. Goldwyn,” he drily declared, “you are interested only in art and I am interested only in money.”

 * * *

 George Bernard Shaw was once asked by a manufacturer of electric razors to endorse their new product – by shaving off his trademark beard. Shaw explained that, like his father before him, he had grown a beard for a very good reason:

“I was about five at the time,” Shaw recalled, “and I was standing at my father’s knee whilst he was shaving. I said to him, ‘Daddy, why do you shave?’ He looked at me in silence, for a full minute, before throwing the razor out of the window, saying, ‘Why the hell do I?’ He never did again.”

 * * *

 While conversing with George Bernard Shaw and his wife one day, the writer Patrick Mahony asked Mrs. Shaw how she had dealt with her husband’s innumerable, and often persistent, female admirers.

“After we were married,” she began, “there was an actress who pursued my husband. She threatened suicide if she were not allowed to see him.” Shaw, of course, had denied her the privilege. “And did she die of a broken heart?” Mahony asked. “Yes, she did,” Shaw’s wife replied. “Fifty years later.”

* * *

On his ninetieth birthday, George Bernard Shaw was visited by Scotland Yard’s celebrated Detective Fabian. To mark the occasion, Fabian suggested that Shaw’s fingerprints be recorded for posterity.

Incredibly, so faint were Shaw’s prints that no impression could be made. “Well,” Shaw playfully declared, “had I known this sooner I should certainly have chosen another profession!”

* * *

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