ERIC Number: ED265535
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1976
Reference Count: N/A
Shaw, Books, and Libraries. Bibliographical Monograph Series No. 9.
Laurence, Dan H.
The British Museum Library and Reading Room played a significant role in George Bernard Shaw's literary life. Having already read every book that had come his way, Shaw first gravitated toward the reading room in 1880, where he began work on his second novel and drafted most of his three remaining novels. His literary, artistic and musical background led him to conclude that, although he lacked academic qualifications, he was better educated than most university scholars. This education however, often led him to unorthodox, even startling, conclusions about the relevance of literature, including his recommendation of "Lady Chatterly's Lover" as requisite reading for young girls. He also claimed to know the aesthetic value of books as works of art, noting that finely printed books were as scarce as well written ones, and leading him to scrupulous involvement in the typesetting of his own works. Shaw decried collectors, and was wont to destroy his first drafts and much of his correspondence. He was, nevertheless, a generous benefactor of libraries, leaving his estate to the British Museum, the National Gallery of Ireland, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His remaining literary manuscripts and papers, the largest single gift ever given to that institution, were also left to the British Museum, "in acknowledgement of the incalculable value to me of my daily resort to the Reading Room of that Institution at the beginning of my career." (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Books; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Texas Univ., Austin.