Pygmalion - George Bernard Shaw (Paperback)

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Pygmalion is one of Shaw's most accessible and entertaining plays; its characters-Professor Higgins and his pupil Eliza Doolittle have become household names. An authoritative student guide with a wealth of information to support exams and essays, written by leading Shaw scholar and advisor to the Shaw Estate, Len Connolly.

Product Details

28 May 2008
Supply Source
South Africa


Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
L. W. Conolly (Editor)
Leonard Conolly (Editor)
A Romance in Five Acts
Bloomsbury USA Academic
New Mermaids
Number of Pages
203 x 127 x 6mm (145g)


  • Discussions of Shaw's career, the themes of the play, and staging techniques introduce this comedy, in which Professor Higgins succeeds in transforming an unkempt London flower girl into a society belle.
  • Features characters such as Professor Higgins and his pupil Eliza Doolittle. This title has been both enhanced and undermined by the musical adaptation "My Fair Lady". It includes an introduction exploring theatrical and historical context, critical reactions to the play, background on the author, stage history, and character analysis.


  • `Not bloody likely'

    Ever since Pygmalion opened in London in April 1914 it has proved a very controversial play, from the (then) shocking language, to arguments about its correct ending. Critical interpretations have been similarly disputatious, encompassing views of the transformation of the impoverished Eliza Doolittle by phonetics expert Henry Higgins as either a story of economic and social liberation, or an example of the perpetuation of male control and self-interest. With subsequent film and musical adaptations and many stage revivals, Pygmalion remains one of Shaw's most engaging, provocative, and accessible plays.

    This new edition of Pygmalion includes Shaw's definitive text, with both Preface and Sequel, and provides the most comprehensive scholarly treatment of the play to date, containing:

    - a substantial introduction with biographical information on Shaw

    - detailed discussion of the genesis and sources of the play

    - varying interpretations, and a lengthy international stage history.

    - textual notes on each page explaining language, allusions, and staging

    - Appendices with Shaw's discarded scenes for the play, the British Censor's 1914 report, and texts of all stage and film endings of Pygmalion.


General Subject
BISAC Subject 1
Drama / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
BISAC Subject 2
Literary Criticism / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
BIC Classification 1
Literary studies: plays & playwrights
BIC Classification 2
Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900
BIC Classification 3
Plays, playscripts
Library Subject 1
Speech and social status; Drama.
Library Subject 2
Linguistics teachers; Drama.
Library Subject 3
Social classes; Drama.
Academic Subject 1
Irish Drama
Dewey Classification

Author Bio

L. W. Conolly is a leading authority on Shaw. He is Literary Advisor to the Shaw Estate, Vice-President of the International Shaw Society, a Corresponding Scholar of the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, and the author and editor of numerous essays and books on Shaw. Professor of English Literature at Trent University in Ontario, Dr Conolly is also a Senior Member of Robinson College, Cambridge, and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.