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Bernard Shaw and Alfred Douglas: A Correspondence

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Princeton University Library | ISBN: 0899191282

This is the first time the letters between Bernard Shaw and Alfred Douglas have been published. Shaw, the playwright and socialist, and Douglas, the aristocratic poet and ultraconservative, were antagonists in every way. But in 1931, many years after the downfall of Oscar Wilde -- the scandal with which Douglas’s name is always associated -- Douglas, hoping to boost American sales of his autobiography, asked Shaw to write a preface for it. Shaw refused. The exchange did not end, there, however, but continued for more than a decade, until Douglas died at 74. These letters are a wonder; they begin in argument, but soon an enduring friendship develops. They exchange lively comments on Wilde and his circle and such diverse figures, as Shakespeare and Ibsen, Einstein, Freud and Marx, Eliot and Auden, Chamberlain, Hitler, and many others. A significant literary event. Illus.P